How To Harvest Rose Hips

Rose Hips: the Hippest Fruit (with Amazing Health Benefits!)

If you grow roses in your garden, you may get the added benefit of rose hips, a cool-cat fruit that packs a healthy punch! Rose hips are the rose plant’s seed pod/fruit, although most home gardeners don’t get many as we prune back our roses to encourage strong blooming. The rugosa roses are typically harvested for the tastiest hips, but all roses will produce them in the late summer and fall if left alone by secateur-wielding gardeners.All About Rose Hips

Rose hips are typically a vibrant reddish-orange, but in some species hips can be dark purple or even black. They are tart and reminiscent of a zesty crabapple in flavor, although not quite as tasty. They are, however, prized for their health benefits and jam-packed with Vitamin C. In fact, they contain 50% more Vitamin C than oranges!Red rose hips

Did you know that the rose petals are edible too? Yes, they are! Read more about Edible Flowers here.

Growing Rose Hips

If you are growing hips in your own garden, do not use any chemical sprays or pesticides. Make sure that you grow natural, organic roses for edible purposes. Do not prune or cut back roses after blooming. The hips are coming. Get ready! You will see them decorating your rose plants in autumn and can start picking them fresh at any time.

hand picking fresh rose hips for herbal tea in autumn

Harvesting Rose Hips

The best time to harvest the whole lot of them is in the winter when they turn soft, particularly after the first frost.

  • Rose hips are ripe when they are bright red and soft to the touch.
  • Harvest them with pruners to protect the shape of your rose plant. You can harvest rose plants heavily and they will thank you for it.
  • It’s best to prune them back in winter so that the new growth is delayed until spring.
  • Remember, roses come with thorns, so protect yourself with rose gloves, long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, and closed-toe shoes.
  • Place the rose hips in a colander and rinse with water and they are ready for use!

all about rose hips: how to grown harvest, dry, prepare and eat them. Plus they are full of health benefits - see them all!

Medicinal uses: Rose hips have been used to treat arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, menstrual cramping, varicose veins, and bladder or urinary irritations. Rose hips also strengthen capillaries, regulate blood circulation and relieve teething problems in infants.

how to make fresh rose hip tea

How to Prepare Rose Hips

  • Use rose hips whole to make tea, but it’s best to remove the seeds before you use them to make syrup, jams, and jellies. Trim off the two ends and slice them in half to remove the seeds.
  • You can dry rose hips to keep them for use all year. After harvesting, wash the rose hips and cut off the blossom end and stem. Set them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet to dry for a few weeks in a cool, dark place. Or if you are in a hurry, add them to a food dehydrator until they are hard, wrinkly, and darker in color.
  • Add dried rose hips directly into hot water for tea, or grind dried hips into a powder using a food processor.

Not only are they good for you, but they are also gorgeous! Check out this stunning Rose Hip Wreath as part of a round up of Fabulous Fall Wreaths!

DIY autumn wreaths

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About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Wendy
    WendyAugust 24,17

    I live in Arizona. My rose hips dont turn the beautiful red that are in the pictures. They are either green or almost black (after the frost). When is the best time for me to pick them, when they are green or black?

    • Stephanie Rose
      Stephanie RoseAugust 24,17

      Hi Wendy, it could be that you don’t have a fruiting variety, where the rosehips ripen to red. Or it could be that the season isn’t long enough to ripen them. Either way, it might be better to look for a variety of rose that will produce rosehips, or better yet, head out and forage for wild ones!

  2. Mary Coakley
    Mary CoakleyOctober 1,17

    Thanks Stephanie for all the good advice I was delighted to know how to use rose hips also the extending the flower season.Where can I buy Mr Stephensons book the greenhouse is amazing they cost lots to buy here in Europe Thank you Mary Coakley

  3. Joan
    JoanOctober 1,17

    Hello Stephanie,
    Many thanks for your info and experience.
    We’re in NWOntario, & thus, our growing season is shorter than yours on the west coast.
    Our rosehips are very dark, with almost purplish-black skins, but, just under the outer skin, a deep cranberry red colour. We think (?) that this is a wild white rose bush.
    i would like to make teas from them.
    Any advice?
    Thank-you so much, joan

    • Stephanie Rose
      Stephanie RoseOctober 2,17

      Hi Joan, rosehips usually come from rosa canina or rosa rugosa, but if you are sure that what you have is a rosehip, then follow the advice in this article for harvesting and using them. I can’t say how they will taste for sure, because I haven’t tried them. Keep us updated!

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