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Growing roses from rose hips: How to harvest, prepare and germinate the seeds of the wild rose.

The wild rose, also known as rosehip bush, is not only a wonderful nesting place for birds, but also really pretty to look at with its flowers. In addition, in the fall you can harvest the fruits and make tea and other treats from them. So these types of roses are a real asset to your garden and you can even do the growing yourself instead of buying a large shrub. We would like to provide you with the simple steps that you can use to grow roses from rose hips.

Propagate wild roses by seeds for the garden

Growing roses from rose hips - Cultivating a new garden plant with seeds

First things first: it might turn out to be a slight challenge, as not all seeds from the fruits are actually germinable. Therefore, it is advisable to use seeds from several fruits at the first go. This way you will increase the chances of success. This is simply because the plant produces really large quantities of rose hips, so the relatively low germination capacity is still sufficient – even if you grow the roses from rose hips yourself.

Note: Keep in mind that your homegrown plant may well differ from the mother plant later on. So, if different colors of flowers appear, it is quite normal. Often gardeners work with hybrid varieties, specimens bred from two different varieties. Which of the two eventually dominates, is not certain.

How to propagate roses from rose hips?

Growing roses from rose hips - Allowing the fruits to ripen

What is the correct procedure if you want to grow roses from rose hips?

The plant must first develop fruit

Of course, first of all you need the seeds from the fruit. In order for rose hips to develop at all, you must not remove the withered flowers right away. Instead, let nature take its course. Since the plant pollinates itself or through insects, you do not need to help here either. The wilted flowers, from which the wild rose fruits then develop, will eventually fall off by themselves.

Let the fruits ripen long enough

Growing roses from rose hips - Cut off ripe fruit

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to remove the fruit from the plant. In fact, if you do this too soon, the seeds will not yet be ready to germinate and no new plants will be able to grow from them. To make the right time, just watch the color. At first, the rosehip fruits are green. Then, depending on the variety, they turn orange, red or even brown or purple. The rose hips are now finally discolored? Time then to harvest them !

Note: If you miss this period, it is absolutely no problem. Even if the fruit is already wrinkled, it is still suitable for propagation. However, they should not become completely dry and brown, because that usually also means that the seeds have also dried up.

Propagate roses – Remove the seeds

Cut open the fruit of the wild rose and take out the seeds


So, you cut off the mature rose hips from the plant. After that, you can open them and take out the seeds. For this purpose, you can also take the tip of the knife you are using right away. Then clean them in a sieve under running water (rub them on the sieve edge) to remove the pulp. In this way you will prevent the seeds from becoming moldy and spoiling.

Growing roses from rose hips – soaking and germination.

If you soak the rosehip seeds first, you will encourage germination, as the seedlings will have an easier time penetrating the soft shell. For this reason, it is recommended to let them lie/float in water for a few hours.

Then place the soft seedlings between two pieces of damp kitchen paper and seal them in a box or freezer bag to keep the moist. Alternatively, you can take a box of damp sand. Subsequent storage is important if you are growing roses from rose hips. As in nature, rosehip seeds need a “winter”, which you now need to imitate. To do this, simply place them in the refrigerator (preferably in an empty area).

Soak the seeds in water and store in a cold place for germination

There the packet will remain for several weeks (4 to 17). Check at intervals whether the kitchen paper / sand is still moist, because without moisture germination can not occur.

Grow wild roses yourself – Plant the young wild roses.

Germinate rosehip seeds and grow them into a shrub


A week after germination, the seedlings should be large enough to be planted. For this purpose, use small containers (even small yogurt cups with a hole are suitable) and growing soil. The fresh shoot is not an above-ground part of the plant, as you might think, but the root. Therefore, this should definitely be planted downwards. From now on, keep the substrate warm and moist (16 to 21 degrees). The location should also be bright, but not in direct sunlight.

If the young plantlet has developed a few more leaves after the so-called cotyledons, it can theoretically be transplanted into a larger pot. However, this is only absolutely necessary if the growing pot is already quite heavily rooted. As a general rule, transplanting the wild rose is best done outside the growing season, i.e. in winter or spring. It can then go outside as soon as the frost periods are over.