I have been drying flowers for years. For best results you need air circulation around each flower so you don’t get one side that is flat or shaped funny. You can use hangers, just be sure to secure the flowers so they are not touching. You can also use string tied horizontally to hooks in the ceiling. Just be sure to tie knots every few inches to keep the flowers separate. Chain also works because the links separate the flowers. You can also use a drying rack if you plan on drying flowers often (I can tell you how to make one if you want, just contact me at contactanastasia (at) yahoo (dot) com. The very best way to dry flowers at home in my opinion is with silica gel because the petals don’t turn out wrinkly, but it’s much more complicated. I would be willing to explain if anyone wants to know.
I prefer to leave some of the leafs on when I dry flowers, but that is personal choice. Many types of greenery can also be dried. For most you can use the directions for flowers above. For ferns what you want to do is lay them flat between a few sheets of newspaper. This produced a pretty nice effect. You don’t want to completely press them flat because that wouldn’t look natural. Putting 3 or 4 sheets of newspaper over the top should keep them from curling in on themselves without making them completely flat. More sheets may be needed. Use your judgement. You want the paper to hold the leaves down, but not flatten them.
There is also a way to preserve greenery in glycerine. It can be bought at most craft stores. It is nice because whatever you preserve will not be totally dry and brittle. It is more of a slightly flexible waxy effect from what I have read. The downside is the foliage turns color, but it gives you autumn hues like browns, etc. I have seen some finished pieces and they were quite pretty. The instructions for use are on the bottle. You find it in the floral department of craft stores. From what I understand you can buy glycerine other places for a lot less money. You would just have to look up the instructions. I know you heat the glycerine and put your stems in. The foliage sucks up the glycerine. That’s all I know off hand though.
It is also very important to give the flowers enough time to dry completely. If you turn them upright to soon the heavy flower heads will flop to one side. This is especially true for roses and other flowers with a heavy head.
I hope this help at least one person Feel free to message me with any questions. I have a lot of experience and numerous books on both drying and pressing flowers.
- The 6 Best Places to Buy Garden Seeds Online
- Seed Saving 101: 10 Things to Know If You Want to Start Saving Seeds
- Growing a Plant to Save Its Seed Is Different Than Growing It to Eat
- Don’t Bother Saving Seeds of Hybrid Varieties
- Save Seeds from the Best Plants
- Seed Saving Can Be Tedious
- Seed Saving Can Be Stinky
- Seeds of Some Crops Are Easier to Save Than Others
- Plant Sex Makes Things Complicated
- Seeds Aren’t Viable Until Fully Ripe
- Well-Dried Seed Is Viable Seed
- Proper Storage Is Important
- On the high street
- Car boots and swaps
- How to buy plants
- The benefits of rosehip seeds
- The Story of Rosehip
- When Are Rose Hips Ripe And Ready To Pick And Gather?
- Is It True I Need To Gather Rosehips After The First Frosts?
- Are All Rosehips Edible & Safe? Are Any Rosehips Poisonous?
- Are All Rosehip Seeds Edible?
- What Can Rosehips Be Used For?
- Does Cooking Rosehips Destroy Vitamin C
- How To Dry And Preserve Rosehips?
- Rosehip – Its Food, Medicine and Other Uses
- How to Collect Seeds from Roses
- Want to learn more about growing roses from collected seeds?
- How to Propagate Roses from Seed
- How to Harvest and Use Rose Hips
- Collecting Rose Seeds – How To Get Rose Seeds From A Rose Bush
- What Do Rose Seeds Look Like?
- How to Clean and Seed Rose Hips
The 6 Best Places to Buy Garden Seeds Online
Spring is officially here, and that means it’s time to buy seeds for your garden.
You can find a variety of seeds at your local hardware store. But if you want to grow a garden that’s a cut above, you’ll need to go online. Whether you’re in the market for organic vegetables, native plants, or that perfect shade of peony for your cutting garden, these shops are where you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Take a look at our six favorite places to buy seeds online, and get ready to make your garden better than it’s ever been before!
1. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
With the largest variety of rare and heirloom seeds in the United States, an always-gorgeous, free color catalog, and an endlessly knowledgeable online community, it’s no wonder that Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is a favorite of Martha Stewart and Oprah. If you’re interested in vegetables, fruits, and flowers that you can’t find anywhere else, then you’ll love getting lost in Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds’ stunning online catalog.
