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What to Do with Rose Hips

I have a climbing rose bush that has a lot of rose hips on it.  What do I do with the rose hips?  Do I let them on the bush through the winter?  Do I need to cut them off in the spring?  

I like to leave rose hips on my rose plants for winter interest and to attract and feed the birds.  Some gardeners harvest a few hip covered stems, dry and use them in wreaths and other decorations.  If your climbing rose needs winter protection I would still leave the hips intact.  In spring you can prune them off along with any other winter injury when the roses are uncovered.  Keep in mind most climbers bloom only or better on old wood.  Spring pruning should just be removal of dead canes, older canes as needed and winter injury.


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