How to Transplant Domestic Blackberry Bushes


Blackberry plants are a fruit-producing bramble type that grow best in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 10 where the winter temperatures stay above -10 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants produce fruit on 2-year-old canes with each plant living up to 15 years. Transplant bare root canes or small container-grown canes in the home garden for best results. North Carolina State University lists the thornless varieties of Navaho, Arapaho, Hull and Triple Crown as popular domestic varieties.

Step 1

Select a planting location for the blackberries that has a sandy, well-draining soil with approximately 4 percent organic matter. Blackberries grow best in an area that provides full sunlight with good air circulation.

Step 2

Purchase a soil pH test and follow package instructions to collect soil samples. Test the soil pH to verify it is acidic, with a specific pH of 5.0 to 7.0. Amend the soil with ground rock sulfur to lower the pH or limestone to raise the pH. Work 3 to 4 inches of organic compost along with the pH amendments into the soil with a tiller to the depth of 8 to 10 inches.

Step 3

Dig a 3-inch deep trench row that is wide enough to accommodate bare root blackberry transplants when the roots are spread out. Dig a trench row that is the same depth and slightly wider than the root ball of container or freshly dug blackberry transplants.

Step 4

Set bare root blackberry plants into the trench with the roots spread out and gently cover with soil. Set container or dug blackberry plants into the trench so they are the same depth as previously grown and gently cover with soil. Space the plants three feet apart and the rows 6 to 8 feet apart.

Step 5

Soak the soil around the blackberry canes with approximately 1 inch of water after transplanting to moisten the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Provide 1 inch of supplemental water to the plants twice a week during the growing season when the rainfall amounts are not adequate to keep the soil moist.

Step 6

Prune the blackberry canes after planting by cutting all stem growth to a height of 4 inches to stimulate new growth.

Step 7

Place 3 inches of clean straw mulch or bark mulch around the canes to prevent moisture loss and weed growth that competes with moisture and nutrients.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH test
  • Ground rock sulfur (optional)
  • Limestone (optional)
  • Organic compost
  • Tiller
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Pruning clipper
  • Mulch
  • 10-20-10 fertilizer


  • Oklahoma State University: Blackberry and Raspberry Culture for the Home Garden
  • Texas A&M University: Texas Blackberries
  • North Dakota State University: Growing Blackberries
Keywords: transplant blackberry bush, plant blackberry cane, grow blackberry plants

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.