The Q&A Archives: What Are Rose Hips?

Question: I am a proud new owner of a beautiful pink rose bush. I have been deadheading as instructed, but heard that I should stop so that the "rose hips" can form. What are these?

Answer: Rose hips are the plant's fruits and look like little apples. This hips form when you leave the spent blooms intact instead of deadheading. Like many plants, roses "go to seed" when they think they have done their job for the season. The reason we deadhead roses is so they don't form these hips, think their work is done for the summer, and quit blooming. If they can't form hips, they keep trying and trying by putting out more blooms. However, as the summer winds down, it is important for a rose to start going dormant. The dormancy process begins when hips start forming. So, at the end of the season, we stop cutting off spent blooms and allow hips to form.

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