Get hip with your roses and boost your immunity: A guide to make rose hip tea

September 14 2022 | Garden What's on

This autumn we are celebrating the often overlooked rose hip and sharing a guide to make your own tea.

Only a handful of gardeners know that the fruits of their rose labours – the rose hip – contain up to 40 times the vitamin C content of an orange.

Tasting rather like a tart tasting apple or plum, the rose hip is an often overlooked autumn joy. But did you know that rose hips make a fantastic tea to drink, jelly to eat, or skin rejuvenating cream? And by this time of the year we can all do with a little bit of rejuvenating!

If you have been growing organic roses and have left them untreated, you can head out into the garden now and harvest your rose hips.

All roses produce hips if their blooms are left uncut. The best and most flavoursome varieties are the shrub roses like Rosa rugosa and the damask roses. Again, ensure that you are only collecting hips from plants that have NOT been treated with chemicals.

The ideal rose hip will be firm to the touch, reddy or dark orange and without blemish. Avoid the mushy ones or any that have dehydrated on the plant.

Rose hips contain seeds and tiny hairs that are irritants to your throat and stomach so after picking, wearing gloves, open up the hips by slicing them in half and remove the seeds and hairs with a butter knife.

1. You can air dry your rose hips. After slicing and removing the hairs and seeds, lay them out on a tray or muslin to dry. Ensure that the conditions are warm to avoid the growth of mould. After a couple of weeks you will have freshly dried rose hips that you can use for tea.
2. If you are in a hurry for your rose hips you can oven dry them. Lay them out in a wide baking tray and bake them on the lowest setting for a couple of hours until they have dried completely.
3. If you have a funky food dehydrator then you can easily and slowly dry your rose hips without fear of mould from air drying. The process takes about 24 hours and then you have a fantastic crop that you can use on their own or combine with citrus or lemongrass for a fantastic tea. This tea can be really good for boosting the immune system – you can even add local honey your tea to boost your immunity further.

*Ensure that you do not touch the irritant hairs in the rose hips, and never eat the seeds or hairy pulp.

October is a wonderful month to visit the gardens at Hever Castle to enjoy the sight of ruby red rose hips.

The Castle is arguably at its romantic best in the autumn when the Boston Ivy adorning the front of the Castle turns a vivid shade of red. You will be treated to glorious displays of autumn colour with the rich yellow, red and orange leaves of beech mingling with liquidambars, tulip trees and Japanese maples, all contributing to an explosion of colour.

Throughout Autumn Colour, Hever Castle’s Head Gardener Neil Miller and his team will be hosting weekly workshops on Wednesday 5, 12 and 19 October. There will be a different focus each week and you can learn about container gardens, the trees found on the Estate, plus enjoy guided tours.

Younger visitors can pick up a home craft collection bag to gather fallen leaves and make their very own autumn sun catcher at home.

Discover More