2. Seed Savers Exchange
Boasting impossible-to-find gems such as the hot orange Jaune Flamme tomato, the delicately-scented Queen Anne’s Pocket melon, and the bizarre (but delicious) Jelly Melon cucumber, Seed Savers Exchange will delight adventurous gardeners and plain old tasty veggie fans alike. Becoming a member will even get you access to the Seed Savers community exchange boards, where gardeners and farmers from around the world trade rare seeds for nothing but the cost of shipping.
Although the Burpee seed catalog doesn’t boast a wide array of exotic varieties, they’ve hit the mark on offering a range of solid gardener favorites since 1881. Burpee’s seeds can be counted on to get the highest yield and have the best resistance to disease, which makes them ideal for beginner gardeners and seasoned pros alike. They also offer a wide variety of tomato seedlings that arrive at your door ready to plant in the ground.
4. Seeds of Change
100% certified organic seed at Seeds of Change means that you can shop confidently for your organic garden, without having to worry about pesticide residues or GMOs. This California company offers a vast selection of heirloom, organic and hybrid varieties, making it popular among conventional and organic gardeners alike. The best part: the site lists detailed growing instructions for each variety on its website, so you can remember how far apart to plant your seedlings without having to keep track of those pesky little seed packets.
5. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
With over 700 varieties of seeds that are optimized to grow well in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, it’s no wonder this Virginia company is a regional favorite. In addition to listing all kinds of delicious and useful varieties, Southern Exposure is home to a constantly growing selection of historic Southern varieties such as peanuts, cowpeas, roselle, and butterbeans. Check out their Virginia Heritage Collection for twelve varieties of heirloom vegetables that will taste great on any Southern table.
6. Territorial Seed Company
Territorial Seed Company is another local favorite, with an array of varieties optimized to succeed in the Northwest, as well as a great selection of plants that do well nationally. Here, you’ll find seeds, plants, fruits, vines, herbs, garlic, and potatoes, as well as tools, books, and thorough growing guides. All of Territorial’s products are backed by a full guarantee, so you can fearlessly attempt the newest varieties of carrots, lettuces, and tomatoes.
Top Image Credit: Seed Savers Exchange
What’s on your garden list this year? Will you be trying anything new?
Seed Saving 101: 10 Things to Know If You Want to Start Saving Seeds
Beans. That’s right. If you want to start saving seeds, we recommend beans. Or peas. Why? Legumes are by far the easiest seeds to save, and among the easiest to germinate. You can’t go wrong. With that, let’s learn more about the basics of seed saving.
Growing a Plant to Save Its Seed Is Different Than Growing It to Eat
And usually, you’re not getting both. In order for a plant like lettuce to produce seed, you must wait for it to send up its gangly flower stalks, which eventually produce tiny seed pods. By this time. the lettuce leaves are becoming yellow, shriveled, and bitter. It’s the same with most crops – you don’t get to eat it and save the seed; it’s either one or the other. The good news is that a single plant produces many seeds. So you usually need to grow only a few extra for seed-saving purposes.
Don’t Bother Saving Seeds of Hybrid Varieties
Seeds denoted on the package as “F1” are hybrids, meaning two varieties have been bred with one another (cross-pollinated, that is) to produce a third variety with a combination of traits from each “parent.” If you were to save seed from this hybrid offspring and plant it, each seed would grow into a plant with a random combination of the traits found in the gene pool of the original parents, which rarely produces something you’d want to eat. The only way to reproduce the hybrid “true-to-type,” as plant breeders say, is to cross the two original parents. That’s a big part of why most seed savers stick with old-fashioned heirloom varieties, which by definition are not hybrids.
Save Seeds from the Best Plants
To save seed is to participate in the process of natural selection. If you save seed only from the biggest tomato of the bunch and replant them year after year, you’ll eventually end up with seeds that produce plants on which all the tomatoes are bigger. The same holds true for almost any other trait. Want tomatoes that ripen earlier? Save seed from the first fruits to ripen each year. Want disease resistant plants? Then definitely don’t save seed from those that are disease-infested. This is essentially what professional plant breeders do. You don’t need to get too scientific about it, but as a rule of thumb, only save seed from your healthiest, most robust, tastiest plants.
