Answer

Rose Hips

Question

I have a rugosa rose that is about 3 years old and I have never had any rose hips. I usually deadhead the blooms, is this wrong? Do I have to leave them on to get the rose hips? I planted it for the rose hips for the birds to enjoy but what am I doing wrong? Would appreciate your help. Berlin, PA

Answer

I too, like to have a few roses in my garden that produce hips. The birds certainly enjoy them and I use them in flower arrangements.

Hips are the fruit produced by a rose, which is actually a member of the apple family. Rose hips are high in vitamin C and used to prepare teas and jellies.

Deadheading your rose will prevent the plant from producing hips. Depending on the variety of rose you have, your plant is either a repeat bloomer or once blooming. If you have a once blooming rose there is no need to remove spent blooms as this is done primarily to promote new flowers. If you have a repeat blooming rose, stop deadheading around August and you should get enough hips for both you and your birds.

Here is a list of a few roses that produce hips:

  • Ballerina
  • Frau Karl Druschki
  • Iceberg
  • Mutabilis
  • Old Blush
  • R. banksia lutescens
  • R. blanda (Meadow Rose)
  • R. rugosa
  • R. virginiana (Virginia Rose)
  • Russell's Cottage
  • Seven Sisters
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