Following a rose (Rosa spp.) Is pollinated, the petals drop off to reveal the rose fruit, that is referred to as a hip. Rose hips are in reality seed pods, and each one contains heaps of seeds. Although you can develop roses from seeds, many are hybrids, so the results are unpredictable. Rose hips are grown for their nutritional value to wildlife and people, and they are used in crafts and holiday decorations as you’d use holly berries. The thousands of species and cultivars of roses grow in a wide variety of climates. Gardeners at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 10 will find many varieties to pick from, but not all varieties will grow in most zones.

Growing Rose Hips

From a rose’s point of view, the only reason to produce flowers is to produce the seeds that ensure the existence of those species. When a gardener clips away wrapped blossoms before they have a chance to form hips, then the rose bush reacts by producing more flowers. Leaving the flowers on the plant ensures fewer blooms and messy bushes, but that’s exactly what you need to do if you want to develop hips. 1 way to have lovely blooms all summer and still harvest a crop of hips is to deadhead the plants in summer and leave the blooms on the plants at the close of the season. Don’t wait too long, or the frost will kill back the flowers until they form hips.

Roses and Vitamin C

Rose hips are full of vitamin C. Sailors used to carry dried rose hips on long voyages to prevent scurvy, and throughout World War II roses were grown in success gardens for the medicinal and nutritional value of the hips. Meanwhile, the USDA produced brochures to educate self-sufficiency throughout the war, along with one of the suggested crops was roses. The different species of roses vary in the total amount of vitamin C that they contain. Mother Earth News asserts that a cup of rose hip tea can contain as much vitamin C as six strawberries.

Preparing Rose Hips

To brew rose hip tea, then you only need to chop the hips and steep them in hot water. If you would like to use them in recipes, you first must remove the seeds. The simplest way to do this is to pulverize the hips and then mash them through a strainer. The strained hips can subsequently be used to make jellies, jams and sauces. It’s ideal to wear gloves when working with rose hips because the seeds are covered with fibers that could cause skin irritation and irritation.

Rose Hips and Wildlife

If left on the plant, rose hips will persist throughout the majority of winter, and they serve as an important food source for birds, deer, rabbits, squirrels. Once the blooms fade, visiting wildlife keeps the garden interesting and takes on new importance for gardeners. If you want to draw wildlife, consider planting R. rugosa, a species that produces an abundant crop of large, ornamental hips. There are many native or “wild” species that require very little attention and produce an abundance of hips. Be careful if you find multiflora rose (R. multiflora), that has a propensity to take over lawns and is almost impossible to totally remove when it’s spread.

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