Skip to main content

Raspberries & Blackberries

Ripe black raspberry surrounded by unripe raspberries that are still red on the cane.

Blackberries and raspberries spark memories of picking with grandma and mashing them to make a pie. Brambles, which include blackberries and raspberries, are easily grown, and with some care, those memories can continue.

Brambles can be propagated by stem cuttings or layering. Propagating by seed is difficult and not recommended. Stem cuttings and layers result in a plant that is identical to the parent plant. Any variety can be propagated, but be aware of any laws with some of the improved varieties.  

Layering is the natural process by which these plants regenerate. Simply, it is the rooting of a cane that encounters the ground. Depending on your method of production, you can let these plants root wherever they fall, or you can manipulate them to root where you want them. You can encourage canes to root by taking a cane that bends near the ground, placing a node into the soil and weighing it down by placing an object on it. 

Propagation also can be achieved from stem or root cuttings. Stem cuttings are more successful than root cuttings. Successful stem cuttings are from new vegetative growth. Cut 4 to 6 inches of stem, place into a rooting medium, water and place in a shaded spot. Commercial rooting hormone can be used to increase success. Roots will begin to grow in three to four weeks. 

By Jody Carpenter, WVU Extension Agent – Barbour and Randolph Counties