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Blackberry Plants

Q.Blackberry pruning

Zone Redlands, CA | RenaeLopez added on May 17, 2018 | Answered

Hello there!

I have several semi-erect blackberry bushes that I planted about two years ago. I just recently learned that I should have been pruning them, so I went to do just that, but my branches have grown wild and a lot of the side branches have grown back into the ground. I hope that makes sense to you. It’s hard to explain without seeing it, so I will try to attach a picture. So I basically have a lot of rainbow-shaped branches that don’t seem to have an end to them, so I can’t find where to prune. I also can’t tell where the main plant begins because they are all so tangled around each other. I’m not sure what to do, whether I should pull them out of the ground or leave them be. I seem to be getting a lot of new growth, so they appear nice and healthy, although the middle part of some of them seems like it’s dead or dying off. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 19, 2018

Blackberries are what are known as brambles. These sprawling vines will arc in nature, and where these touch the ground, they will root upside down, which starts a connected, but entirely new plant. You should treat each cluster, or rooted portion as a single plant, even though they are likely all one bramble by now.

Pay attention to when it fruits, and flowers, and where this occurs, whether it be on old, or new growth. This will help you to determine when to prune. Some will need spring pruning, while others need fall or summer pruning. Some fruit on new cane, others on old.

This article will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/blackberries/blackberry-pruning.htm

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