see germination from dry hips?

Can seeds from hips that have been dried out for 4-5 years still germinate?

I think it would depend on storage conditions and what type of rose they are from. It can’t hurt to try. I wouldn’t think they they have much chance.

I’ve heard of seed from certain Northern species held frozen and still viable for a number of years.

Thank you Robert. I’ll try the floating test to see if any sink and go from there.

I had some 3 years old ‘Bonica’ seeds as germinated last year. The seeds have been inside the hip indors in my house. Try if this is some interesting seeds Rob.

Hearing about your success with dried ‘Bonica’ hips/seeds gives me encouragement. I’ll give it a try Roger. I do have some interesting crosses dating from 2001 where the hips have been stored in a dry environment. For your ‘Bonica’ dried hips, did you soak them first before opening them or just crush/open the dried hips?

I routinely dry many seeds such as rugosa, banksiae, multiflora and wichuraiana derivatives among others.

Botanical Gardens do usualy preserve dry species rose seeds or fruits. I had diverse results from failure with the very large seeds of chinensis spontanea to success with roxburghii. So so with setigera.

Banksiae old dried seeds did germinate much better for me than fresh ones…

This thread gave me some encouragement to go back and collect some dried OP his from a cultivar I’ve been curious about. I’ll let you know if I get success.

The only time I’ve had success (or tried much for that matter) was with some dried OP hips of Dr. A.J. Verhage. I did get germination. The seedling was very unimpressive.

Rob, i just open the dried hips, then soak the seeds in water for about 22 hours.

Thank you all for your input. I’ll proceed forward using dried the seeds and use roI’m really glad I didn’t toss them out afterall. Appreciate the tip on how you soaked the seeds Roger.

After being absent from this site for about 4 years it’s great to come back and see familiar names and find that everyone is still so very helpful. Thanks again.

Rob, I lost some hips for a year a few years back in the bottom of the old refrigerator that we keep in the garage for my rose breeding and for overflow from the house. When I found them the following year during harvest time, I noted that the hips had dried hard. I also noticed that they were some of my earlier important hulthemia crosses. So not wanting to throw them away, I planted them per my usual routine. Germination was excellent.

Jim Sproul

I was so close to tossing these hips and am so glad I posted this question first. It’s great you were able to get germination from seeds of your hulthemia crosses Jim. I hope you get something really interesting from them.

Some seeds from dry hips from '01, '02 and '03 that I hope germinate:

Folksinger x Applejack

Corylus x R. xanthina

Gipsy Boy x Bayse’s Purple

Mystic Meidiland x Gold Moss

Bella Nitida x R. glauca

Dortmund x Rugelda

Dortmund x Golden Glow

Hansa x Hazeldean

Jens Munk x Hazeldean

Pink Meidiland x Bayse’s Purple

Baby Love x Hazeldean

Awakening x Pink Meidiland

New Dawn x Golden Glow

Purple Heart x Commander Gillette

Sunflare x Commander Gillette

Old Fashioned Romance x (Westerland x Dornroschen)

Pink Meidiland x Nitida Defender

Golden Celebration x Illusion

Pink Meidiland x Carefree Sunshine

Nitida Defender x Corylus

New Dawn x Commander Gillette

Iceberg x Commander Gillette

New Dawn x Fire King

New Dawn x Dornroschen

Dornroschen x Carefree Sunshine

Cardinale Hume x Black Jade

Graham Thomas x Gold Moss

Some OP hips from same time period:

Cardinale Hume

Amy Robsart


Morden Ruby

Lemon Blush

Graham Thomas


Autumn Fire

L83 (R. foliosa x R. rugosa)

Tender Blush

Nyveldt’s White

Christopher Columbus (striped shrub)

Mystic Meidiland

Carefree Sunshine

“Gipsy Boy x Bayse’s Purple”


Thanks Jadae. :slight_smile:

I found a treasure trove of hips/seeds today that were still packed away:

Pristine Pavement x Peppermint Twist

Seafoam x Applejack

Prosperity x Applejack

White Flower Carpet x Party Girl

Cardinal de Richelieu x Black Jack

Folksinger x Lemon Delight

Cl. Jeanne Lajoie x Lemon Delight

The Fairy x Pink Meidiland

Illusion x Lichtkonigin Lucia

Leverkusen x Lichtkonigin Lucia

Gipsy Boy x Basye’s Purple

The Fairy F1 x (Heritage x Westerland)

And OP seeds:

Basye’s Purple

Basye’s Amphidiploid

Commander Gillette


Gipsy Boy

Red Flower Carpet

Henry Kellsey

Wild Ginger

La Belle Sultane

Constance Spry

Coral Dawn

Golden Wings



First Light

Pink Meidiland

Cl. Jeanne Lajoie

Sea Foam

Square Dancer

Vivid (bourbon)

Sevelliana (Buck)

I’ve had the first germination from seeds that were stored since 2001-2003. The first to germinate are from openly pollinated L83 seeds after 4 months in the fridge. I was beginning to wonder if any of those old seeds would germinate. Hopefully more will as well.

Congrats Rob!

What is “L83”?

Robert, concerning what is “L83”, see:


Fascinating. Thanks!

Good heavens! That is a lot. I do know, that for some species roses the seeds naturally germinate over a period of several years. Some people think they may have evolved that way so that if any one year has bad conditions there will still be some seeds germinating next year and the next. Although most modern roses don’t tend in that direction, I would imagine that in most roses, to varying degrees, there would be some built in tendency for lasting viability in a dry seed.