Saturday, 4 June 2016

Can I Grow Rosehips?

About 6 months ago (the timing being not at all coincidental, when you switch hemispheres) I read a post on The Woman Who Married a Bear about gathering rosehips, and making syrup and other beautiful things from them. I wondered, can I do that? I have 7 rose bushes, and I don't even know if they grow rosehips. All the sources I've read on caring for roses focuses on the flowers. They say to prune off the rose as soon as it finishes flowering. (If you haven't already cut it for displaying or giving away, that is. Or bathed in it.) This doesn't allow the rose plant to grow its fruit, the rosehip.

The Flamingo just won't stop growing.

I looked up some information about rosehips. I can't remember where I read it now, but it said that all rose varieties grow fruit, however some grow larger and sweeter than others. It went into a long list of varieties with botanical names and, I have to admit, it made my head swim a little bit. I decided to just let my roses grow this year and see what happens.

The Hot Chocolate is the most vigorous. The Circus Gold in the background is still flowering.

The results were very interesting. All of the bushes grew visible rosehips, but some were larger than others. The largest and plumpest rosehips were on the bush that I watered the most over Summer, the Flamingo. The smallest and saddest looking ones were on the bush I only watered a couple of times (variety unknown). It's the one furthest from the tap, and it always looked to be doing fine when I checked it, so I didn't bother to water it.

Another nice rosehip on the Hot Chocolate.

It makes sense, when I think about it, that roses would grow better fruit when watered more, just like my fruit trees. I'll be more conscientious with that next year. I'm not sure yet at what point the rosehips should be harvested; I'll have to do some more research on that.

The only drawback of growing rosehips of course, is that the gardener has to put up with an ugly-looking bush for a few months. But it's just a reminder that nature isn't always pretty.

The rose furthest from the tap (variety unknown).

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