Growing black raspberries is a simple and rewarding experience. Here’s how to grow black raspberries in the small-scale garden or edible landscape.
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“Black Raspberry Plants Free to a Good Home” is the message that appeared when I checked the neighborhood message board one day many years ago. I instantly replied and felt giddy about adding more fruiting plants to my edible landscape!
It was a bonus to meet a neighbor-now-friend who shared my love of growing delicious things.
Indeed, the plants worked perfectly in my garden, and I made some new friends. Win-win! I was delighted to learn how adaptable these plants were to a variety of growing conditions.
My next challenge was to learn how to grow black raspberries. It turned out to be an easy and rewarding experience for me.
Read my other articles about growing fruit.
Planting Black Raspberries
Plant black raspberries in USDA hardiness zones 5-8. They aren’t as hardy as red or yellow varieties. You may be able to grow them in zone 4 on the north side of a building or slope to protect them from spring frost and wind damage.
In fact, all brambles (i.e., raspberries and blackberries) do well planted this way as an extra precaution (spring frost damage can mean reduced harvest).
Choose a location in full sun or one that is partially shaded. In hotter climates, they do better with late afternoon shade.
Don’t plant them near wild raspberries or blackberries, which can spread disease to your black raspberries. A 300-feet distance between them is the suggested rule of thumb.
Black raspberries are self-pollinating, which means one lone plant can produce fruit.
They prefer well-drained soil, so choose a location where the soil is not soggy. When planting, mix in compost or manure, and add more of it each spring as a soil topper.
Plant black raspberry canes 2-1/2 feet away from each other in a row. Be sure that you can access both sides of the row for harvesting, training and pruning.
Like all brambles, black raspberry patches can get out of hand if they aren’t trained and pruned properly. A trellis or fence will help to keep your black raspberries manageable and easier to harvest. It is best to install this at the time of planting.
>>> See Training and Pruning Black Raspberries for more details.
Mulch them well in the fall to help prevent winter damage.
Want to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs in your front yard landscape without sacrificing curb appeal? Check out my mini guide, The Permaculture Inspired Edible Landscape.
How to Grow Black Raspberries in the Edible Landscape
Black raspberries are a beautiful landscape plant. Their bright red canes blaze confidently through gray winters, while the pinks, reds, and purples of the ripening berries are beacons of cheer in early summer.
You might be tempted to consider growing red raspberries because of all of the wonderful benefits I’ve listed so far about growing black raspberries. Aren’t they just different colors of the same berry?
In fact, red (and yellow) raspberries behave differently than black raspberries. Red raspberries spread by sending up suckers away from the original root crown.
Rather than “walking” away over time, however, black raspberries “stay put”. (Purple raspberries and thornless blackberries are in the same camp.) They only start new plants when their long canes bend over and touch the soil.
This is easy to control with proper pruning. However, for this reason, I only recommend red and yellow raspberries and thorny blackberries for gardeners who have a little more space and can allow for fuller rows of canes that wander a bit.
They’re better in the backyard garden rather than in the front yard landscape.
See: 6 Fruit Crops to Propagate for Free from Cuttings
I planted mine in front of our house, right next to the front porch.
Would you like to learn more about using fruit crops in the edible landscape?
You’ll find loads of information just like this in my award-winning book, The Suburban Micro-Farm.
Decidedly, black raspberries make excellent foundational landscape plantings, because:
- Their height never exceeds 2 1/2 – 4 feet (if they’re pruned properly)
- They’re thorny, so they provide some security near windows
- They grow great in a straight line (they’re easier to train that way)
- They’re beautiful in both winter and summer
- They “stay put”
- They’re shade tolerant and grow well in areas that are overshadowed by the house
- They are juglone tolerant and can be planted near black walnut trees
Growing Black Raspberries With Wildlife
1: The birds love them.
Learning how to grow black raspberries—and keeping the birds from eating them all—is an art form. Out of all of the fruit growing in my yard, these are by far their favorite!
Bird netting and shiny things like old CDs will deter them some.
Personally, I think the ideal way to deter birds is to prune the canes to a shorter height, closer to 2-1/2 to 3-feet. That’s because if the raspberries are lower to the ground, there is more risk from neighborhood predators like cats.
Our black raspberries are pruned at around four feet high, and the birds eat to their hearts content, while Molly the Farm Cat is unable to patrol at that height. I’d like to prune them shorter in the future to see if there’s a difference.
2: The deer love them, too.
