Rosehips are the fruit of rose bushes, which contain the seeds for propagating new rose plants. Seeds from the rosehips of wild rose varieties will likely grow new plants true-to-type; these plants also usually produce the most abundant rosehips. Tea roses and other hybrids often do not produce rosehips, and those that do will not grow true to the parent variety--but may make an interesting new rose! Gather rosehips in fall, remove the seeds, treat them with cold, and plant them to produce a new crop of roses.
Cut rosehips from wild or rambling rose plants in late fall, using pruners.
Cut open the rosehips with a sharp utility knife. Remove the seeds with the tip of the knife and drop them into the glass jar.
Fill jar half way with rain water or well water. Add a few drops of chlorine bleach. Shake the jar then let it settle for five minutes.
Pour off the water along with any rose seeds which are floating. Add clean rain water or well water, shake the jar again, and pour off the water.
Spread the seeds on a sheet of paper towel, using any water remaining clinging to the seeds to dampen the paper towels. Fold the paper towel and insert it in a small zipper-type plastic bag. Zip the bag closed.
Place the plastic bag containing the rosehip seeds into the refrigerator for 4 to 6 weeks to stratify the seed; this simulates winter dormancy to encourage the seeds to sprout. Remove the bag from the refrigerator and set it in a warm location for 2 weeks, checking daily and adding a few drops of rain water or well water if the paper towels seem dry.
Moisten soil-less seed starting medium with rain water or well water. Lightly fill seed trays to within one-half inch of the top with starting medium. Place seeds on top of soil approximately one inch apart. Cover with an additional one-quarter inch of soil-less seed starting medium.
Keep soil-less seed starting medium moist, and place trays in a warm location which receives bright light during the day, or is under artificial plant lights.
Fill 4 inch pots with potting soil and moisten with rain water or well water. Transplant rose seedlings to 4 inch pots when they have emerged and grown their first pair of true leaves. Keep their potting soil moist, keep the plants in a warm location, and ensure that they receive bright light or artificial light 8 hours a day, but not direct sun.
When the rose seedlings exceed 6 inches in height, transplant them to 1 gallon nursery containers for further growth, over-wintering, or sale, or plant directly in desired garden or landscape location.