Raspberries

The berries were draped over our neighbors fence.

Credit: Annette McCarthy
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Botanical name: Rubus

Plant type: Fruit

USDA Hardiness Zones: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Any

Soil pH: Slightly Acidic to Neutral

Raspberries are naturally inclined to grow in cooler climates, although the development of adaptable varieties has made it possible for gardeners to grow raspberries in many zones. They are relatively easy to grow, and with proper care, can bear fruit indefinitely. Don’t limit yourself to the common red raspberry; try growing purple as well!

There are two types of raspberries, both with their own specific requirements for growing. Summer-bearers bear one crop per season, in summertime. Ever-bearers bear two crops, one in summer and one in fall.

Planting

  • Plant in the early spring (or late winter for warm zones)
  • Plant far from wild growing berries, otherwise risk the spread of pests and diseases to your garden.
  • Prepare soil with compost or aged manure a couple weeks before planting.
  • Raspberries love moisture, so try soaking the roots for an hour or two before planting.
  • Dig a hole that is roomy enough for the roots to spread.
  • Space plants about 3 feet apart, in rows 8 feet apart.
  • After planting, cut back canes, leaving 8 to 10 inches. 
  • Depending on the variety you plant, you may need to fashion a support. A trellis or a fence are good options. If you chose to use one of these, establish them at or before time of planting so the plants are not disturbed when maturing.

Care

  • Mulching is important throughout the season to conserve moisture and suffocate weeds. Keep a thick layer of mulch surrounding plants at all times.
  • Water one inch per week.
  • The roots send up an abundant amount of shoots, called canes. Keep order by pruning away the majority of them so that the survivors can produce lots of berries.

Pruning

Summer-Bearers produce berries on two year old canes while one year old canes grow right beside them. You shouldn’t have trouble telling which is which: the older canes have brown stems, and the young ones are still green. Prune only the older ones, the ones that have finished their fruitful year.

  • Prune in the fall. Leave about 6 of the thickest, strongest green canes.
  • Keep plant contained to a 19-inch wide space. Left alone without care all summer, neat rows will become thickets.
  • Cut off all canes that grow sideways.

Ever-Bearers require less care:

  • Mow them to the ground in the fall, after you finish picking. (For a small patch, pruning shears will do.)
  • Clean up all debris—diseases and pests overwinter.
  • Pruning is not required during the growing season unless you want to keep a uniform order.

Pests

Raspberries are one of the few fruits that are hardly bothered by pests and diseases. (Black raspberries are most susceptible to this type of damage than red or purple.)

Harvest/Storage

  • All varieties will begin to produce fruit in their second season. In some cases, ever-bearers may bear small berries in their first autumn.
  • In early summer, berries will ripen over a time of about 2 weeks. You will need to pick berries every couple of days.
  • Try to harvest berries on a sunny day when they are dry.
  • Don't tug too hard on your raspberries when picking. A ripe raspberry will leave the vine willingly.
  • Raspberries can be kept refrigerated for about 5 days.
  • If the fruit is to be made into preserves, it should be done straight off the plant.
  • Raspberries can be frozen. Make a single layer of berries on a cookie sheet. When frozen, place into airtight bags.

Recommended Varieties

  • 'Canby' recommended for New England, Upper Great Lakes and Northwest.
  • 'Heritage' recommended for the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley.
  • 'Fallgold' yellow variety recommended for the Upper Midwest and Canada.
  • 'Plainsman' recommended for the Rockies and High Plains.

Recipes

Wit & Wisdom

Raspberries are a good source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C.

Comments

I have black raspberries and

By Richard L Allen on April 18

I have black raspberries and trying to find information on prunning the canes and the laterals.I prune the canes down to around 30 inches tall, but I am not sure about the laterals. When to prune them and how long to leave them.

See below video of how me

By Hand on April 10

See below video of how me made our raspberry patch in Cleveland Ohio. Thanks for the great information! You guys are the best.

http://youtu.be/x4MC33UmxEA

Several varieties of

By Khoo on March 25

Several varieties of raspberries can be grown successfully in Florida and Desert Southwest here in the United States. Here are a couple of tips. Plant the canes in an area that receives afternoon shade and water deeply every morning. Good luck!

Above is what you have replied to your reader. What varieties are they? Where can I get the seeds? Or where can I buy the plant?

In South Florida, consider

By Almanac Staff on March 25

In South Florida, consider Autumn Bliss, Heritage and Ruby varieties of raspberries. "Dorman Red" is a good variety for hot climates. Stark Brothers and other nurseries carry these plants. Just google online. 