Learning how to grow black raspberries is a moot point if you have deer in your neighborhood, unless you’re willing to fence in your fruit crop. I recommend planning ahead and installing a garden deer fence.
In spite of the thorns, they will eat the entire plant, not just the berries.
Grow a fedge!
Alternatively, consider growing a fedge (a food hedge), which is a hedge planted on the outside for wildlife and on the insidefor humans. The fedge is so densely planted, that the deer would rather just stay on the outside and munch on things than jump on into your garden.
This strategy only works if you have a decent amount of space. For instance, the fedge might be six feet wide on the outside and six feet wide on the human side. Densely planted shrubs and trees of varying heights serve to confuse their limited depth perception.
Plus, fedge is a cool word! Here’s a short post on the matter.
Harvesting Black Raspberries
To get your best harvest, you’ll want to train and prune them correctly. Learn about training and pruning black raspberries. Proper pruning means thorns are easier to work around when picking berries.
Don’t expect to get any fruit in your first year of planting. In your second year, you’ll get a handful or so from each hill.
After your second year, you should get a good harvest off of each hill: two to six quarts, depending on your wildlife deterring strategies and whether or not your plants are in the sun (more sun = bigger harvest).
Learn about the ripening season for the specific variety you plant. Varieties ripen either in early, mid-, or late season. Ours ripen in June, so June is not the month for us to go on vacation if we want to harvest black raspberries!
When black raspberries are ready to harvest, they turn from bright reds to deep purples. Once they begin to ripen, you’ll want to harvest everyday in order to beat your wildlife friends (who will inevitably get some anyway).
Using Black Raspberries in the Kitchen
I freeze most of mine, because they perish so quickly, to use throughout the winter. Black raspberries are great—fresh or frozen—in smoothies and baked goods, over vanilla ice cream, or in jellies. Here are more ideas on how to use the berries.
Are you growing black raspberries? Are you considering adding them to your garden or landscape?
Never grew black raspberries before, but had the pleasure one summer of harvesting and enjoying blackberries grown in my friend’s yard. They are delicious right off the plant and a delight in fruit smoothies
Great looking black raspberries you have, enjoy them.
Fredge is a cool word.
Laura @ Raise Your Garden says
I read your blog with a smile…you’re right deer love them! Always a problem for a suburban gardener like me! Stinkin’ deer.
There’s a park by my home where they grow in the wild. In the middle of nowhere, our family picks close to 20 quarts to freeze.
They make the best pies and we put the frozen ones in smoothies. Yum!! And they’re free. The only competition is the birds at the park.
Amy Stross says
How wonderful that although the deer pose a challenge in your home garden, that you still have access to a fantastic wild berry harvest. 20 quarts is amazing 🙂
I don’t know of anywhere near me where I could get such a great wild berry harvest, but I had a great time harvesting wild berries near some friends’ house in Seattle a few years ago, and I remember feeling envious of their nearby wild spaces!
Erica Mueller says
These grow wild along the road and creek beds where my parents live in Kentucky! My dad and sisters spend hours hunting and picking them and exert enormous amounts of self-control in order to bring the harvest into the house for everyone to enjoy on ice cream. 🙂
There’s something about having your hands and face stained purple after a day of harvesting (and testing) that makes you feel like a kid again 🙂
DAVE M says
if u dont come home from foraging berries covered in red stains then u arent doing it right lol
Jenny G says
And maybe a few chiggers!😳😁
Kelly Bisciotti says
I had a random raspberry plant pop up among my ferns this past summer. I think the birds planted it there. I’m leaving it for now, knowing it can potentially get crazy and out of control eventually. I’m not sure what type it is yet either. Any suggestions on if it’s possible to dig up and transplant?
Yes I dig up the seedlings planted by birds and they seem to transplant just fine.
It seems the birds like to sit on the electric wire that runs from the street to our house and eat the berries. Seedlings pop up in the garden under the wire all the time 🙂
Mary Ann says
This is a very late comment, but hopefully you will see it. We have found an easy way to keep deer away from any plant: lay pieces of wire (chicken or hog) on the ground around the areas you wish to protect. They won’t walk on it, as they find it unsteady. It has worked perfectly for us! To keep raccoons out, plant squash or other vegs. that have prickly leaves around the edges. Their tender paws keep them out! Good luck.
This is really great advice. Thanks for sharing!
