Rose bushes climbing up brick walls, trellises, arbours, or pergolas make beautiful features. At this time of year, you can see on some rose bushes that rosehips are starting to form after flowering. But what can you do with rosehips on rose bushes?

As flowering tends to occur between May and September, rosehips can start to appear from August until December. But there is sometimes deliberation between whether to keep rosehips on the plant or cut them off.

Take a look back

Historically, rosehips have had many practical purposes in food, remedies, and cosmetics. In fact, during World War II, children were paid the equivalent of 35p per pound collected because rosehips were a great source of vitamin C when it was harder to come by. This was because imports of fruit and orange juice were reduced due to them using valuable shipping space. It’s thought that rosehips have more vitamin C content than an orange or lemon.

Today, we can still eat them as a source of vitamin C which plays a part in keeping your immune system working its best.

Rosehip forming on roses

Healthy harvests

If you want to make the most out of their nutritional benefits, harvest them when the petals have dropped off and the rosehip is soft and red in colour, avoiding any shrivelled ones. Then, your harvests can be used to make jam, vinegar, and even wine.

Although rosehips and rose petals are edible for us, birds love rosehips too. By leaving them on your bush, you’ll be attracting in blackbirds, redwings, and thrushes to your garden through autumn and winter.

Rosehip forming on roses

Focus on flowers

But if rosehips are so nutritional, why would you choose to remove them? Well, when the hips appear, the plant is producing seed, which takes 10 times more energy than producing flowers. So, at this point, all of the plant’s energy is going into making the seeds.

If you do choose to remove them, it’s likely that it would encourage a new round of flowers if the weather is sunny enough. However, a sudden cold period can kill the new growth, but this can be pruned away. So, if you want more flowers, you’ll want to cut off the developing fruits.

When you spot the rosehips, you can either remove them for the chance of another round of flowers, harvest them for yourself, or leave them on for birds.

And your roses don’t have rosehips, this isn’t a cause for concern because many modern, repeat-flowering roses don’t have them.

Roses flowering

Growing roses in the garden is a no-brainer. They have fantastic flowers and fragrance and there are many types to choose from to suit your garden style and size. So, when rosehips start growing on your rose bush, what will you do with them? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Find out more about growing veg at home:

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