Hi, I live in Malaysia. I

By Khoo on March 24

Hi, I live in Malaysia. I would like to grow raspberry. Is it possible? Read the posting regarding planting raspberry in Caribean Island, but no reply. I grow successfully passion fruit in my garden. Also Bay leaves plant.

One of the yard people we

By Matthew Ali

One of the yard people we have cut down our raspberry bushes leaving one small single branch left. They were new and planted this year. The branches that were left in the ground are green in the middle. Will they grow back?

Yes, the raspberry bushes

By Almanac Staff

Yes, the raspberry bushes should grow back again. Depending on the variety, they may not have berries for a year.

Will gophers eat raspberry

By annette M

Will gophers eat raspberry plants? Should I plant them in an underground cage?

Gophers do eat plant material

By Almanac Staff

Gophers do eat plant material and the best solution is to learn how to trap them.  One way to avoid gophers is to use raised beds that are installed with ½”, galvanized hardware cloth stapled to the bottom of the bed. Gophers can eat through chicken wire but they won't eat through the cloth.
If your raspberry patch already exists, or raised beds are impractical, dig trenches around each raspberry row. Dig the trenches at least 2 feet deep. Put hardware cloth into the trenches, and leave at least 1 foot of this protective material above ground.

Is it true that a gardener

By Nikki Darcy

Is it true that a gardener should pick off their new raspberries first season of flowers so the raspberry can concentrate on root growth? Does it make a difference and produce a stronger plant? Thanks! :)

Well, raspberry plants do not

By Almanac Staff

Well, raspberry plants do not produce fruit the first year; they have "biennial canes" which means that they are vegetative the first year and then they flower and fruit in the second year, then they die and the old dead canes should be removed. Don’t cut back the canes in the first of the two years because they will be the ones producing for you next year.

I live in the Caribbean

By Danielle Sookram

I live in the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago). I bought some Driscoll's raspberries...I was wondering if I could grow them from seeds from the actual fruit? And if I can...would they bear fruit in this region? The nightly temperatures are usually around 24-25 degrees celsius and during the day it can get as high as 32 degrees celsius.

I live in zone 9 is there a

By Carolyn Gann

I live in zone 9 is there a way to grow raspberries here?

I've read different planting

By Deb in FLA

I've read different planting instructions for raspberries that say to plant different varieties several hundred feet away from each other. Home gardeners usually don't have that kind of space, and I've been to berry-picking farms and the rows are ALOT closer with different varieties in the same field.

Can red and yellow varieties be successfully planted in rows within 5 feet of each other (trellised to keep the canes off the ground and pruned to stay out of each other's way)?

It's fine to plant red and

By Almanac Staff

It's fine to plant red and yellow raspberries in the same patch. Just don't plant nursery bought raspberries close to wild brambles as there may be a virus risk.

Planted s. side of RV garage

By Hand

Planted s. side of RV garage on a slope, late April. It's mid Sept and our raspberry plant is an extremely tall 12' and we don't know what this means. It has three huge canes we supported (individually) with tall stakes. Theres tons of suckers now too. It's a Willamette from big box store. Is this 12' height normal ? In Cleveland Ohio and not sure about winter wind survival...and spring pruning. Even though they are taller than me, maybe the birds get their share and we get ours next year?

Willamette is a

By Almanac Staff

Willamette is a summer-bearing raspberry. In early spring prune all canes that produced fruit the previous season down to the ground (you can tell which ones are the old canes by looking at the end of the cane). Leave the new canes. Also remove any weak canes to thin the patch and keep it under control.

What type of fertilizer is

By Frank De

What type of fertilizer is recommended for my red raspberries. I get lots of fruit but it is small. I was looking at my daughters plants the other day and I didn't know raspberries grew that large. We bought our plants at the same nursery and they are the same type. She used blood meal on hers. I have had mine for 6 years and the fruit has always been small( or what I thought was normal)

Sounds as if you should ask

By Almanac Staff

Sounds as if you should ask your daughter what her secrets to success are! 
First, we start with rich, well drained soil. We amended the soil with compost or well-tilled organic matter in the fall. You want fertile soil.
Then, we apply fertilizer in early spring when new growth begins. We use a rate of 4 to 6 pounds of 20-20-20 per 100 feet ofrow.
When new canes start to bloom, we spread 3 to 6 pounds of blood meal per 100 feet of row. You can also spread fertilizer over the surface of the soil in the row when growth is starting.
Hope this helps!

