Do Blackberries Grow in Pots? If so, How?

Planting a blackberry plant.

Few things make a gardener happier than plucking a fresh, sun-warmed fruit straight off the plant and placing it into your eager mouth. If you’ve never grown your berries because you don’t think you have enough space or think it’s too difficult, we’ve got some fantastic news for you! The simplest and most surefire approach to cultivate your personal small-space fruit garden is to plant berries in containers. Plus, it’s entertaining!

Selecting the Right Pot

Because these plants have a low root system that prefers to spread widely rather than going deep, you’ll need a pot that can handle this.

Make sure the pot you choose has a minimum diameter of 24 inches and a depth of 12 inches. This will allow your plant to extend and grow freely. Furthermore, by starting with a huge container, you won’t have to transplant it into something larger a few years down the road.

If you have to, you can put your blackberry in a pot that is even smaller – roughly 10 – 15 inches in width and at least 6 inches deep. However, whenever it begins to show signs of being root bound, such as yellowing, wilting leaves, disease and pest issues because of stress or consistently low production of fruit, you’ll need to transplant it into a larger pot.

Because blackberries can become top-heavy in the fruiting season, it’s a good idea to buy a sturdy container made of stone, wood, or plastic. Make sure the pot you chose includes drainage holes or fractures to keep the soil from becoming too wet.

Preparing the Pot

Buying a live plant or bare root from a nursery is the simplest way to being growing blackberries in a container. Live plants can be potted at any time during the summer or spring, but bare roots should be planted in the spring.

Blackberries require full sun to grow, so choose a location on your deck, rooftop, garden, where they will receive at least 6 – 8 hours of sunlight each day. If you bought bare-root, soak it for up to 2 hours in a bucket of water before you plant.

Fill the selected pot halfway with a fertilizer-rich potting mix. Alternatively, one-third topsoil, one-third vermiculite for drainage, and one-third compost can be used to fill your pot. If you decide to do this, make sure to use a 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer as directed on the packet. We don’t recommend using garden soil in your container because it may introduce undesirable diseases or pests

Do not use soil that has already been used to grow roses, cane berries, or other Rosaceae family members, as this increases the possibility of illnesses or pests infecting your blackberry plants.

Create a hole the width and depth of the bare root or live plant’s root ball you’re transplanting after your pot is full. Use the soil to backfill the hole after carefully placing the plant inside. Slowly pour water into the container until it drains out the bottom.

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Growing Blackberries in the Pot

The soil must be kept moist, especially when your plant establishes its root system in its new pot. Because pot soil dries up faster than soil in an in-ground garden, it’s a good idea to check it with your finger every day. It’s time to water the plant again if it feels dry.

Mulching with a two-inch layer can help to retain moisture, which is especially vital in hot, dry regions. We prefer bark mulch; however, any mulch would suffice. Fertilize your plant with fertilizer according to package instructions every spring, just as new growth is beginning to show. Alternatively, a few handfuls of well-rotted manure can be added.

In the spring, you add several scoops of fresh potting mix to your containers to freshen them up and get them ready for a new growth season.

Pruning the plant back to three feet in height and cutting the lateral branches back to approximately 12 inches in length is also a good idea in early spring.

In the fall, the blackberries will require more pruning. Remove all of the plant’s spent floricanes and trim the center canes back to three feet. The length of the laterals should be reduced to 12 to 15 inches.

Primocane-fruiting blackberries are considerably easier to attend to because no spring trimming is required. Simply trim the spent floricanes back to the ground once the plant goes dormant in the fall and leave the primocanes alone.

In the summer, you’ll get fruit on last year’s primocanes – now called floricanes – and in the fall, you’ll get fruit on newly grown primocanes. Remove any damaged, dead, or diseased canes throughout the growing season.

A fresh two-inch layer of mulch applied before winter arrives in Zones 7 and above should keep your plant happy throughout dormancy by insulating the roots from freezing temperatures.

Gardeners in Zones 4 through 6 should provide a little additional protection. Enlist some help to relocate your container into a safe place like a garage or a shed after the first severe frost of the fall or winter.

Mulch with a four- to six-inch layer of straw and store in the garage or another indoor place until the temperatures in the spring reliably rise above freezing. You can leave it alone or mulch it with at least six to eight inches of straw, or you can remove it and mulch it.

Whatever method you selected to overwinter your plants, you’ll need to check the soil moisture every week throughout the winter.

Don’t water it if it’s frozen. Water it a couple of times a month if it isn’t frozen, just enough to ensure that the soil doesn’t dry out.

Final Thoughts

Blackberries can indeed be grown in pots. If you want to grow these fruits in a limited space, then this is the way to go. Follow our advice to easily grow blackberries in pots.

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