Nothing says summer like a basket of fresh-picked black raspberries. And they're not just delicious, they are full of vitamins and antioxidants. A plant or two in your backyard can provide fresh berries for raspberry pie and other pastries or tasty jam to enjoy during the winter months while you wait for the raspberries to come back. To enjoy an abundance of healthy, home grown black raspberries, you start with a healthy and hardy black raspberry plant. Before you buy, take the time to inspect the plant. A little investigation now, will save you a lot of grief later.
Look for nurseries or garden centers that offer certified disease and virus free raspberry plants that have been grown out of doors (so they won't suffer shock when planted in your garden). These plants may cost a little more, but you can rest assured that you are not bringing home a diseased plant that may infect other plants in your garden or landscape.
Look for black raspberry plants that feature one or two small white sprouts somewhere on their cane. This sign of life is a good sign that the cane is viable and ready to grow once transplanted.
Inspect the cane's roots. Only choose canes with roots that look healthy. Avoid any canes with roots that are darker in color than the rest of the cane, or mushy. This is a sign of a fungal infection.
Examine the skin of the cane. It should be an even color and free of splotches, spots or soft spots.
Consider buying in bulk. Many nurseries and garden centers offer a discount when you buy multiple canes. And you will need more than one plant if you are looking to harvest an abundant crop in two years' time.