Encouraging Rose Hips for Winter Interest
I was admiring the few orange colored rose hips that are still on the arbor. They were brighter orange a few weeks ago, but still have color. How should I encourage them for next Fall? The answer is simple. I need to stop deadheading earlier so the rose will have time to develop the rose hips. I never gave this much thought until I noticed they still have color in February. This is a good strategy for more color in the garden while we wait for Spring flowers. More importantly rose hips are full of seed for the birds. I feed the birds and squirrels daily, but natural food from Mother Nature is of course ideal. For a more in depth perspective check out this article from Fine Gardening.
My roses are Brite Eyes which bloom on new growth. I should trim these soon. Some buds are breaking through already. I'll try to avoid the branches with the orange rose hips.
I took a rose cutting about two weeks ago hoping for a new plant.
I cut a stem about six inches in length with pink buds starting to form. I added bone meal and compost to a small hole and stuck it in the ground. I've kept it watered. So far, I've been rewarded. There is a green sprout on the bottom of stem.
We're going to have some below freezing temperatures for the next few days. I've covered the rose cutting with plant protector material.
It's important to cover the plant before nightfall, so it will absorb some heat.