Few things compare to the taste of homegrown fruit. Some potential growers may not know how to grow blackberries in a pot if they don’t have indoor gardening experience. It could be a space issue if you’re an apartment dweller or a suburban resident. Sometimes it’s a matter of difficulty; if you have no experience planting blackberries in containers, you might be scratching your head over how to grow blackberries at home.
Blackberries are a much-loved fruit and a common choice for growing in containers. These sweet berries make delicious and nutrient-dense snacks or may be used in various pastries and sweets.
With the rising popularity of container gardening, more people are interested in growing blackberries in containers. It’s easy to learn how to grow blackberries at home. Following a few simple tips renders the task simple and the matter of having no space a no-brainer.
A Complete Guide to Growing Blackberries in Containers
There’s much to consider when growing blackberries indoors, and many blackberry varieties. Erect plants are easier to grow in small spaces, while trailing types grow up to ten feet long and require a trellis for support.
Thornless varieties are safer, as there’s no opportunity to prick yourself on thorny brambles. The fruit yield is also crucial to consider if your goal is to grow your own produce. Growing blackberries in containers doesn’t have to be challenging if you choose a hardy, beginner-friendly plant.
Best Varieties to Plant at Home
Note that there is a difference between blackberries and dewberries, so choose your plants accordingly. Blackberry plants are divided into three types; understanding them helps growers choose an appropriate plant when exploring how to grow blackberries in a pot.
Whether you will produce fruit or hone your green thumb, there is a blackberry plant for you. Picking a suitable blackberry variety will contribute to a successful harvest, making planting blackberries in containers easy and fun.
While they do look similar, black raspberries and blackberries are not the same and have a few different growing differences.
Growing Different Blackberry Varieties
Choosing your blackberry plant depends on several factors. One to consider firmly is USDA hardiness zones. Hardiness zones help gardeners determine which plants grow best in your region’s climate.
Plant hardiness is determined by its ability to tolerate cold temperatures. A plant withstanding the minimum temperature in zone 5 might find zone 4 too chilly to thrive. It applies to zone 3 and so on.
The first step in your container gardening adventure is to determine the hardiness zone you live in and choose an appropriate blackberry bush.
Baby Cakes are an excellent, family-friendly choice for container gardening because they check all the boxes: dwarf blackberries and erect blackberries, which means space won’t be an issue, and they’re thornless.
The USDA hardiness zone range on Baby Cake blackberries is 4 – 8, so make sure the hardiness zone you live in is suitable for your Baby Cake blackberries.
Kiowa blackberries are another great option for the first-time home gardener if your primary goal is for the plants to bear fruit. Kiowas are cultivars that have been carefully selected over generations to have the lengthiest harvest time of all blackberries and produce colossal, juicy berries. The USDA hardiness zones for Kiowa blackberries are 6- 9, so plant appropriately.
Arapaho blackberries are the best choice for gardeners who want berries sooner than later. These blackberry plants are treasured because these blackberry bushes grow very fast; they’re one of the earliest to ripen, bearing fruit in early summer rather than late summer, and the fruit yields are enormous. These berries live in hardiness zones 5- 9.
If you want a delicious, homemade jam, Chester blackberries are the obvious choice. The fruits produced by Chester blackberry plants are large and intensely flavorful, best made into jams and pie filling. The Chester blackberry plant lives in zones 5-9.
Once you decide which blackberry plant you’ll be working with, it’s time to consider planting. Before starting, make sure you’re planting your blackberries during their growing season. Early spring is the best time to start dormant blackberry plants. Planting blackberries during late spring may result in a small, unsuccessful crop.
Planting Blackberries in Containers
To plant blackberries in pots, you need potting soil for fruiting trees or create a potting mix by combining peat, vermiculite, and sand in equal parts. Large containers are better for reducing spacing issues and grow multiple plants together.
Good drainage is crucial for healthy blackberries, so make sure your container has drainage holes, or be prepared to drill them yourself. Cover the holes with mesh to keep soil from sifting out of the container when excess water drains.
It is possible to grow blackberries from seeds; however, the blackberry seed germination time increases the length of time until harvest.
Move your blackberry cane of choice into its new container with the potting soil. There are two approaches to growing blackberries in pots. If you select a bare-root plant, remove the roots from the packing and carefully prune any damaged roots.
Soak the blackberry roots in water for up to two hours before planting and spread gently in a 2″–4″ hole, then thoroughly cover with soil and water.
If you select a potted blackberry plant, take the blackberry plant out of its container with care so you don’t damage the roots. Drop the plant in the hole, gently push the earth around the roots, and thoroughly water your new canes blackberry plant.
To give your blackberry plant the best chance at thriving, cover the soil with mulch at ground level for a layer of protection and consider using a balanced fertilizer.
Caring for Your Plants
Blackberries do well in full sun, though they tolerate some afternoon shade, and thrive in raised beds. These plants do best with frequent and thorough watering to reach their entire root system. Beware not to over-water, though. Be sure the top inch of soil around the cane is dry to touch before the plant is watered again.
Blackberries produce fruit their second year, so don’t hold your breath to eat homegrown blackberries from your first year canes. Remove any diseased or old canes, and be vigilant for signs of insect pests or growing issues.
Blackberries are green while young and turn red before developing into a dark, glossy black. Because blackberries don’t ripen after harvest, only pick them when they are entirely black.
After harvest, the berries keep in the refrigerator for about seven days. The roots of blackberries are perennial, yet the canes are only biennial; this means growers must clip old canes away after harvesting.
Once you establish how to grow blackberries in a pot, growing blackberries in containers is straightforward. Whether your blackberry bush is a houseplant moving to new locations as it grows or an outdoor plant quickly moved to shelter as necessary, learning how to grow blackberries in containers means your canes are mobile as required.
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