Bob Cornett says
About 8 years ago, I ordered a dozen Black Raspberry plants. I made the mistake of planting them in a random order to fill an area. 3 years ago, I transplanted 50 plants in a row in the rear yard, and gave probably 100 more plants away to neighbors. The plan is now that the rear row is producing real good, we will kill out all the original bed after we finish picking this year. We pick a gallon or more each evening and give them away or freeze them on a cookie sheet and then bag them in quart freezer bags This keeps them from mashing up too bad in the freezer bags.
I would love to be your neighbor 🙂 100% agreed on the cookie sheet!
Black raspberries are indigenous to the PNW, they grow wild on the mountain behind my family’s farm… 🙂 I love them.
I have ONE plant that randomly planted itself on the farm… and it is in danger of being demolished to make way for a new house (new baby, new house, haha). Is there any way I can save it? Space is not an issue here!
Funny plant decided to grow INSIDE a natural rosebush…
You can try transplanting it, just be gentle and give it lots of water in its new home until it is established. Fingers crossed and congrats on your new house!
Thank you! I’ve never transplanted a berry bush before! Should be fun. 🙂
Do you know what area of the PNW that black raspberries grow? I live in Seattle, and we have nothing but blackberries, both the wild kind and the invasive ones that are nearly impossible to iradicate. I LOVE black raspberries, and they used to grow wild in Iowa. Blackberries, I don’t appreciate nearly as much.
Most black raspberries grow in hardiness zones 4-8, so you should be fine to grow most varieties in Seattle. However, to find a variety that is the known to do well in your area, consult your extension office http://ext100.wsu.edu/king/
Gary Bullock says
My black raspberries (Cumberland) produce reasonably well, but the berries are really small. Is there a particular fertilizer that would help?
The production of small berries could be the result of a number of different possibilities. It could be lack of pollination, and planting some favorite pollinator-attracting flowers and herbs nearby that flower in the spring at the same time the black raspberries are flowering is an easy fix.
It could be that your black raspberry patch is susceptible to high winds, which interfere with pollination, and a windbreak hedgerow could help.
It could be that your plants are in a frost pocket. Frost damage to the spring flowers would affect berry production. Planting your brambles on the north side of a building or row of trees can provide frost protection.
If you regularly fertilize, it might be that too much nitrogen is causing more vegetative growth and less fruit production. If you don’t fertilize at all, your brambles might respond well to a good ole’ compost or manure application. However, my fruit guide only recommends fertilizing in early spring, and not after July 1st.
We used to grown 15 acres of black raspberries at a time. WE hated Cumberland, small berries for a lot of work. Try Bristol. they produce big berries.
Sarah hatch says
Cumberlands are very small berries naturally. They should have big brambles canes and many small berries. You can up your production by using age old bloom in the late fall, early spring, and mid-late summer. Give them just as much rotting compost like leaves and coffee grounds and fresh buckets of finished compost and bed deep in straw for best production.
Peter Poten says
Hi Amy, I’ve got several questions I’d like to ask you. Is this still active? I hope so.
Charlie Young says
I planted several black raspberry bushes years ago. Many years of good production. Today, I have only 6 of 14 remaining. Spent last year fighting rust contamination. The few bushes left are weak producers. Root balls seem to be rotted and dried out even with those that remain. Some suggest raising plaints in 7 gallon pails which helps control soil and contamination.
Did I do anything wrong? Any experience with pails? Anybody raise any Burpee ever bearing black raspberries?
It’s likely that you didn’t do anything wrong, but there are some factors that can encourage infection. Since you bought your plants from Burpee, I would assume they were disease-free, but I can’t confirm. You might give them a call to see if they’ve experienced an outbreak at the nursery, in which case, they may reimburse you. Wild brambles should grow no closer than 300 feet from your planting site, since they can spread disease. Good air circulation is essential, and bi-annual pruning will keep your stand of brambles open and free of dead canes.
The rust spreads through the roots, crown, and shoots, and the orange masses of spores erupt in the air, infecting nearby plants. It will be essential to dig up and dispose of any infected plants. If a plant has been infected, it is infected for life–it will not improve, even if the rust isn’t appearing on the leaves.
I would transplant healthy plants to containers to observe them. If it appears they will remain free of rust (strong, healthy shoots and leaves), then you’ll want to plant them in a new area of the garden.
Raspberries are my favorite. I planted out yellow, red, and black raspberries a few years ago. Unfortunately only the yellows and reds survived. We’ll be redoing our garden over the winter and I hope to put more raspberries in this spring.
