How to Harvest Rose Hips

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Rose hips are the red fleshy fruit of the Rosa species. Ornamental garden roses produce rose hips, but the largest most useful rose hips grow on rambling, wild-type roses like Rosa rugosa. Their brilliant scarlet skin holds a pinkish flesh with a mild citrus flavor that packs more vitamin C than oranges. You can make rose hips into jams and jellies or dry them for a flavorful addition to hot and iced tea. Harvest your own delicious rose hips from plants that have not been sprayed with chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruners
  • Basket
  • Gardening gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Long, heavy pants
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Eyeglasses or protective goggles
  • Water
  • Colander
  • Small wooden dowel
  • Sharp knife
  • Pull the rose hips from the plant by hand when they reach their peak ripeness. they should be bright red and slightly soft. Use pruners to pull remote vines toward you, and to snip off clusters of rose hips that do not pull off easily by hand. Wear gardening gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and closed-toe shoes, as well as eyeglasses or other eye protection to guard against the long, thorny canes of rambling or wild roses.

  • Lay the rose hips in a basket. Try not to crush or bruise them; don't throw them or pile them too deeply.

  • Place the rose hips in a colander and rinse them with water. Using a sharp knife, cut each rose hip in half.

  • Use a small wooden dowel to push out the seeds. Discard or compost the seeds. Dry remainder of rose hips for tea or process them for jam, jelly or other recipes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rose hips contain a high amount of pectin, so you can make jam or jelly from them without added pectin.
  • Cook rose hips down with a little water, then strain them through a jelly bag. Add sugar to the strained juice to taste and use for pancake syrup, or add to club soda or ginger ale for an unusual autumn punch.

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