Raspberries are relatively easy to grow and—with proper care—can bear fruit indefinitely! Though raspberry bushes are naturally inclined to grow in cooler climates, the plants now come in many varieties suited to a range of planting zones.
There are two types of raspberries, both with their own specific requirements for growing:
- Summer-fruiting raspberries bear one crop per season, in summertime (often June or July).
- Ever-bearing raspberries (also called fall-bearing or primocane-fruiting) bear a fall crop and can also produce fruit the following summer.
Most raspberries are summer-bearing varieties and all are self-fertile, meaning you’ll get fruit with only one variety. They’re best pollinated by bees, and will start producing fruit a year after planting.
All raspberries will need pruning annually! Raspberries are perennials, however it’s important to realize that their branches (or canes) which bear the fruit live for only two summers. During the first year, the new green cane (primocane) grows vegetatively. The cane develops a brown bark, is dormant in winter, and during the second growing season is called a floricane. The floricane produces fruit in early to mid summer and then dies. New primocanes are produced each year, so fruit production continues year after year. It’s your job to prune out those dead canes each year.