Charlie Young says
Be sure to plant black raspberries at least 300 ft from reds and probably yellows. They don’t get along. The black variety is susceptible to a virus that thrives on the reds and probably the yellows.
I am a tad crazy and I grow a number of things here in southern California (south Orange County). I would like to grow “Black Raspberries”. How would you go about it in a zone 10?
I have a will so I know there will be a way. I have enough space to create an environment that is well shaded. My banana plants grow almost as fast as my mint. The bananas I am growing are not supposed to grow in a zone 10 but I am pulling it off.
Thanks in advance
For black raspberries, the first thing I would do is check the nursery catalogs and look for varieties that are more tolerant to heat in your zone. But that may prove to be a challenge since most raspberry types require at least 800-1800 hours of chilling between 37 and 50°F during the winter. Winter temps above 59 degrees F can be detrimental. I wouldn’t hurt to give it a try, though!
If you really want brambles, then blackberries, loganberries, and boysenberries would all easily grow in your zone.
Steve Cai says
I have read somewhere else that black raspberries are invasive plants, which are similar to red raspberries. But this article says it is NOT invasive. Could someone please confirm? I plan to plant some near the fence and don’t want them to spread into my neighbor’s yard. Thanks!
I didn’t say anything in the article about black raspberries being invasive or noninvasive, but here are some pointers: Thorny blackberries and red/yellow raspberries spread by buds at the roots. This means that their root system can spread indefinitely if not properly managed. These are usually the types that are considered “invasive”. Black raspberries, certain purple raspberries, and thornless blackberries on the other hand do not spread by buds at the roots, so they are not considered invasive. Their root systems are clumping in nature. However, all brambles, regardless of type, will need to be managed to keep them in check, like most perennial plants. Even the invasive types can be kept in check if you keep a section mowed around all sides of the berry patch where new canes might typically pop up.
Black raspberry patches can spread (albeit more slowly than red raspberries) if the canes bend over and touch the ground. In this case, it can sprout a new cane. But this is easily remedied with the biannual pruning that I suggest, so cane tips never touch the ground. Also, like many fruit crops, birds that have access to the berry patch will undoubtedly drop the seeds around the yard, and you’ll get new baby black raspberry sprouts. But these are no more numerous than any other garden weed, and as small seedlings, they are easy to pull up. Netting the berry patch as the berries near ripeness can reduce bird-dropped seedlings.
How many hours a day light?
When to plant I am in zone5?
Ideally plant in spring or fall, but summer is fine too if you pick a cool, cloudy day. Full sun is recommended, but mine were in partial shade and they did great. Just make sure there is good air circulation if partial shade.
Will these produce in partial shade? I’m trying to find berries that will grow will in our yard that is full of mature trees.
I’m in Zone 6A (central Ohio) and have had difficulty getting berries from my black raspberry plants. They grow like crazy, pruned back per the instructions above in the Fall, and this year the buds were quite extensive too..but no berries. They’ve been in this location (southern side of house,) for ~3 years now.
What can I do to get berries?
This is a complicated question to answer. Here are some questions to help clarify: Do you see flowers but then no berries? If so, an animal might be eating them. Could they be fall-bearing plants? Might they be purple raspberries or blackberries rather than black raspberries? If so, a different pruning technique might work better. Do they get any sunlight where they are planted?
The plants are on the southern side of the house and get quite a bit of sun. I think the drainage is pretty good too.
I found this picture (url below) that seemed the closest to what our buds looked like. They were green and closed, then when they opened the “petals”(?) were a reddish brown, then just brown and dried. I don’t believe I saw any white petals or flowers on/near the buds.
The newest canes are still growing like crazy while the older ones are drying up.
I don’t know of any diseases or nutrient deficiencies that would cause this, but not to say that there aren’t any. The only thing I can come up with is that perhaps they get more sun than they would like and aren’t getting watered enough. I would try giving them two really deep waterings per week during hot/sunny spells, or you could try moving them to a partial sun location.
The black raspberry plants I have in the back yard are descendants of the plants that my Dad planted in the back yard when I was growing up…I turned 64 this year.
I love black raspberries. It’s not officially summer until the black raspberries are ripe. My favorite summer drink is a black raspberry cooler…mash a handful of berries in a glass with a half teaspoon of honey or sugar, then add milk and stir. This year I’m making a cordial…a quart of freshly picked black raspberries mashed with 1/4 cup raw honey, and enough high proof vodka to fill a large pickle jar (not quite a fifth). Let it mellow for a few months. You can dilute with a simple syrup of honey and spring water if it’s too strong. I started the cordial last week, and tried a spoonful of it today. The flavor is wonderful! It makes summer last longer.
