How to Harvest Rose Seeds


Roses thrive in rich, well-drained soil in sunny locations. Panting rose bushes in your perennial bed or along borders of your lawn provides an abundance of blooms from late spring until fall. These hardy bushes return each year with renewed vigor, when provided the right conditions. Root division or stem cuttings are the typical means of propagation, but they are not the only way to propagate roses. If you want to start them from seed, harvesting the rose hips in the fall and preparing the seeds for planting allows you to start tiny seedlings in the spring.

Step 1

Allow rose blooms to mature and fade on the bush. Once the bloom fades a rose "hip" forms, according to the Georgeson Gardens of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. This fleshy fruit holds several seeds.

Step 2

Harvest rose hips when they begin to turn red or orange, but are still firm. Clip from the bush with garden clippers.

Step 3

Cut the hip open with a sharp knife, and remove the dark seeds. Use the tip of the knife or other pointed object to gently remove the seeds.

Step 4

Spread the seed on paper towels or newspaper and place in a dry, well-ventilated area. Allow seeds to dry for 48 hours.

Step 5

Place in a plastic bag filled with dampened vermiculite. Place in the refrigerator for four months to cold stratify the seeds. Check periodically and keep vermiculite moist.

Step 6

Sow seeds immediately after removing them from the refrigerator. Do not allow seed to dry before planting.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden clippers
  • Newspaper/paper towels
  • Vermiculite
  • Plastic food storage bags
  • Knife


  • Georgeso Botanical Garden: Seed Germination of Wild and Cultivated Roses
  • Texas A&M University: Stratifying Rose Seed
Keywords: save rose seeds, stratify rose seeds, wild rose seeds

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.