Seed Saving Can Be Tedious
Bean seeds are big and easy to remove from their pods. But this is the exception rather than the rule. Carrot seeds, for example, are no bigger than a baby flea and easily disappear into the nearest crack or cranny as you try to knock them loose from their seed heads. Plants hold their seeds in an array of husks, pods, capsules, and other coverings, which are often not easily removed. This process varies depending on the species in question, but typically involves threshing (separating the seed from the plant) and winnowing (separating the seed from its hull). If you’re collecting only a very small quantity of seed, you’ll probably perform these tedious tasks by hand, but specialized tools are available for processing larger quantities.
Seed Saving Can Be Stinky
Seed that develops in a wet, fleshy fruit (tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers, for example), as opposed to a dry seedhead or pod (the case with most greens, herbs and legumes), often requires extra steps to extract. Such seed is typically encased in a gooey substance, from which it is not easily removed. The best way to remove the goo, as it turns out, is to put it in a jar or bucket with a bit of water and let the concoction rot for a bit. The fermentation process dissolves the goo and improves the germination rate of the seed. You then strain the seeds from the stinky liquid and dry them.
Seeds of Some Crops Are Easier to Save Than Others
Seeds are the products of pollination, the botanical version of sex. Some crops are self-pollinators, which means individual plants are fertilized by their own pollen. These crops, including beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, and cauliflower, are among the easiest to save because you don’t need special botanical knowledge to ensure that the seeds grow out true-to-type.
Plant Sex Makes Things Complicated
It’s with cross-pollinating crops – those that need pollen from a neighboring plant in order to set seed – where things get complicated. This group includes cucumbers, corn, squash, pumpkins, and melons. If you have more than one variety of the same cross-pollinating vegetable (a butternut squash and acorn squash, let’s say) growing in close proximity, pollen from one will inevitably end up in the flowers of the other, resulting in seeds that are a mutant hybrid of both varieties. Seed savers employ various strategies to prevent this, ranging from growing different varieties on opposite ends of their property (pollen only travels so far on the wind or via insects) to placing plastic bags over some flowers to exclude unwanted pollen (you must then use a paintbrush to pollinate them with pollen from the same variety). Another option? Simply grow only one variety at a time of these particular crops.
Seeds Aren’t Viable Until Fully Ripe
Just like picking the perfect tomato, you have to wait until seed is fully ripe before you harvest it – if picked from the plant too soon, the seed will not germinate. As explained above, optimal seed maturity is usually later than optimal crop maturity. Bean and pea seeds are not ready until the pod is brown, dry, and beginning to split open. This is true of any seed that grows in a pod, which includes most greens. Corn seed should be allowed to dry on the cob in the field. Some vegetables, including cucumbers and eggplant, should not be picked for seed until they are overripe and beginning to shrivel up and rot.
Well-Dried Seed Is Viable Seed
In order to preserve seed for future plantings, it must be thoroughly dry. Drying out is essentially the final stage of ripening, and ensures that the seed does not become moldy while you’re waiting to plant it next year. Wet seed, once it has been extracted from its fermented goo, must be spread out to dry on screens in a warm location, ideally with a light breeze from a fan to hasten the process. Most other types of seed my be dried while still on the plant, but if the weather turns wet and cool before that can occur, you’ll need to bring them indoors to finish the process. To determine if seed is sufficiently dry, push a fingernail into it – if it gives, it’s not yet ready.
Proper Storage Is Important
Dried seed should be placed in paper envelopes or seed packets labeled with the name of the variety and the date it was harvested. To ensure longevity, keep the seed packets in mason jars in a cool dark place. Any seed stored this way should remain viable for at least a few years, though some crops may keep for a decade or more.
Blackhall-Miles advises sticking to hybrids and named cultivars of rare plants, which are much more likely to be bred in a nursery rather than taken from the wild.
On the high street
The likes of Wilko, Lidl, Homebase and Tesco can offer value for money when it comes to plants, but their ranges tend to be limited to the “usual suspects” – a few dozen common garden plants.
Pound stores are starting to move in on the lucrative gardening market too: Poundland recently launched a range of gardening products fronted by TV gardener Charlie Dimmock. Again, the range in such stores is limited, but this can be an extremely cheap way to fill a garden or allotment with new plants. You will usually find a few unnamed varieties of climbing roses, common shrubs such as spirea and mock orange, some spring and summer bulbs, raspberry canes, blueberry bushes and grapevines. But beware: only buy newly arrived stock as plants tend to be ignored by staff and will die quickly.