My summer raspberries are

By Ian Mansie

My summer raspberries are probably 20 years old and are now very small. Should I get rid of these and plant new canes in their place?

Can i plant these plants in

By YOGESH

Can i plant these plants in india , specially in Nagpur. please guide.

yes, you can get red

By Dipen Neupane

yes, you can get red raspberry plants at www.abonnaplants.com in India

We did try to reach them but

By Ravi Makana

We did try to reach them but they are not reachable, pls let us know other farmer or company in India or any other country.

Dear Ravi contact me at

By Dipen Neupane

Dear Ravi

contact me at dipen@abonnaplants.com

Can I use miracle grow on my

By Bobby T.

Can I use miracle grow on my new raspberry plants that I planted this Spring? They are doing very well and are about 4' high.

Which variety is best for

By dan87

Which variety is best for year round production? My location has year round spring no more than 27 degrees celcius in the day and no less than 13 at night. Also it's at an altitude of 6890-7546 ft.

For the best recommendations

By Almanac Staff

For the best recommendations for your area, we'd recommend that you talk to a local nursery or farmer. If you live in the United States, you can also contact your county's Cooperative Extension (see: http://www.almanac.com/content/cooperative-extension-services.) Many raspberries have a chilling requirement over winter in order for them to produce a good crop next season; ask about those that don't need as much chilling (called low-chill types). Also ask about high-altitude options.
 
Some farmers in areas of California that have a long growing season have had success with Oregon 1030 or Bababerry, which tolerate heat well and are low-chill options.

We planted our raspberry

By Tienna

We planted our raspberry canes about 3-4 years ago. Our problem is that they are not bushing out, not too sure what to do.

When harvesting raspberries,

By Ann Onnimuss

When harvesting raspberries, how do you keep them from getting squished?

Raspberries are easily

By Almanac Staff

Raspberries are easily crushed and highly perishable. Here are some tips to avoid this. 1. When it's time to harvest (when berries first become completely red), pick them often--every day or every other day. 2. Use wide, shallow containers no more than four layers of raspberries to prevent crushing. 3. Cool the raspberries as soon as possible to keep them firm; every hour counts. Commercial supplies have extra-cold storage with high humidity levels. 4.  Wrap your containers in plastic to prevent water loss
from the fruit and condensation on the berries when they are removed from the cooler. Do not remove the plastic until the berries are at room temperature.

I planted raspberries last

By Colette

I planted raspberries last year, they did wonderful over the winter, I had mulched well to protect. I didn't know to cut them back. This spring they started growing and did very well, but I had alot of growth up, tall, some of them 5 foot, with dark green lush leaves, nice thick stalks but almost no fruit, and what I did have was at the bottom of the plant. I did have a problem with beetles eating the leaves at the time this august. I've been squishing them because I don't want to use chemicals. Any tips on how to get more fruit and fight the beetles without (Japanese beetles) chemicals and squishing by hand. Thank you for your help.

See our pruning tips above.

By Almanac Staff

See our pruning tips above. Prune according to what type (summer bearing or everbearing) plants you have. See our page about how to get rid of Japanese beetles at
almanac.com/content/japanese-beetles

Loaded with berries but they

By Betsy Goren

Loaded with berries but they are not turning red this year. Bought my plants at local Master gardner plant sale so do not know variety but have been picking for a couple of years now and this is the first time they don't seem to be ripening?

We're not sure which zone you

By Almanac Staff

We're not sure which zone you live in; usually, berries that grow to their full size but do not ripen aren't getting enough direct sun due to a low sun angle and shorter days.

I have raspberries that grow

By Ryan - CO

I have raspberries that grow like red raspberries (new canes shoot from the roots) but the fruits are deep purple. I'm not sure if they're ever-bearing or summer-bearing. How can i tell the difference?

Summer-bearing types bear one

By Almanac Staff

Summer-bearing types bear one crop in summer for about 1 month on the floricanes (2nd-year canes, stems are usually brown)--there will be no fruit on the primocanes (1-year canes, stems are usually green). Although harvest time varies with variety and climate, many cultivars usually ripen in June into July.

Everbearing types will first fruit in fall on the tip of the primocanes; fruit will then develop further down the cane (so, the riper fruit is toward the tip of the cane). In late spring/early summer, another fruit crop will appear at the point on the cane (now called a floricane) below where the last of the fall harvest took place. This second crop is usually not as productive as the first fall crop.

