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Difference between revisions of "Blackberries"

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Plant potted or bare-rooted new plants in winter.<ref name=crawford2016 />  
Plant potted or bare-rooted new plants in winter.<ref name=crawford2016 />  
==Cultivation Design==
Allow 1.8m (6ft) between plants.<ref name=seymour2014 />
Allow 1.8m (6ft) between plants.<ref name=seymour2014 />

Revision as of 17:54, 23 March 2019

Wild blackberries

Blackberries are the fruit of many Rubus species grouped together as the Rubus fruticosus species aggregateW, sometimes commonly referred to as "brambles" or "canefruit" (including raspberries).



Common names

  • Blackberry.[1]
  • Bramble.[1]
  • Common blackberry.[1]
  • Common bramble.[1]
  • Bumble-kites.[1]






Deciduous shrub.[2] Growth habit is long and scrambling.[2] It is perennial but the stems are biennial, fruiting on the second year.

In the wild, it "moves" by putting down new roots where its arching shoots touch the ground.[2]


White flowers in Spring.[2] Self fertile (one plant will fruit by itself).[2] Insect pollinated.


Soil Type

Tolerant of most soil types.[2] Prefers rich, well-drained soil.[3]

Soil pH

Ideal is pH 7.[3]

Shade Preference

Full sun.[2]

Shade Tolerance

Tolerates fairly deep shade (i.e. no direct sun but some indirect light).[2] Fruiting is reduced in shade.[2]



More productive in a sheltered site.[3]


From Seed: Seed requires warm and cold stratification (see Seed StratificationW). E.g. keep seed in a box of sand at warm room temperature for 3 months, then store at 4°c (40°F) for a further 3 months.[3]

Tip cuttings: cut the tip of a cane off and push it in the soil and usually it will root.[3] The simplest method.[3]

Tip layering:

Hardwood cuttings: take in winter.[2]

Can also be propagated by dividing the roots or by removing a sucker.[3]

Plant cuttings, layers, roots or seedlings in late autumn or early spring.[3]

Plant potted or bare-rooted new plants in winter.[2]

Cultivation Design

Allow 1.8m (6ft) between plants.[3]


Little maintenance needed.[2] Weed all around the base of the plants.[4] Heavy mulch of well-rotted organic matter in spring.[4] General purpose feed (e.g. blood, fish and bone) in late April.[4]


Once established, very little watering required, only during very dry summers.[4]


Fruiting occurs on stems which are in their second year. Generally idea of pruning blackberry is therefore to remove the canes which have just fruited in the last growing season.[3] This pruning is best done in winter[3] when the plant is dormant. The plant can stay healthier and more productive if it is allowed to move.[2]

Exceptions to the above are "Himalaya" and "Evergreen" varieties which can fruit for several years on the same wood, so should not be pruned hard.[3]


Generally fairly free of problems.[4]

Orange Rust. Symptoms: bright orange spores under the leaves, spindly shoots with narrow leaves.[3] Root out and burn afflicted plants.[3]

Brids. Birds will eat some of the blackberries[5] but this is not usually a big problem requiring any action.

Leafhoppers. Jumping, light green insects, approximately 3mm (1/8in) long.[5] Tends to occur in sheltered sites.[5] Symptoms: white flecking on leaves.[5] No action necessary.[5]


Fruiting occurs from August to October.[2] Fruit ripens over several weeks.[2] In Oklahoma, the berries are picked in the weeks following the July 4th weekend.

The best time to harvest is when the fruit is almost ready to fall off.[3]

When harvesting blackberries, watch out for chiggers (also known as berry bugs, see TrombiculidaeW). These are small mites that can cause rashes and itchiness when they bite.


Fresh fruits do not store for long.[2] They can be stored in shallow boxes and refridgerated or frozen.[3]


  • Fruit is edible raw, or cooked. Can be made into jams, cobblers, pies, jellies, etc.
  • Fruit can be made into wine (see Blackberry wine recepie: Making fruit, vegetable and flower wines#Berry Wines).
  • Bee plant.[2]
  • Young shoots (when spines are still soft) can be cooked.[2]
  • Leaves can be used to make tea.[2]
  • Purple dye from fruit and shoots.[2]
  • Basket weaving (spines can be removed by pulling stems through a small hole).[2]

Nutritional Values