Car boots and swaps
I’ve got some of my best plants from kindly fellow growers who have offered me a cutting of a plant I’ve admired. Some gardeners set up stalls at their garden gates or at car boot sales. These are always worth a look, but are a gamble – plants may be wrongly labelled or contain pests or diseases which could spread to your other plants, and you have no recourse should things go wrong. And bear in mind that gardeners often have “spare” plants of a particular type because it is taking over their garden: I ended up with an ever-growing border full of a variegated grass known as gardener’s garters picked up from a plant swap stall.
Also seek out a local seed swap. These events are usually well-organised and are a chance to pick up new varieties for nothing – as well as helping you part with seeds you don’t need.
How to buy plants
• Lift the plant from its pot: you should be able to see healthy roots, not so tightly packed that no soil is visible. Don’t buy plants with a mass of roots emerging from the holes in the bottom of the pot.
• Avoid plants with damage or any browning or yellowing; those that are wilting or have uneven growth; or those with a mat of moss and weeds growing on the surface of the soil.
• Buy flowers in bud, not full bloom – they will give a longer-lasting display.
• Learn the difference between hardy perennials, half-hardy annuals and so on. Take along a reference book, ask staff for help, or sign up for an app such as Garden Compass or use the RHS plant finder.
• Check labels carefully. “Vigorous” can mean rampantly invasive, while plants that love full sun won’t be happy in a gloomy side return. Plants marked RHS AGM have received the RHS Award of Garden Merit and should be reliable and resistant to pests and diseases.
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The benefits of rosehip seeds
Rosehips are the fruit that occurs on wild rose bushes from late summer to autumn. The rosehips from some species, particularly the dog rose (Rosa canina) and wild rose (Rosa rugosa), are one of the richest plant sources of vitamin C, with about 1700 to 2000 milligrams per 100 grams in the dried product. In contrast, an orange contains 50 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams and a kiwifruit 90 milligrams per 100 grams.
The seeds can be ground up and ingested in powder form or brewed as a tea. The oil is also pressed and extracted for topical application. Rosehip seed has also been found to act as a mild laxative and diuretic. Rosehip seed oil is the only vegetable oil to contain retinol (vitamin A). It is also high in the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic acid (omega-3), as well as the antioxidant lycopene and beta-carotene. It is often used in skincare products. It can be used on its own or added to creams and lotions.
Danish and Norwegian studies have found that rosehip seed powder reduces pain and improves movement for osteoarthritis sufferers, though some believe more trials need to be conducted.Preliminary studies have also shown that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in rosehip may help to reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s and heart disease. A 1983 study at the University of Santiago in Chile found that rosehip seed oil reduced the appearance of scars, wrinkles and UV damage, but many believe more research is needed.
The essential fatty acids in rosehip seed oil give it moisturising properties and the antioxidants and beta-carotene may help to prevent signs of ageing. It may also promote wound healing by stimulating tissue regeneration. The vitamin A is said to help combat wrinkles, sun damage and uneven skin tone. Rosehip seed oil does not need to be diluted in a carrier oil and is said to be safe for sensitive skins.
Much of the vitamin C in rosehip seeds is destroyed in the drying and extraction process. Many supplements that claim their vitamin C is from rosehips combine it with vitamin C from other sources. The quality of the vitamin C found in rosehip seeds is no better than that found in other, more common sources and it is more expensive and difficult to obtain.
Pure rosehip seed oil can be expensive and have a short shelf life. It often needs to be refrigerated. Though the oil is said to be safe for all skin types, it is still possible to have an adverse reaction to it, so do a patch test before applying, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
When not to use them
If you have very oily skin or acne, rosehip seed oil can block your pores.
In This Issue
The rose family (Rosaceae) is a large clan of dozens of species and thousands of hybrids. It is one of the most famous flowers in the world prized for its beauty and fragrance.
The Story of Rosehip
Rose petals are made into scented sachets, distilled into rosewater, and sold as expensive oils and perfumes. But the rose is not just a pretty face – it is a wild edible that can be eaten from root to tip.
The flowers flavour cakes, jellies, puddings, syrups and wine. The fruits, or rosehips, are added to salads, sauces, soups and teas. It is a medicinal plant too.
Around the world, the gentle healing properties of rose make a valuable addition to the natural apothecary cabinet.
Britain’s native wild roses have been open to discussion by botanists for years, because of the wide variations between different species and hybrids.
