My rose hips are always green and then rot to brown. When can I harvest them?

Asked October 18, 2018, 12:49 PM EDT

They are never red or orange. This is my first year trying to reproduce from seeds. I'm just curious if it is the climate or type of rose. When can I pick them? Help

Lawrence County Ohio rose hips

3 Responses

Thanks for your question. Have you had your first frost yet? This Extension article ( indicates that "The hips are usually left on the bush until after the first frost, which makes them turn bright red and slightly soft. By leaving them on the rose bushes, this signals the plant to stop producing flowers and to start preparing for winter—what you want it to do. You should be able to gently squeeze ripe hips, but they shouldn’t be too soft or wrinkled. Make sure when gathering rose hips to not use any from bushes that have been treated with pesticides not labeled as safe for food crops."

But another problem may be with the variety of rose that you are growing, since all do not produce rose hips in the colors you are wanting. Here is an article from Iowa Extension that explains:

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

It went from hot to really cold within a week. I don't believe we have had a frost yet. I have 4 different rose bushes. I don't deadhead after August usually, I've never seen my hips turn red

It might be interesting to keep track of your varieties of roses to see which, if any, do turn red, and which do not. And maybe experiment with more varieties to see what your research will produce!