Rotting hips

I’ve lost a number of almost mature (85ish days) to a rot that starts on one side at the sepal base and progresses down the side of the hip. I assume this is due to a fungus, and I don’t generally use fungicides in the summer (no need here). Is it safe to spray the hips with a sulfur spray? Will it help? Do use anything on the hips? I sure don’t want to harm the seeds, esp. when there are exogenous ones. HELP!!

I don’t spray and sometimes have hips that turn brown. As long as the fungus doesn’t get inside the hip, the seeds should be fine. Even when the fungus gets inside and turns the seeds brown, some of the seeds germinate. I don’t think that spraying would stop the infection if it has gotten inside the hip. When I see this happening, I generally pick the hips sooner than I would otherwise.

How disappointing indeed! This happens to me too. The rot organism that gets hips in my garden is botrytis, especially during and after really wet warm spells. I’ve had much more of a problem with it when I would cover pollinated hips with aluminum foil. I would use aluminum foil sometimes if the forecast calls for rain soon after I pollinate. If I didn’t get the foil off soon the past couple years I would get a lot of rot. Some females seem to be more prone to it than others too. I remember years ago when I lived in the Milwaukee area keeping the foil on the entire season because Bill Radler suggested it would help aid ripening. It seemed to work fine back then.

This year I decided not to cover hips with foil even if rain was in the forecast. I pollinate heavily, so hopefully the rain won’t wash all the pollen off before some grains germinate.

Hopefully a good spray program will help protect the hips that aren’t infected or heavily infected yet.

Take Care,


Hmmm, it has been raining here in the past 2 weeks. I’ll look into what controls botrytis and see if I can spray to slow the spread. Lost another today. The seeds did look fine when I removed them, and I’m getting to the time when they are almost ripe anyway, though most are still green. If only they can hold on another 2 weeks!

SunQueen, if you can find it, Decree should work quite well for the control of Botrytis. I have a difficult time finding it around here and I am still trying to find alternatives to purchasing it online as the packag size is a bit large for what I need, and as a result a bit more pricey than I would prefer. Really sorry to hear about your hips dropping recently and so close to being ready, I am sure that is a bit “painful” to see.

David, we had an extremely wet spring here and I covered all my hips after pollination to protect them from the rain. If I did not uncover them within a day or two they would rot…just too much moisture would get in and then get trapped…I was practically inviting the fungus to come right on in and sit a spell…of course, in hindsight that is easy for me to see now! LOL

Thanks Michelle, I’ll look for Decree. I assume its a good broad spectrum anti-fungal? I’m not sure, after reading up on Botrytis, that that’s the fungus I’m dealing with though, since it seems to like cool, damp weather. As it has been in the 100’s and high 90’s for months here, and hasn’t even gone below the mid-80’s here at night, I might be dealing with a different fungus. I’ll give it a shot.

Garden centers sell a calcium based product for tomato blossom rot.

I do not have a problem so I have not tried it. Has anyone?


SunQueen, are you sure you are not dealing with canker as opposed to Botrytis perhaps? Just a thought as these can be easily confused at times. Are your blooms showing signs of Botrytis or are you seeing mostly signs of a problem on the canes and hips only?

Thanks Henry, that’s a good idea. The funny thing is, I think that calcium product is the one I returned and exchanged for the kinetin one for fruit set LOL!

Michelle, I really am not sure what I’m dealing with, but the canes look fine, and it’s just the hips that are having that problem. Some blooms on other bushes do show some little darker colored dots like botrytis, but I have seen that before on otherwise healthy plants, and attributed that to our intense heat and wet weather recently. No fuzzy stuff that I can see. I really am not sure what I am dealing with. All I know is it starts at the sepal base on one side and works it’s way down the hip. So far no more losses this week. Fingers crossed.

SunQueen, it does sort of sound like perhaps this is not a wide spread problem in your rose beds…which would make me think that if it is not showing up on anything but the hips that it is probably not Botrytis or canker. Have you thought about using a weak mixture of baking soda in water to mist the hips…this may be enough to neutralize any acidity that might encourage fungal growth on the hips during your damp weather.

That probably makes the most sense. I’ll try the baking soda first. It did work well in the begining of the season on powdery mildew. Thanks.