It is the dog rose (Rosa canina), a scrambling, prickly climber with delicate, whitish-pink flowers, who is the topic of this piece but other species will often take centre stage.
Like all wild roses, the dog rose must constantly compete with its cultivated cousins for recognition. Its subtle-scented flowers appear in early summer in shades of white to pink.
Gabrielle Hatfield says dog rose is one of the longest living plants: “A bush growing in Hildesheim in Germany was said to have been planted there in AD 850 by Emperor Charlemagne’s son”.
So we don’t forget the beauty of a wild rose forever in the shadow of its garden relatives, Hatfield writes:
“Viewed from a distance, a flowering English rosebush looks as though a flock of pink butterflies has perched on it…you see a jewel-like beauty, with a golden crown of stamens protected by delicate petals”.
The deep orange-red fruit – the rosehip – is traditionally the most-used part of the plant.
Mrs Grieve wrote in her A Modern Herbal:
“Rosehips were long official in the British Pharmacopoeia for refrigerant and astringent properties, but are now discarded and only used in medicine to prepare the confection of hips used in conjunction with other drugs.”
The dog rose (Rosa canina) was named for the belief that it cured the bite of rabid dogs. Roman physician Pliny the Elder in the 1st century told the story of a woman who received a message in a dream.
The woman was asked to send her son, a soldier, a decoction of wild (dog) rose root. The decoction, known to the Greeks as Cynorrhodon, cured a mad dog’s bite.
Other sources imply that ‘dog’ is a corruption of ‘dagger’ referring to the plant’s jagged-edged leaves.
One source suggests the ‘dog’ in dog rose was meant in a derogatory sense, “implying that Dog Rose was of ‘little worth’ in the garden”.
Both alternatives contradict the Greek story of the flower’s origins. Rest assured, dog rose is worthy of a place in our history and culture. Remains of its fruits are dated back to prehistoric settlements and prove its value to early societies.
When Are Rose Hips Ripe And Ready To Pick And Gather?
It depends on where in the country you live in because sometimes the North can be a month behind the South, and vice-versa. It’s strange times with climate change and that affects the fruiting times.
However usually in the South West, I am gathering rosehips from the end of September right through to December, and beyond.
Is It True I Need To Gather Rosehips After The First Frosts?
The reason this advice is often seen in the older wild food books is that fruit flesh becomes soft after a frost. The frost breaks down the cell walls of the fruit, thereby giving you more liquid once the fruit is cooked.
When I was a boy in the 1970s, I remember the Autumns being very cold and frosty.
These days I rarely see a frost before Christmas, and usually not until February or March, by which time the rosehip fruits might well have started to rot.
The way to mimic frost is to pick your rosehips when they are nice and red and fat, even if they appear hard, then take them home and put them in your freezer for 24 hours, defrost and use in your rosehip recipes.
Believe me when I say that you must always freeze your rosehips, as this will allow for maximum flavour when crafting your rosehip recipes.
Are All Rosehips Edible & Safe? Are Any Rosehips Poisonous?
Yes, all rosehips are edible. The ‘Hip’ is actually the fruit of the rose.
The tastiest ones foragers usually gather are Dog Rose (Rosa canina).
This is the traditional rose that was used in bygone days for all those old-fashioned recipes you might come across in your decrepitly ancient cookbooks.
Another is the Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa), an invasive that can be found in most cities.
It has ‘Hips’ the size of a large conker! Although they have big ‘Hips’, the flavour is quite watery, so is not that suited to making things like rosehip syrup, but is excellent in jams, jellies, vinegar etc.
Are All Rosehip Seeds Edible?
I’ve answered this question pretty fully in my article “Are Rose Hip Seeds Poisonous”.
What Can Rosehips Be Used For?
One of the most traditional rosehip recipes is rosehip syrup. In modern cooking creative chefs and cooks have been conjuring up a wide variety of ways to work with rosehip.
At the end of the day, you are only limited by your imagination.
Here are a few rose hip recipes of my own:
- Rosehip syrup recipe
- Rosehip soup recipe
- Rosehip vinegar recipe
Does Cooking Rosehips Destroy Vitamin C
This is a common question and one that can easily be answered. Vitamin C is water soluble which means the vitamin C leeches into the water when cooking the rosehip fruit.
As most rosehip recipes require this water you are not losing any vitamin C. Yes some degradation of the vitamin C occurs due to the heat. How much is dependent on temperature and length of cooking time.
