How to Grow Wild Blackberries

Overview

Wild blackberries are full of fiber, flavor and vitamins. The plants are also pleasing to the eye. You can easily grow wild blackberries from seeds. When collected, handled and planted correctly you can expect to have blackberries from mid-summer through early fall. The berries will start out green, then they'll turn red before maturing and turning a delicious, juicy black.

Step 1

Hold a ripe wild blackberry in your hand. Smear it across a paper towel. Pick out the seeds with your fingers or tweezers. Place the seeds in a medium-size bowl.

Step 2

Pour one tablespoon of sulfuric acid over the seeds. Allow the seeds to soak in the acid for one hour. This process breaks down the outer woody coating of the seeds, much like the process in nature when blackberries are consumed by animals and the seeds pass through the digestive tract and are eliminated.

Step 3

Add 4 cups of water to the seeds to dilute the acid. Pour the seeds into a wire strainer so the water and acid runs down the sink drain. Continue to rinse the seeds thoroughly with water and allow the water to run down the drain.

Step 4

Mix one cup of water with one teaspoon of baking soda. Pour the liquid over the rinsed seeds. This process helps to neutralize any acid that may still be clinging to the seeds.

Step 5

Place your seeds in the center of a paper towel and fold the paper towel around the seeds. Dampen the paper towel so it is moist but not dripping.

Step 6

Place the paper towel that contains the seeds into a plastic bag and put it in your refrigerator for three months. This process puts the seeds through a mock winter season.

Step 7

Remove the paper towel from the refrigerator. You may notice some of your seeds have already started to sprout.

Step 8

Prepare planting pots by filling them with potting soil. Use a pencil and poke ¼ inch deep holes into the soil that are 3 inches apart. Gently place the seeds and/or sprouts into the holes. Cover with soil. The number of pots you will need will vary depending on the size of the pot and how many seeds/sprouts you are planting.

Step 9

Water gently. Plan to water every three to four days to keep the soil moist. You should see growth quickly, within two to three weeks.

Step 10

Place your pots in a sunny indoor location. You can move your pots outdoors when all threats of frost have passed in your area. Transplant your blackberry to the ground when the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Blackberry roots stay close to the soil. They do not require fertilization, especially early-on in their growing cycle. Fertilizing the plants can burn the leaves. Use gloves when working with sulfuric acid and do not let pets or children around the area when you are working with sulfuric acid.

Things You'll Need

  • Tweezers
  • Medium Bowl
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Baking soda
  • Strainer
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic bag
  • Planting pots
  • Pencil
  • Potting soil

References

  • Blackberries - Rubus laciniatus
  • USDA: Blackberries

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida Extension Service - Blackberry and Raspberry
Keywords: growing wild blackberries, grow blackberries, growing wild blackberry seed

About this Author

Wendy Jackson is a writer/editor for print/online markets. She has been freelancing for over 15 years. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Front Porch Syndicate, as well as being picked up by health/education professionals and groups such as the American Chestnut Foundation. Jackson pursued an English major/psychology minor beginning at Pellissippi State.