Viability Questions

My questions concern rose seed viability.

  1. Is there any difference in the viability rate (or germination rate) of the seeds of achenes which are exposed from the top of the hip? (Also, can this be a factor of weather? There are several varieties that I have which consistently set hips with exposed achenes, but I’ve noticed with fall’s cooler weather it seems like a good many more varieties are also doing this) Will these seeds germinate? Does the visible achene color indicate anything about its readiness?

  2. I picked some hips that were only beginning to change color, because I wouldn’t have an opportunity to get them later (even if the weather cooperates, and we’re already past our average freeze date). Can achenes which have a greenish tint to them germinate? Or did I just waste some hips and some effort?

I’m very interested to hear your responses. Thanks in advance!

There are nearly as many different ways to harvest the hips and germinate the seeds as there are hybridizers and many are successful. If you have the hips and the time, try to germinate the seeds. I think everyone tries to germinate the seeds that grow outside the hip if they are going to try the other seeds inside the hip.

Many hybridizers harvest the hips after approximately 120 days regardless of hip color. Many hybridizers want to harvest all the hips before a hard freeze.

If the hips are really green some hybridizers store them in a refrigerator for 30 days(?). One of the books suggested to take very green hips prior to a hard freeze with the stems attatched and stick the stems in a glass of water to let the hips ripen.

Keep trying and Good Luck


I’ve read that bananas exude some chemical which you can use to ripen fruit like tomatoes by putting them together into a sealed plastic bag. I wonder if that would work on rose hips?

The gas is ethylene. Apples are a good source.

Thanks for the idea! I believe I