During the 2nd World War, the British Medical Journal did a thorough study. I wrote an article years back about this. You’ll find it here.
How To Dry And Preserve Rosehips?
The easiest way to store rosehips long term is by drying them.
The problem comes when you try and remove the annoying hairs that fill the inside of the rosehip. Like a fluffy jacket protecting the seeds.
Eating the rosehip hairs can be highly irritating to your digestive tract, hence the need to make sure you have removed them completely before using in any of your rosehip recipes.
A few years ago I created a photo tutorial showing you how to do this:
- How to dry and store rosehips
Rosehip – Its Food, Medicine and Other Uses
You’ll learn the parts used as food and medicine, harvest time, recipes, nutrition and other ways humans use this amazing plant…
Roses are probably the most popular flower grown by organic gardeners, given their beauty, scent, and hardiness. However, all too often we ignore the opportunity to take advantage of a simple method of propagation, opting instead to cut their flowers and put them in vases.
A bit of restraint and patience can result in tons of seeds that will allow you to propagate your roses for next to nothing. Or, if you’re looking for an interesting hobby, to hybridize your own new varieties. Many famous rose cultivars have come from the gardens of amateur breeders.
How to Collect Seeds from Roses
Most roses will go to seed naturally, given the opportunity. Let them. What you’ll end up with is a large bulge behind the flower that, after about four months, will turn orange. This is essentially an ovary, better known as a rose hip.
Collect it and cut it open, and you’ll find that it’s packed with seeds. Remove them from the flesh, clean them and dry them to prevent mold, and store them for planting during the next available season. If you put them in a plastic baggie and keep them in your refrigerator’s vegetable crisper, they’ll be just fine.
Want to learn more about growing roses from collected seeds?
Processing Rose Seed PDF from Texas A&M University
Germination of Rose Seeds from Texas A&M University Agriculture and Life Sciences
How to Grow Roses
How to Propagate Roses from Seed
Last Updated: May 18, 2015 | by Mike McGroarty
Rose propagation can be an interesting hobby for those who enjoy growing these beautiful flowers. To produce plants that are exact duplicates of the parent plant one would propagate roses with cuttings. But rose propagation from seeds can be a fun experiment, even though this propagation method does not produce duplicates of the parent plant.
Fall is a good time to start this rose propagation project, and it is especially good to wait until after a hard freeze to collect the rose hips from your rose plants. If the hips are clipped off the plant before it is dormant, it may encourage the plant to put on tender new growth that could be damaged over winter. It generally takes about four months for rose hips to mature enough to produce viable seeds that would be suitable for rose propagation.
The first step in rose propagation from seed is to gather the rose hips. Rose hips are the round, slightly flattened or elongated seed pods that form when roses are allowed to mature on the plant. If all of the roses have been picked for bouquets, the plant cannot produce rose hips, so if you want to try propagating roses from seed, plan ahead and leave some blooms to mature on the plant.
Depending on the type of rose plant, rose hips will generally turn orange, yellow, red or brown when they are mature. Gather plump rose hips that remain on the plant and do not collect rose hips that have fallen to the ground. Rose hips that have fallen off the plant are generally not useful for rose propagation.
If it is time to gather rose hips but you won’t have time to begin your rose seed propagation experiment right away, whole hips may be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.
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When you are ready to begin the rose propagation process, cut each rose hip in half and remove the seeds. Rose hips may contain anywhere from one to forty seeds per hip. Once the seeds are removed from the hips, rinse off as much of the pulp as you can by gathering a handful of the seeds in your hands and rubbing them together under running water.
Alternately, the seeds can be soaked overnight in a container of water, then rinsed and placed in a food processor. Using the dough-blending attachment, gently mix the seeds to remove the pulp from the seeds. Do not use a sharp blade for this step as it would damage the seeds. Rinse and strain the seeds again after this process.
Wanted! People who would like to work at home
making and selling rooted cuttings.
Once the pulp has been removed, place the seeds in a plastic bag along with some damp peat moss and keep them in a warm room for about four weeks. If some mold appears within the bag, that’s fine. It will help break down the very hard shell of the seeds so they can more easily germinate.
After the four week warm stratification, move the bag of seeds into the refrigerator for another six weeks of cold stratification. This six-week cold stratification is an imitation winter for the seeds.
The next step for rose propagation with seeds is to plant all of the seeds in a flat. Some of the seeds may be showing signs of germination at this point, while others will not. Plant each seed about a half inch deep and an inch apart, using either sand or vermiculite as a planting medium.
