Which Blackberry Canes are 2 Years Old
I have thornless blackberry plants that are about 6 years old. This is their 4th year of having berries. Each year I would just break or cut off the dead canes from winter, in the early spring - not knowing, but guessing on using this as a guide for pruning. For pruning blackberry canes - your info said that "In summer, after they are done fruiting, to do clean up pruning. They only produce fruit on canes that are 2 yrs old, so once a cane has produced berries, it will never produce berries again. Cutting these spent canes off the blackberry bush will encourage the plant to produce more first year canes, which will mean more fruit producing canes next year. When pruning, cut off at ground level any canes that produced fruit this year (2 year old canes)." My question is - how do you know which canes are the 2 year old ones? It looks like all of them have flowers and will produce fruit. If they make MORE first year canes, then will those skip a year to produce, since they only produce on 2nd year canes? I am sorry, but I am so confused. My biggest worry is that I will cut the wrong canes. Is there some way to mark them to know which are 1st year and which are 2nd year?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
First-year canes, also known as primocanes, appear as stems that arch or trail along the ground. They usually bear large compound leaves with five or seven leaflets; they do not produce any flowers. Second-year canes grow to become what is known as a floricane. The stem will no longer grow taller, but will begin to produce lateral buds and flowers. Also, these normally have smaller leaves with only three or five leaflets. Hope this helps.