I also love using the old, reddish purple canes in flower arrangements…especially in winter.
I prune them a little differently than you suggest. Once they’re done fruiting in July, I cut back the reddish purple canes that fruited to about 7″ or 8″. That allows more of the plant’s energy go into growing the new canes. When the new, green canes get about 3 feet tall, pinch the tops. They’ll branch out from that point and give you 2-3 canes out of the top. Next year, anywhere there was a leaf this year, you’ll have clump of berries next year.
Good article! Thanks.
How close to your house are these planted?
3-4 feet away, enough to allow me to walk behind the row for harvesting and pruning. It’s also a good, basic practice to keep any plants from touching the house to prevent insect problems and to keep irrigation away from the foundation.
Can wild black raspberries be planted in a rock bed?
William McDuff says
We have black raspberries in our garden as well as red currants. Due to the fact the birds go after them big time we use netting over both plants to keep them from getting whipped out…lol.
I really enjoy your website. Being retired both me and my wife enjoy gardening and have done so for 30+ years as well as preserves and cooking from scratch.
Sometimes netting is the best method. I believe our cat keeps the birds at bay a bit. Cheers!
Arvid Sorsdahl says
I have one plant that is growing in the middle of a rhubarb plant. It is 3 years old and about 10 ft. tall and we picked and ate about 2 quarts of fruit this year.W e live in Saskatchewan Canada in zone 2 and the plant seems happy. I would like to get more plants and I will try layering them. Thanks for the information.
S Hatch says
Black raspberries are he medical allopathic cure for mouth and throat cancer. They are very powerful in killing cancer cells. Red raspberries are nice and certainly have health benefits but black raspberries are the big healers. You’ll need room but growing them is a very good health precaution and they taste better than red raspberries.
Still do not know how they grow and spread
by setting up shoots or by the seeds in the berry or both
and if I only get a few like 6 or so
will they reproduce quickly or not
seen them wild in MD where I live
but hard to find
You can propagate brambles by seed, but it’s more common to use cuttings for quicker growth and more precise placement. Read more in my article about propagating fruit from cuttings.
W. S. Adkins says
Wow, so many interesting comments. After being introduced to black raspberry pie years ago, I can understand why many regard it as the “Cadillac” of pies. It still amazes me how many don’t know of its wondrous taste. Berries are hard to find in central Ohio, not to mention expensive. It motivates me to start growing a patch…
Jim LaRonde says
When I was a kid I used to pick black raspberries all the time – the flavor was intense. I now have what I assume are “wild” plants inherited with the house we bought a few years back. The berries are generally a good size, not puny, but their flavor is very mild, not intense like I remember. I’ve fertilized and added lime, but no change. Is there a possibility adding lime was moving in the wrong direction and the plants prefer a more acidic soil instead?
Black raspberries prefer rich, PH-neutral soil which leans toward the acidic. So I personally wouldn’t use lime in this case. Organic soybean meal fertilizer as well as worm castings should be able to compensate for the lime. After that, I would add lots of rich, forest-like organic materials such as leaf mold (leaves that have composted for at least a year) and composted wood chips.
I grew up on a farm and we had black raspberry brambles all over. I decided to buy some for my own home maybe 10 years ago. The most invasive plants I ever saw (well, next to mugwort, perhaps). Unbelievable. After a couple of years I realized I was in trouble if I didn’t eradicate them, and spent a great deal of time digging and chopping.
I would only plant these at the edge of a treeline, where it’s wild and there will be some natural limitation–at least into the grass (due to mowing). I put them in a berm far from the house, and a few bushes quickly became maybe 20’x20′ of brambles.
I do raise thornless blackberries in my permaculture garden, and have them in a 2′ high raised bed to reduce the chances of them spreading.
All brambles will spread if left to their own devices. The canes bend over and root themselves to create new plants. However, some brambles are a double whammy in that they also spread by root, such as thorny blackberries and red and yellow raspberries.
Black raspberries, along with purple raspberries and thornless blackberries, are clumping and do not have this spreading habit, so they are much easier to keep tidy.
Further, blackberries (thorny and thornless) varieties can have erect or trailing cane types. Trailing types are more vigorous and need more pruning and trellising to remain tidy, while erect types are less vigorous and can be grown without a trellis. Because of this, perhaps the easiest brambles to grow are thornless, erect-type blackberries.
