Growing blackberries is simple in itself and doesn’t require a lot of effort – if it’s properly prepared. Because only with a suitable variety and coordinated care will the shrubs reward with numerous delicious fruits in summer and autumn. And with the following tips, you don’t even need a garden for that.

Blackberry cultivation – in the garden or in a bucket?

Many people only know how wild blackberries snake along house walls and garden fences. The blackberry can also be grown comfortably on the terrace or balcony.

All that is necessary for this is to choose a variety that remains small and is growing, such as Navaho Early. This cultivated form is thorn-free and therefore a safe choice for households with children and pets.

However, larger varieties can also be selected, which can grow into a practical privacy screen with the help of a trellis and the right clippings.

Other varieties suitable for the garden and pots are:

  • Lubera Navaho
  • Chester Thornless
  • Loch Ness
  • Hull Thornless

All of these species are thornless, robust and high-yielding. They also have aromatic and juicy fruits.

Plant the berries

Growing blackberries is uncomplicated if attention is paid to the location, soil and trellis when planting the bushes. The better the preparation here, the less effort the maintenance will require later.

In addition, of course, healthy young plants must be selected.

Features of healthy blackberry plants:

  • Three or more green, fresh shoots
  • Older shoots must not be damaged
  • The ball of the earth is well rooted
  • No long root threads are drooping or wrapped around the root ball
  • Earth does not smell musty or moldy

Choose the right location

The ideal location for growing blackberries is a place that is protected from the cold wind and is moderately sunny. Partial shade is also tolerated.

Full sun, on the other hand, should be avoided as well as complete shade.

A location facing east or west should be chosen for the blackberries on the balcony or terrace. Places in the south can also be suitable if they have a roof or other shade provider.

Tip: In the garden, there should be a distance of at least two meters between the individual plants. Depending on the vigor, a little more. As a result, only one blackberry bush should be planted even in the worst.


A substrate with good ventilation and a moderately high nutrient content is recommended for growing blackberries. Commercially available potting soil is recommended for culture in a bucket.

However, simple garden soil is also sufficient if it is loosened with rotten leaves and its nutrient content is increased with berry fertilizer or horn shavings. Alternatively, some compost can be mixed in for this.

This is not absolutely necessary. Because blackberry cultivation works with almost any substrate. However, the above advice improves growth – in some cases significantly. The yield is greater and the effort for the subsequent use of fertilizer is reduced.

The trellis for easy harvest

As described above, small blackberry varieties can do without a trellis or other climbing aids. However, this is not the case with larger species. In addition to the necessary climbing aid, a trellis in the blackberry cultivation makes cutting and harvesting easier. Blackberries that grow like wilderness are often difficult to reach from all sides. As a result, a large part of the fruit usually rots.

For the cultivation of blackberries, a trellis with individual cross struts, between which there is a distance of about 30 cm, is ideal. As a self-made construction, two posts are sufficient, between which some narrow strips are attached or wire ropes are tensioned.

If the shoots get longer, they should be pulled through the individual strips or ropes again and again. This gives them stability and prevents them from kinking even in strong winds.

In addition, this creates a certain order in the tendrils, which greatly simplifies the subsequent blending and harvest.

Inserting the plants
Once the right blackberry plants have been chosen, the location has been determined and the substrate has been prepared, it is time to insert the bushes.

This is easiest when the trellis is already in place. Because this can serve as an orientation.

The young plants should be placed in such a way that two to three finger-widths of earth can be applied over their root ball. Then the substrate is pounded or trodden on and the plant is washed with plenty of water.

Blackberries can actually be planted all year round. However, spring is ideal, shortly after the last frost.


The maintenance of the garden’s own blackberry cultivation is very easy. There are no special requirements for watering or fertilizing in the garden. A little more effort is required for culture in the bucket, but this is also limited.


Watering is very important when growing blackberries. Only plants that receive sufficient water will bear numerous and large fruits in summer and autumn.

It is advisable to keep the plants slightly moist at all times. However, this should not result in waterlogging.
In a protected place in the garden, watering can sometimes be neglected if the soil does not dry out even without additional water supply. A little more has to be poured in the bucket, unless it is in the open air that the rain can easily reach it.

Tips: Apply a thick and dense layer of bark mulch to the substrate, this prevents the soil from drying out and reduces maintenance. In addition, berries that have fallen off can be removed a little easier from this subsoil than from the soil that is often soaked in autumn.