Keep the planting medium moist but not soggy while the seeds germinate, and keep them in a fairly cool area where the temperature is about 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. While the seeds are sprouting you may need to spray with a fungicide if any mold develops on the seedlings or the planting medium. Roses are fungus magnets, and lack of disease resistance can be an issue with seed-grown roses.
Some of the seeds will begin to germinate right away, while others may not sprout for two or three months. Germination rates will vary widely, with some cultivars showing a germination rate as low as ten percent and others sprouting at a much higher rate. Rose propagation from seeds is not for the impatient gardener.
When the seedlings develop their first true leaves, they can be potted up. Once potted, give them a weak dose of fertilizer with every other watering. To help deter fungus, water the planting medium and avoid getting the leaves wet with overhead watering. Keep the seedlings in a warm area where the temperature is at least 70 degrees and give them plenty of direct light for sixteen hours each day.
Do not expect that seed-grown rose plants will be identical to the parent plant. Chances are that rose plants grown from seeds will be very different from the parent plant. Seeds from any one plant will produce a wide range of bush shapes, from climbers to shrubs or ramblers.
Flower color will also vary, with pink being the most common. Rose propagation from seed is also done by hybridizers, but in that case it is a long, complex process. When done by the home gardener, it is simply a fun experiment that will give you some unique and inexpensive rose plants for your garden.
Questions? I do my best to answer all questions on my blog…
How to Harvest and Use Rose Hips
Although many of us tend to deadhead our roses once they’ve stopped blooming in an effort to boost flower production, letting the flowers go to seed is actually beneficial in its own way. Rose hips, the seed pods of rose plants, are chock full of vitamin C and can be used to make teas, jams, and sauces, and they can even be infused into liquor and vinegar.
The Benefits of Rose Hips
They may be small, but rose hips pack twenty times more vitamin C than oranges, the iconic poster-child for the same vitamin! Rose hips have also been used to prevent colds, ease sore throats, and flavor home cooking. In the past, they were also commonly used to prevent and treat scurvy.
Harvesting Rose Hips
Once the flower of the rose has bloomed and the petals have fallen off, the hip — located at the base of the flower —will begin to fatten and ripen. This process typically starts sometime in the late summer. When ripe, rose hips will turn a vibrant shade of orange and red. Some of them may even turn black. Keep an eye on them during the growing season and note when they are large, firm, and start to change color. Depending on the type of rose, the hips may range from about a quarter of an inch to a full inch in size. In many areas, the best time to harvest them is after the first frost of the year. Frost signals to the plant that it’s time to go dormant, so once the hip has been cut, the plant won’t send up another shoot.
It’s important to note that while rose hips are edible, you should avoid the hips from plants that have been sprayed with pesticides or are located close to busy roads, as they may be contaminated with toxic chemicals. If you’re not sure, don’t use them.
When harvesting rose hips, you’ll want to cut them from the stem and remove the remaining pieces of flower with your fingers. Go for the hips that haven’t been damaged. Cut each one in half to remove the seeds. While you can use the whole rose hip, it’s best to remove the seeds, as they may cause irritation. Depending on the size of the hips, you can use a knife, scissors, a small spoon, or the end of a chopstick to remove these hairy little seeds. Once you’ve removed them, rinse the pods off. They’re now ready to be used in your cooking and other concoctions. If you decide to use the entire pod seeds and all, on the other hand, you’ll want to place it in a bag and use a rolling pin to break it open.
What Roses Produce the Best Hips?
If you’re interested in harvesting rose hips, this question is important. While all roses may produce hips, some are much smaller than others, and some taste better. And while all rose hips may be edible, its trickier to get the seeds out of smaller ones.
Traditionally, rugosa roses produce the biggest, best tasting seeds. These roses tend to be relatively low-maintenance and grow best in salty, coastal climates. Their hips are large and red-orange in color.
Dog-roses (rosa canina) are high in vitamin C and known for their sweet taste. These hips, which are large and red in color, are often used to make tea, wine, and jam.
Rosa moyesii, also known as Moyes roses, bear distinctive hips that have frequently been used in Chinese medicine for their immunity-boosting properties.
Rosa virginiana and Rosa majalis are both native to the United States. Rosa virginiana hips are red and round and were previously used holistically in cold and muscle ache treatments. Rosa majalis hips, on the other hand, contain enhanced amounts of vitamin C.
