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How to Care for Black Raspberries

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

Black raspberries grow in many climates and are member of the rose family. They are a practical addition to any garden for sweet, juicy fruits high in antioxidants. Out of all the berries, they have some of the highest health benefits. They are perennial plants and grow on biennial canes.

Plant black raspberries where there is full sun and loamy soil with some sand. It needs to be a well-drained area. Black raspberry plants should be planted at least three feet apart. Place a trellis behind the growing blackberry plants or plant them against a fence where they can climb and grow. They need a support system such as this to grow.

Protect your black raspberries with wire cages or plant netting so they can't be nibbled on by birds, deer, raccoons and wildlife.

Apply thick mulch to the soil around the base of the blackberry plant to provide constant moisture. It also helps make the soil a little acidic, which is ideal for the berry plants. You want the soil pH to be about 5.5.

Water your black raspberries so they get about one inch of water per week. You don't want the plants sitting in water, however, because the roots will rot. Water so the ground is saturated but not puddled. If leaves begin to drop on the black raspberry plant, that means it is being overwatered.

Prune black raspberry plants every year around March, when the fruit production is done. Use sharp pruning scissors to cut back any broken, dead or diseased plant canes, which will be browning or wilting. Cut these canes all the way down if they are diseased or dead, and if they are broken, cut them off at the node right before the broken part of the cane.

Harvest the black raspberries when they're a deep, rich shade of black. Freeze them to use later or eat them immediately, but storing them in the refrigerator only makes them last about two days. They are highly perishable.


Things You Will Need

  • Black raspberry plants
  • Trellis
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Wire cage or plant netting
  • Plant ties or string