Blackberry Plant

Homegrown fruit always beats market fruit for freshness and taste, but not everyone has the space to grow a angiospermous tree or a melon . For that reason, berries are the gateway fruit for several gardeners, and none are easier to grow within the home garden than the blackberry. As native North American fruiting shrubs which will typically be harvested from June to August, blackberries are primed to grow in your yard with little extra maintenance. All you would like to grow summer blackberries for your pies, jams, and smoothies may be a spot with full sun and an honest supply of soil amendments like compost or leaf mould .

Blackberries are sold as dormant bare roots or as potted plants. they’re best planted when the canes are dormant—generally in early spring. If you’ve got the patience to grow blackberries from seed, plant them within the ground within the fall. Planted from seeds, blackberry canes generally will begin producing meaningful quantities of fruit in their second full year of growth.

Blackberry Blossoms
Botanical NameRubus Fruticosus
Common NameBlackberry
Plant TypePerennial
Size3–5 feet
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeRich, well-drained loam
Soil pHSlightly acidic to neutral (5.5 to 7.0)
Hardiness Zones5–8
Native AreaNorth America, especially the Pacific Northwest
ToxicityAll parts are non-toxic
Blackberry Bushes

How to Plant Blackberries

As members of the Rosaceae family, the cultivation of blackberries resembles that of rose bushes. Fortunately, blackberries are closer to wild roses in their simple care than they’re to a hybrid Rosa odorata. Blackberries will tolerate many growing conditions, but the harvest of a struggling blackberry plant are going to be disappointing compared to the harvest of a pampered plant. many sunshine, regular irrigation, and rich loamy soil will give plants the energy and nutrients they have to yield sweet, jumbo blackberries.

Plants should be spaced 5 to six feet apart; if planting in rows, space the rows 5 to eight feet apart. If necessary, amend the soil before planting so it’s rich, well-drained, and slightly acidic. Blackberries should be planted relatively shallow—about 1 inch deeper than they were growing within the nursery pot.

Trailing sorts of blackberries should have a trellis or other sort of support to secure the canes.

Blackberry Care

Sites with full sun are best for productive blackberry bushes. Some afternoon shade is tolerated, especially in areas with hot summers.


Careful site selection will ensure an extended life for your blackberries, which usually live for a few decades with proper care. the perfect soil is slightly acidic with good drainage; these plants don’t have the best in clay soil. An elevated site or raised beds won’t only help drainage but also will prevent late spring frosts from damaging flower buds. Remove all weeds which may draw nutrients or water far away from your blackberries, as their shallow roots are vulnerable to this competition.

Keep an honest layer of mulch over the basis zone in the least times. this may feed the plants, conserve water moisture, and keep weeds down.


Blackberries need moderate amounts of water, around 1 inch per week provided either by rainfall or from ground-level irrigation. Blackberries don’t fare well in wet soils.

Temperature and Humidity

Blackberries require a period of cold dormancy to germinate, but due to their shallow root systems, they don’t have the best in areas where temperatures go below zero degrees routinely. Zones 5 to eight provide the simplest environment for blackberries. Cold winter temperatures combined with wet spring soils may cause plant death. The reverse environment of hot, dry winds is additionally unfavorable for blackberry growing and should end in stunted, seedy fruits.


Fertilize your blackberries within the spring when plants are emerging from dormancy, employing a balanced 10-10-10 formula. Fertilize plants again within the fall with an application of manure and compost, which can also suppress weeds and improve soil tilth.

Blackberry Varieties

Blackberries are usually categorized consistent with their growth habit:

  • Erect thorny blackberries grow upright and don’t require support for the canes. they need very sharp spines on the canes—sharp enough to tear clothing.
  • Erect thornless blackberriesare similar, but have canes without the prickly thorns. They, too, require no trellis supports.
  • Trailing thornless blackberries have sprawling canes that need a trellis or system of wires to carry them up above the bottom .
  • ‘Shawnee’ is immune to cold, and has self-supporting thorny canes. ‘Natchez’ is thornless and erect, and can form a hedgerow because it spreads by suckers. Semi-erect thornless varieties like ‘Chester’ and ‘Triple Crown’ grow as a clump, and enjoy a trellis. Varieties like ‘Prime-Ark Traveler’ produce fruit on new and old canes throughout the season.
Prime Ark Freedom Blackberry

Blackberries vs. Raspberries

Both blackberries and raspberries belong to the Rubus genus. Blackberry and raspberry plants look very similar—both featuring thorny canes and compound leaves with toothed edges in groups of three or five. One key difference between the fruits of blackberries and raspberries is that the way the fruits are formed. the small globes of the fruits, called drupelets, are attached to a white core in blackberries. Raspberries, including black raspberries, form drupelets with a hollow core.

Raspberry vs Blackberry


Because they’re highly perishable, it’s important to follow the event of your ripening blackberries carefully. Immature blackberries start out green, then transition to red before maturing to a deep, glossy black. Blackberries don’t still ripen after harvest, so pick the berries only after they need to turn completely black. Berries last about seven days within the refrigerator after harvest.


Blackberry roots are perennial but the canes are biennial. this suggests that second-year canes that have produced their fruit got to be trimmed away after harvesting.

For a longtime shrub, new canes that haven’t yet fruited should be tip-pruned to about 3 feet in summer. this may cause the new canes to diversify , maximizing the fruit produced. Once these canes produce fruit, they ought to be removed to the bottom immediately after the fruit harvest.

In early spring before new growth has started, remove any canes damaged by winter, and thin out the remaining canes to the four or five strongest canes.

Propagating Blackberries

It’s easy to propagate blackberry plants from stem cuttings. Cut a 4-inch piece from the top of the stem in late spring when temperatures are mild and rainfall is plenty. Plant it within the soil, and keep it moist. Roots will form in two to four weeks. These newly started plants are often planted within the fall, otherwise, you can keep them during a sheltered location and plant them the subsequent spring.

Common Pests and Diseases

Blackberries are susceptible to anthracnose, blight, and plant disease. Prevent disease by purchasing disease-free plant stock from reputable nurseries, and planting your blackberries far away from areas with wild brambles, which can carry these diseases.

Insect pests include stink bugs and raspberry crown borers. Keeping your plants healthy and vigorous will make them less attractive to insect attack.

Blackberries are sometimes afflicted by viral diseases. Raspberry bushy dwarf virus and blackberry calico virus both cause bright yellow splotches to seem on leaves. Affected plants will got to be removed and destroyed.

How to Grow Blackberries in Pots

When growing blackberries in containers, choose a compact cultivar like Baby Cakes that doesn’t need pruning. Choose large containers that hold a minimum of five gallons of soil to stop drying out.

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