If you’re not sure what kind of roses are in your yard, you’ll want to observe the color, shape, and size of the hips they produce. Harvest them when they’re ripe and plump, and leave the smaller hips and those that have shriveled for the birds and other wildlife to enjoy.
How to Use Rose Hips
Since rose hips are high in vitamin C, it’s best to use non-reactive pots and utensils, such as those made from stainless steel, when cooking with them. Don’t use aluminum pans or utensils when incorporating them into your cooking. Many people have their own favorite rose hip recipes, but here are a few classics to try.
Tea is the most popular thing to make out of rose hips. Place dry or fresh hips in a cup or tea strainer, and steep them in boiling water for about 15 minutes. If you’re using fresh hips, you’ll want to start off with about eight of them. Use about 15 pods when using dried rose hips. Drink a cup or two to relax or if you’re beginning to feel a cold coming on.
Place rose hips in a pot and add half the amount of water in. That is, if you’re using 20 ounces of rose hips, pour in about 10 ounces of water. Let the pot simmer for about 20 minutes. Place the mixture in a blender and puree it. Strain it through a sieve back into the pot and add sugar. Finish as you would any other jam, then spread it on your breakfast toast or use it in your regular cooking.
It’s easy to infuse vinegar with rose hip flavoring for use in your vinaigrette dressings. Just crush the pods and place them in a glass jar with your choice of vinegar, cover it, and place it in a cool, dark location for about a month. Then strain the jar and pour the vinegar into a bottle.
Simply add fresh or dried pods to your favorite muffin or bread recipe. Rose hips complement many other fruits.
Rose hips can also be infused with clear alcohol, such as gin or vodka, or used on their own to make wine. To infuse hips into alcohol, rinse a few fresh ones and crush them with a rolling pin. Place them in a bottle of gin or vodka for about a month or two. Then, sieve the alcohol and pour the liquid back into the bottle.
To make wine, clean the rose hips and freeze them in sandwich bags for several weeks. The process is the same for creating any kind of fruit wine.
Collecting Rose Seeds – How To Get Rose Seeds From A Rose Bush
By Stan V. Griep
American Rose Society Consulting Master Rosarian – Rocky Mountain District
For harvesting rose seeds, professional rose breeders or hybridizers control what pollen they want used to pollinate a specific rose bloom. By controlling the pollen used in the pollination process, they will know exactly who the parents of a new rose bush are. Out in our gardens we typically have no real clue as to whom both parents are since the bees or wasps do most of the pollinating for us. In some cases, the rose may pollinate itself. But when we know how to get seeds from a rose, we can then grow the rose seed and enjoy the delightful surprise that Mother Nature has created for us.
What Do Rose Seeds Look Like?
Once a rose bush has bloomed and the bloom visited by one of natures’ pollinators, or perhaps even the gardener attempting his or her own controlled breeding program, the area directly at the base of the rose bloom, called the ovary, will swell as the ovule (where the seeds are formed) begins the formation of the rose seeds. This area is referred to as the rose hip, also known as the fruit of the rose. The rose hips are where the rose seeds are contained.
Not all blooms will form rose hips and many are likely deadheaded before the rose hips can truly form up. Not doing any deadheading of the old rose blooms will allow the rose hips to form, which can then be harvested either to use the seeds inside to grow a new rose bush of your own or are used by some to make various delights, such as rose hip jelly.
Those that are harvested to grow a new rose bush have now begun the process known as rose propagation from seed.
How to Clean and Seed Rose Hips
The rose hips are typically collected in late summer or fall once they have ripened. Some of the rose hips turn red, yellow or orange to help tell us when they have ripened. Be sure to place the rose hips in well marked, separate containers when harvesting them so it is easy to tell which rose they came from. Knowing which rose bush the rose hips and rose seeds came from can be very important when the new rose seedlings come forth so that you know the variety of the parent rose. Once all of the rose hips have been harvested, it is time to process the seeds in them.
Cut each rose hip open carefully with a knife and dig out the seeds, again placing them in containers with the name of the rose bush they came from. Once the seeds have all been removed from the rose hips, rinse the seeds off to remove any of the pulp from the rose hips still on them.
With that, you are done harvesting rose seeds. You can store your rose bush seeds in a cool, dry place for a short period of time or start right away with preparing the seeds and growing roses from seed.
Learning how to get seeds from roses can be fun and easy.