1. Why Are My Blackberry Bushes Dying?

Asked by NPZgardener - July 6, 2012

I have several large blackberry bushes that appeared very healthy this spring and fruited well. The canes are now dying, with the leaves and fruit turning brown. The new canes are coming in strong. Any reason for the fruiting canes to be dying back? Thanks!

  • There are several fungus that can cause this. I would treat the plants with a fungicide now to help protect the canes that are growing in now. The other canes should recover their leaves this year, but they will not fruit again.

2. First Year Blackberry Canes

Asked by Anonymous - July 10, 2012

First year blackberry canes are 12 feet long with numerous 24 inch branches. It’s only early July—what do I do?


3. What Is Causing Some of Our Blackberries to Have Dry Spots on Them?

Asked by Jenene - July 12, 2012

Our blackberry bushes are healthy and thriving and have many berries, but some of the berries have white seed covers and some berries have dry seeds here and there on them. They are coming more and more as the season goes on. Can it be that wasps are draining the juice from the seed covers or do we have a worse problem?

  • If it is what I think it is, then it is simply seeds that were not properly pollinated. Ths summer has been hard on pollination of plants, due to the high heat and humidity in most of the country. This makes the pollen stick together and pollination is not as successful as it should be. If it is pollination, these white cells are also shriveled and stunted. They are safe to eat though.

4. Thornless Blackberry Plants

Asked by Gus - July 18, 2012

Early last year, I planted several thornless blackberry plants. This year there have been a few berries so far, but there are some new vines. The ones I planted mostly have leaflets in groups of three, but the new vines have groups of five leaflets. Other than that they look the same. I’m wondering, are these new vines really the same plant??

  • Thornless blackberries can have either 3 or 5 leaves in a group so it could be the same plant and likely is. There is an outside chance that you are seeing the plant revert, but until you see some other difference, such as in the fruit or the canes, I would not worry about it.

5. Blackberry Hedge

Asked by oranjedee - July 21, 2012

I live in Wittman, Az in desert conditions. I have just bought some former horse property, all dirt (clay type). There are 2 easements. I want to plant a blackberry hedge on my side so I can limit access to my living area. What should I do to prepare the ground for this planting? Should I provide a support trellis? I believe I have until spring before I plant, so I have time to develop the soil. I plan on eating/canning the fruit. Thanks.


6. Blackberry Pruning

Asked by sportsman - July 25, 2012

I have several large/long blackberry vines that stick up above the entire patch. These are first year vines, I believe, so they won’t produce berries, but should I be cutting these back? They make it hard to get to the ripened berries, as they are so large and just hang over the entire patch and there are several of them. They almost seem mutant they’re so large and fast growing compared to the others.


7. Blemished Blackberries

Asked by basket - July 29, 2012

I have a good crop but many of the berries have drupes that are pale beige along with the deep purple ones. What is the reason, and what can be done about it?

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