What if you want to

By kylietry

What if you want to transplant a wild bush what do you do?

Fall is the best time to

By Almanac Staff

Fall is the best time to transplant. Cut the canes back to about a foot and dig up as much of the roots as possible. Add some compost to the hole in the new location and make sure to spread out the roots as much as possible when planting.

3 years of beautiful

By chuck bosch

3 years of beautiful delicious rasberries and this year not a blossom not a fruit is this normal ?

Did you prune the bushes? Or

By Almanac Staff

Did you prune the bushes? Or did you have a late frost this spring? These are the most comon reasons for no flowers. Drought, poor soil fertility and overcrowding can also cause problems.
 
 

The leaves of my young

By Fred Nothnagel

The leaves of my young raspberry plants often curl up during the day (we've had a particularly hot, humid summer). If we water heavily after dusk, they often uncurl but then curl up the following day. Is this due to insufficient watering, weather conditions, or??? What must we do to keep them alive and growing?

Keep watering if the soil is

By Almanac Staff

Keep watering if the soil is dry. Add a layer of mulch to help keep the moisture in the ground.

Raspberries are ripe but

By Faye sanders

Raspberries are ripe but won't let go of vine. Is this lack of water?? They were easy to pick.

I planted last year in a

By Megs

I planted last year in a large pot and it is doing very well this year. I am focused as to all of the extra growth that is developing. Should I remove these smaller growths (that are also producing) to their own pot(s)? Should I do it soon or wait until the season is over?

Raspberries do tend to

By Almanac Staff

Raspberries do tend to "sucker."  You should pull out the suckers during the season as they grow and control them. If you wish, you could transplant them.

When harvesting my summer

By Jane Kluting

When harvesting my summer raspberries now, some berries have spots or sides that develop white areas and these areas tend to be hard. What causes this-and can these berries be eaten?
Thanks

This is called white drupelet

By Almanac Staff

This is called white drupelet disorder. The cause is most likely excessive sun or heat while the fruit was in formation. The berries can still be eaten.

Can you pick raspberries

By april lynn

Can you pick raspberries right before they are ripe and sit them in sunny window like tomatoes to finish ripening?

Raspberries will not ripen

By Almanac Staff

Raspberries will not ripen after they are picked.

I planted my raspberries

By tara housen

I planted my raspberries about three years ago and have never gotten a berry. What am I doing wrong? The Bush keeps getting bigger but just gets dried up blooms.

There could be several

By Almanac Staff

There could be several causes. If you have heavy soil with poor drainage you need to amend the soil with compost. Raspberries require about an inch of water per week to produce well. Canes should be thinned to about 8 inches apart in spring. Apply a nitrogen fertilizer a couple of times during the summer months. Also make sure that the raspberries get at least 6 hours of sun per day. Morning sun is preferred.

The family we share a yard

By leslie Sears

The family we share a yard with has asked us to move our mature raspberry bush to a new location. Do they transplant well or should we start a new plant and just trash our existing one at the end of the season?

It's best to move the

By Almanac Staff

It's best to move the raspberry in the fall. Prune back any canes that produced fruit during the summer and carefully dig up the bush and any new suckers. Seperate the new shoots and try to leave soil around the root area. Plant immediately and water.

This is our second year with

By Margie Sorensen

This is our second year with the Raspberries. We had a ton of flowers in the spring and then nothing. What are we doing wrong? Some are even dying now.

If you had gotten fruit last

By Almanac Staff

If you had gotten fruit last year but not this year, I'd say that's normal. Raspberries produce biennial canes, which means that the first year they are vegetative only but will bear fruit the next year. You do need to prune them back and get rid of the old canes. See more here: http://umaine.edu/publications/2066e/ If you still have problems and you have them in full sun, perhaps you have a variety that isn't a good fit for your zone.

My raspberry bushes are

By NicoleD40

My raspberry bushes are approximately 2 years old now. For the first time I see actual raspberries on them. The problem is that they appear normal and the proper color, but they're hard as rocks! What is causing that?

If they're hard, they are

By Almanac Staff

If they're hard, they are about a few weeks from being ripe. At this point, they're good for pies and other cooked desserts. An early harvest could help thin the fruit, too, so that your berries will be larger when they are ripe.

my berries grow like crazy,

By dallas akron new york

my berries grow like crazy, but berries themselves don't develope fully and fall apart when picked. what am i doing wrong?