When watering the blackberries, use water that is as soft as possible, such as rainwater.


Fertilizing the undemanding blackberries is very easy. If the substrate has been prepared accordingly, additional nutrients only need to be given once a year.
A special berry fertilizer that is applied in spring is sufficient for this. Alternatively, horn shavings, compost or manure can also be applied.

Tip: If plants are weakening or after they have been infested with pests, a second fertilization can be done. The blackberries should be fertilized in summer at the latest, otherwise the hibernation will be disturbed.

To cut

Cutting the blackberries is easy, but it must be done depending on the variety chosen. Either way, it should be done with clean and sharp cutting tools to avoid damaging the blackberries.

Blend upright blackberries

In the case of upright varieties, such as the Navaho Early, blending takes place in spring, at the latest in April. This is done carefully and in a way that is gentle on the plants. Only the outermost tips of young shoots are removed. This blend ensures that the blackberries grow more densely, which in turn leads to a richer harvest. This is different with the much more common climbing blackberries.

climbing blackberries If climbing varieties are used for growing blackberries, they can be cut twice with a relatively short distance.

The first blending takes place in summer when the berries are still unripe but already visible. All tendrils that do not bear any berries are cut as close as possible to the main shoot or to the ground. Mostly these are side shoots and soil tendrils. If these disappear, more energy can be directed into the growth of the berries.

The second blending of the blackberries occurs in the period after the harvest, i.e. in late autumn. Usually the right time is in late October. The blackberry tendrils that have now been harvested are cut back a little. However, the approach should not be too radical. A third of the entire shoot length should be cut off at most.

The care cut
Even with the best care and a very favorable location, damage to the plant can occur again and again. One tendril may not survive the winter, another will be snapped off or attacked by pests. In these cases, of course, you do not have to and should not wait until the next favorable cutting time.

Instead, the shoots concerned must be removed immediately.

In the event of an infestation with pests or diseases, the cut must also be destroyed before parasites or pathogens can spread to other parts or plants. These must not end up on the compost heap either.


If very good plants were discovered during your own blackberry cultivation that should be propagated, this is very easy with cuttings.

The propagation of blackberries via seeds is also possible but much more difficult.
Propagation via cuttings

In summer, shoots with a length of 10 to 15 cm are cut off. The cuttings should be obtained by September at the latest.

Immediately afterwards, the cuttings are placed in high pots with potting soil and abundantly watered. A coated film or a transparent plastic bag ensure the right humidity. The cuttings prepared in this way must now stand light and warm. A greenhouse or a winter garden is ideal. A draft-free window sill also meets these requirements.

The first roots will appear after about a month. This can be recognized on the surface by newly emerging leaves. If this occurs, the film or the bag can be removed and the young plants can be used to the normal room climate. However, they should not be placed outdoors yet, as they cannot withstand frost in this size and after being raised in the warm.

The blackberries are only allowed to be put in the garden or in a tub the following year, when they are already a bit taller and have been able to develop a healthy root ball.


With the robust varieties mentioned at the beginning, no further preparation for winter is necessary except for the clippings and in the garden. In very harsh, cold winters, however, it can be helpful to cover them with garden fleece.

The situation is different when growing blackberries in the bucket. These only have less soil available and are therefore more susceptible to prolonged frost. Therefore, they must either be kept in a dry and cool room where the temperature never falls below 5 ° C, or they must be properly protected. For this purpose, the pots and plants are wrapped in protective bamboo mats and garden fleece and placed in the most wind-free corner possible.

Typical pests and diseases

Although the varieties listed are resistant to disease and pests, they can still be attacked by them.

The most common are:

  • Aphids
  • Wrong mildew
  • Sense
  • Blackberry shoot winder
  • Spider mites
  • Rubus-Stauche
  • Grauschimmel

All of the pathogens and pests mentioned can be treated with commercially available pesticides.
However, so that these can still be used in good time, the plants must be checked regularly for signs. Any form of excessive leaf loss, non-ripening berries, discoloration, fungal coverings and deformations indicate an infestation and should be treated accordingly.

Growing blackberries is no problem even for people without green fingers, because the plants are robust and easy to care for. In addition, no special knowledge is necessary to bring in a rich harvest.

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