Sonja J Galovics says
I grew up on a farm near Madison, Wisconsin. My Grandmother would give me a small pail and tell me to go up into the woods to pick “black caps” (black raspberries). I would skip down the lane swinging the pail with my dog Skippy. Picking some for the pail and some for me, I would come back home with purple stains all around my mouth. Grandma would make jam from them. If you have never eaten Black Raspberries, get ready to go to heaven! There are wild black raspberries here in Lansing growing along bike trails but if you don’t get there at the right time someone will have already picked them clean. This is the first year I will be planting the Black Raspberry seeds for my backyard. They spread all over in the wild, so I am hoping they will in my yard. They are much sweeter than red raspberries and such a different taste, you just have to try them. Not sold in stores, not sure why. some farmers markets have them but extremely expensive.
Parrish in Alabama says
I am growing black raspberries. They showed up in my garden. I first thought they were red raspberries as i have those in the landscape, however after much research I learned they were black raspberries. Which I had never heard of. I assume they came from a bird dropping or such. Anyway, I got them out of my main garden and transplanted to a space they could sprawl. This was last year. They are growing nicely, and have tons of flowers and developing berries. A few berries have ripened now. However, the berries are microscopic. What would cause this? Is there something I can do now to improve the size? Any comment or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Im in Zone 8
Small berries can be due to them being of wild origin or due to the fact that in zone 8, you’re at the hot end of their ideal growing conditions. In zone 8, I’d like to grow them in partial shade to shield them from all-day sun.
Small berries can also be due to the need for good pruning practices. See my article Training and Pruning Black Raspberries for more details.
I grew up in Michigan and I now live in NC. I have not seen any Black caps in NC. Will they grow here if so I will try and get some from my sister in Michigan pls tell me they will
Cindy Rose says
when is a good time to dig up a black raspberry plant that is too close to other ones? I only have 3 but need to move out the middle one so there is 2 1/2 feet between them. They are young, no fruit yet, long and gangly. 2nd year. Thank you for this great article.
You can dig up and transplant them anytime before the ground freezes in winter. Fall is best.
What is the best mulch for weed control for my black raspberry plants. I believe the plants could also benefit from some fertilizer. Any suggestions?
Compost, leaf mulch, wood chips… any organic material will both mulch and fertilize naturally.
Hi! Can you tell me which specific variety you grew?
Is it okay to plant them next to blackberries as long as they aren’t “wild blackberries”? Thanks!
They should be fine together.
When someone tries to explain black raspberry culture they often leave out information that growers will eventually need to know. So now it is August 23 and my three 30 foot rows of black raspberries have produceed extremely long tendrills or canes that are bending over in an effort to grow touch and reach ground. There are so many that it is imppossible to mow between the rows without damaging them. I don’t want them to touch the geound and root. Should I trim them back and by how much? Should I trim them way back or just enough so they don’t touch the groun. Also, I don’t carry the old dead canes over the winter as I remove them in September. Is there an reason to wait for spring to cut and remove them?
That is why I wrote How to Train and Prune Black Raspberries.
Beverly Chekan says
My new crop of black raspberries have large shuts coming up. Are these what you call b rambles and should these be cut out?
Hello! Thank you for your great articles on black raspberries. I ordered some black raspberry plants today, and then I found your site. We have wild blackberries in our yard, which is only 1/3 an acre, so I can’t give the black raspberries the recommended 300-foot buffer. Do you recommend that I tear out the wild blackberry plants? Is the threat they pose substantial? Thank you!
It is a concern, unfortunately, but there’s no way to really predict how big the concern is for you. You might check with your local extension office, which can tell you how great the risk is in your area.
John Konrath says
You can help me solve a mystery. Black and red raspberries behaved as you described living in Illinois. Reds sent out runners and blacks walked. We moved to the state of Washington. We have Munger and Jewel black raspberries. These black raspberries do send out underground runners, but not to the extent the reds do. I have given away plants that pop up from these runners, Also we have not experience any new plant spread from tipping. None of this is a problem. I have been a little embarrassed after explaining to my neighbors how blacks spread only by tipping. For some reason in an area overrun with black berries and all sorts of other berries, black raspberries are not grown.
Hi there! Are you wondering why more people don’t grow cultivated black raspberries in your area? I would guess that people are a little gun-shy because of the invasive blackberry problem. They’re just so aggressive. All of the brambles (whether invasive, native, or cultivated) spread additionally by seed. But you’re right, those black raspberries are much easier to maintain.