If the raspberries fall

By Almanac Staff

If the raspberries fall apart, a common reason is tarnished plant bug damage. These insects feed on the fruit. They overwinter in crop residue so good clean up is key. In early spring, spray with Sevin to control.

What varieties would be best

By East TN

What varieties would be best for East Tennessee?

Latham and Titan are two

By Almanac Staff

Latham and Titan are two summer red raspberries planted in Tennessee. Consult your TN cooperative extension for more local advice.

We are in Vanuatu, south

By ruth quinto

We are in Vanuatu, south pacific at 15 degrees south. and are preparing some ground to plant raspberries. Our earth is rich volcanic/lime. They are grown about 200 miles further south with success. We use plenty compost as food for them.

Any suggestions or tips? (We'll probably wait for the next moon waxing to put them in the ground). Our mean temp. is 70 - 85 F, dry-ish winters and wet summers (who knows these days what to expect?).

Thanks for any help.....

ruth quinto
Edenhope Project

Several varieties of

By Almanac Staff

Several varieties of raspberries can be grown successfully in Florida and Desert Southwest here in the United States. Here are a couple of tips. Plant the canes in an area that receives afternoon shade and water deeply every morning. Good luck!

Why did my normally fantastic

By Kristin Clarke

Why did my normally fantastic raspberries (yellow and red) get a bad flavor overnight, literally? I picked some one evening and they were fantastic the next afternoon they were awful! What am I doing wrong?

Weather does affect fruit

By Almanac Staff

Weather does affect fruit flavors and also how ripe or mature the berries are is important. Maybe your berries were perfectly ripe when you first picked them and the next day they were overripe.

After planting the canes, how

By Bobby T.

After planting the canes, how many days does it take to see new growth on the canes and from the ground?

Is too late to plant ever

By Ken Newbill

Is too late to plant ever bearing raspberries in NC?

Early spring is the best

By Almanac Staff

Early spring is the best time--in order to get the plants established and maybe get berries the first summer. However, you should be able to plant in the summer, too, if the plants are healthy and strong starts.

How long will wild raspberry

By Flayprime

How long will wild raspberry seeds keep for if not refrigerated?

If you are seed-saving: Most

By Almanac Staff

If you are seed-saving: Most seed should be used within three years.

Do blackberry and raspberry

By Betty Vickrey

Do blackberry and raspberry plants cross pollinate?

Raspberries and blackberries

By Almanac Staff

Raspberries and blackberries are primarily self-pollinating and do not cross-pollinate.

Single Potted PLant

By Anonymous

Can I plant a single potted raspberry plant?

Yes, plant raspberries as

By Almanac Staff

Yes, plant raspberries as either bare-root or potted plants in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked.

raspberries

By Anonymous

I would like to try planting raspberries in central Georgia. What varieties do you recommend?

According to the Georgia

By Almanac Staff

According to the Georgia cooperative extension: Only the trailing raspberry "Dormanred" has proven itself for all of Georgia. The erect raspberry variety
"Heritage" is grown commercially in the Georgia mountains and has performed well in north Georgia. For this reason, it is
recommended for planting in the mountain and upper Piedmont region.

Raspberry food?

By Anonymous

What food is recommended for ever bearing raspberries?

Raspberries should be

By Almanac Staff

Raspberries should be fertilized 10 to 40 days after planting with 10-10-10 (or organic equivalents). For the years after planting, raspberry plants need to be fertilized with 10-10-10 twice a year--once in the spring (before growth begins) and one more time in May.

Planting raspberries in eastern North Carolina

By Anonymous

I would like to try planting raspberries in easter North Carolina. Do you think the Summers are too hot and humid? What variety do you recommend?

Red raspberries varieties

By Almanac Staff

Red raspberries varieties traditionally grown in the North do have difficulties in part so North Carolina (piedmont, coastal) due to a hot, humid summer climate. However, there are a few varieties that have been successful in your area. Try the "Dorman Red" variety for southern climates. Visit local nurseries.

blackberriers

By Jasimo

Assume same technique as raspberries?? When is a good time to plant? I live in San Francisco. Thanks!

blackberries

By Almanac Staff

Yes, the process is very similar to growing raspberries: they require full sun and careful attention to pruning. It may be tough to get plants this time of year--ideal planting time is early spring. One thing to keep in mind: Although they are similar to raspberries, they should not be planted near them. (Disease is more likely to build up and spread.) Plant in a new space that hasn't been worked for a couple years.

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