How to Grow American Red Raspberry

Raspberry bush growing wild. image by Robert-Couse-Baker:


American red raspberry (Rubus strigosus) is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) and often called wild red raspberry or red raspberry. It is native to North America, from Newfoundland to British Columbia and south to New Mexico. The American red raspberry is hardy to zone 3 and produces flowers in the summer months. It is considered a deciduous shrub, and is self-fertile. Growing these delicious berries requires patience, as the soil should be prepared a year ahead of planting, and the plant will not produce fruits until the second season.

Step 1

Select an area for planting your American red raspberries that has well-drained soil and full sun or semi-shade. Choose a location that has not been used in the last five years for strawberry, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes or eggplant.

Step 2

Provide 2 feet between each plant and 8 to 12 inches between each row. Use a shovel to add manure and leaves to the area. Mix in compost and additional fertilizer, if needed to reach a pH level ranging from 5.8 to 6.5 in your soil.

Step 3

Cultivate the soil deeply using a rototiller or shovel and hoe. Cultivate the soil again prior to the planting date the following year. Plant your American red raspberry after the danger of severe frost has passed in your area.

Step 4

Build a "T" trellis for your raspberries. Use a hole digger to make a 2-foot deep hole centered at end of each row. Place posts that are 5 ½ to 6 ½ feet long in each hole. Fill in the hole with dirt to secure the post in place.

Step 5

Attach a 3 ½-foot post at a height of 3 ½ to 4 ½ feet on each post (creating a T). Use a hammer and nails to join the posts. Anchor the posts at each end with rope attached to stakes in the ground.

Step 6

Fasten heavy-gauge wire to the end of the cross arm post and run it across the length of the row to other post. Repeat on other side.

Step 7

Dig a hole equal to the diameter and depth of the container holding your American red raspberry plants. Use shovel or hand trowel to fill in any gaps with soil and press firmly to remove air pockets. Water all raspberry plants thoroughly after planting.

Step 8

Use a shovel to cover the area around the plants with 3 to 4 inches of mulch to maintain moisture and keep weeds out. Supply 1 to 2 inches of water a week, if rainfall is not adequate.

Step 9

Remove any suckers that appear around the raspberries that are located in between the rows or too close to the other plants. Get rid of any plants that look diseased or damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Rototiller (optional)
  • Aged manure, compost and shredded leaves
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Trowel
  • Mulch
  • Posts
  • Heavy gauge wire
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Hole digger (post or fence digger)
  • Rope
  • Stakes


  • Plants For a Future: American Red Raspberry
  • University of Illinois Extension: Raspberries
  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Growing Raspberries and Blackberries

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Profile: Rubus Idaeus (American Red Raspberry)
  • University of Texas at Austin: Rubus Idaeus (American Red Raspberry)
  • American Red Raspberry Varieties (Rubus Idaeus)
Keywords: Rubus idaeus, Grow American red raspberry, Growing raspberries, Wild red raspberry, American red raspberry

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published online at the Travel Channel and Intel.

Photo by: Robert-Couse-Baker: