Would you Harvest?

I’m amazed to see some of my hips apparently ripening so early. This hip was pollinated 4-3 which makes it 71 days old.

I’d be interested in hearing what you think as to whether these should be harvested or not.

In the past I have lost hips due to dropping. I have dogs in my propagation area and they like to chew them up.

If it were me I’d let it go a little longer and get more orange in color.

Thanks Rob. Part of the problem is the newness of the seed parent. I don’t know what to expect. It is a seedling I produced last season. This will probably be the last season I will use it.

I’m not as experienced as other, but I’m not a big believer in letting the hips get overly ripe. To me, it looks perfect to harvest now. However, I agree the 71 days is somewhat worrisome. I’d probably hold off and try to check it every day.


We had heard to watch the color of the stem just below the swelling hip. When it just starts to turn brown is a good indicator. This might be climate related and not applicable all over. We have followed this for most of the hips we have harvested here in the PNW the past few years and see that they are generally in the 120 day range.

Thanks for the input. I have a feeling these hips are ripening early due to a strong species relationship. I don’t want the hips to drop.

In the past I have tried to gently tug worrisome hips to see if they show a tendency to detach but I can’t do every hip every day.

I’ll wait a bit longer.

We just had a post lately that said 90 days is minimum for good germination rate. You would surely get some germination earlier than that but I would wait 90 days and then pluck them if they look like they will hold out that long before falling off.


Thanks Patrick, that gives me hope. I’ll bet they can hang in there another three weeks or so minimum. Of course it is HOT here now.

You could tie them onto the plant with a piece of string or pantyhose or whatever, so when they fall they just dangle, instead of making it to the ground to be eaten.

Good suggestion CharlesC. I was going to suggest covering the hip/stem with the toe of some nylons and tie it off so that if it drops it won’t hit the ground.

You may have something there concerning the species connection Robert. I remembered that when I was breeding with Hansa the hips ripened fairly quickly.

The fastest hips I ever say ripen were those of R. acicularis. They were amazingly quick to mature. It must be an adaptation to the very short growing season experienced in their native range.

Robert, I have to admit that the hip sure looks ripe to me. I would be surprised with that color if the seeds were not mature. When growing up in Fairbanks, AK, I remember the official “last day of frost” was June 2nd and it was not unusual for us to get snow by mid-August, so I can imagine the speed at which R. acicularis would mature.

Is there a reason why you don’t want to use the seedling again in the future?

Jim Sproul

Hi Jim, this is the seed parent.

I like it but with all the new seedlings I have coming along I think I can do better next season.

I want to concentrate on yellows and with my new seedlings that exhibit fewer prickles.

The pollen parent of these hips is your I89-2.

As you can imagine we are close to several species with this cross, including Hulthemia.

I89-2 is shockingly prickled! It’s producing some really wicked looking canes at the moment.

Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=48812&tab=1

Yes, I89-2 does exhibit some wild prickles! It also shows up in many of its offspring, but some are more on the average side for prickles. I have a couple of new hulthemia minis that I am really liking from it and have brought into breeding already, trying to keep moving forward…

As you know, hulthemias also tend to ripen earlier than average.

Jim Sproul

Oh, R.acicularis (quick ripening) x R.clinophylla (no statification)! We could get three sets of seedlings per year in the south. Anyone tried it yet?

Charles, Acicularis x clinophylla would be a wild combination since they are native to totally opposite regions of the world.

I have a cross now that involves banksia and R. laxa, sort of similar in concept. It’s surprisingly healthy and vigorous.

A large percentage of seedlings of this cross died in the cotyledon stage.

(see link)

Jim said,

“As you know, hulthemias also tend to ripen earlier than average”

I’ve noted that pollen parent affects shape color and ripening period in the hip. This makes sense as to why I have early ripening.

Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=49368&tab=10