Blackberry bushes are great for home gardens because they produce fruit when other berries are scarce during the summer and fall. They also have a longer growing season as compared to other fruit-bearing plants.
One of the easiest ways to grow blackberries is by taking cuttings from mature, healthy plants. The best time is early spring before new growth appears.
This will ensure that your new plant has plenty of time to root and establish itself before summer arrives.
Let us get down on how to go about this.
How to Propagate Blackberries?
There are three main ways of propagating blackberries – cutting (stem or roots), tip layering, and grafting of the rootstock. All of these are equally effective, and the offspring plant will bear the characteristics of the parent plant.
However, cutting is one of the most common methods to grow blackberries. Cutting is also feasible for propagating several blackberry plants at once.
Things You Will Need
- You will require a 4 inches deep pot or container.
- A soil-free mix. It is the best growing medium for developing the cuttings for permanent planting.
- A bypass pruner.
Steps for Growing Blackberry From Cuttings
1. Fill the pot with a soil-free mix
The soilless mix (also called potting mix) helps minimize the danger of diseases and unwanted fungal growth. You can either buy this mix or make it yourself.
The critical ingredients for a perfect soilless combination include peat moss, pine bark, vermiculite, perlite, and coconut coir.
Take care not to pack the pot with the mix tightly.
It should be filled loosely. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should first fill the pot and then cut the stems.
2. Prune the cane
The best time to prune the cane is when it is firm and succulent. Apart from this, it would help if you cut it precisely and cleanly with the help of a sharp pruner.
Cut stems close to the ground first so that the plant can focus its resources on the fresh bud-bearing stems on top.
Also, be careful of the thorns, as they are sharp, and prefer wearing gardening gloves for this process.
3. Cut the cane into pieces, and further prepare the stem
The size of the blackberry cuttings should be 4-6 inches. Also, it would be best to cut the stem and keep it close to the bud, as it will help stimulate new root growth.
Scrape the bottom inch of the stem with a sharp knife. This will encourage the development of new roots.
You should keep two buds in the soil, whereas two to three buds must be kept above the surface.
4. Plant the cuttings into the pot
You can apply rooting hormone to the cuttings before planting them, although it is not necessary.
Water the cuttings regularly and keep the mix moist to boost growth. Your cuttings will start growing after a few weeks.
You can then transplant these cuttings to your garden, ideally around fall.
Growing Blackberries Using Tip Rooting/ Tip Layering
This is yet another valuable way of multiplying your blackberry plants. Pull the tip of one of the canes of the blackberry plant down to the ground without breaking it.
You may choose canes that are close to the ground for this purpose. You must now cover this tip with some soil.
After a few weeks, a new root system will start developing from the tip.
Once the roots have been developed, this newly grown plant can be cut off from the parent plant.
How to Trim Blackberry Bushes?
Trimming the bushes helps in growing a more prominent and healthier crop. You need to know how to cut the bushes and when to do the pruning.
Right Time to Prune the Blackberries
There are two different ways to prune the blackberry bushes— both used at different times of the year.
The tip pruning of the bushes is done in the early spring season. However, the cleanup pruning of the blackberries is done around late summers.
How to do Tip Pruning?
Tip pruning refers to the cutting of the tips of the blackberry canes. This is done to force the blackberry canes to branch out.
Furthermore, it will create more wood for blackberry fruit to grow on.
With the help of a sharp and clean pair of pruning shears, cut the blackberry canes about 24 inches.
If the canes of the bushes are already less than 24 inches, you must prune the cane’s tip to about an inch.
How to do Clean Pruning?
When the blackberries are done fruiting in the summer season, you have to go for clean pruning. Blackberries can only fruit once on two-year-old canes, meaning that the canes are biennial.
You need to prune the canes to receive more berries every year regularly. Cut off the old canes bearing empty hulls at the ground level using clean and sharp pruning shears.
It does not require much effort and can be done conveniently.
In a Nutshell
Blackberries are rich in fiber and antioxidants.
These are available in different varieties: trailing blackberries, erect blackberries, semi-erect blackberries, and primocane fruiting blackberries.
And now that you know all about growing blackberries from cutting, you can grow any of these varieties in your home garden.
Maintenance is easy and minimal care is required, yet giving you an abundance of juicy harvest.