Blackberry Plants

Why Doesn’t Triple Crown Blackberry Fruit on Floricanes?

doncarlos21 added on June 17, 2015 | Answered

I am super bummed out. For the second year in a row, my triple crown blackberry vines are not producing fruit on the floricanes. I have read every web page on growing triple crown blackberries I can find. They all say that the vines bear fruit from second year canes, i.e. that canes that grow one year will bear fruit the following year. For two years running now, I have had the following scenario repeat itself: One year, the vines grow huge, long canes. I have pruned them and trellised them according to all the youtube videos and blackberry growing web pages. They are super healthy plants and I feed and water them well, etc. They are totally free of disease, etc. Those canes over winter just fine, and the following year those same canes just sit there without putting out new leaves or fruits, they just sit there and do nothing. This year I had one exception - one small second year cane did put out leaves and does have blackberries growing on it. It began in the spring and looks like the berries will be ready in mid to late summer, as would be normal. But the vine next to it, which has second year canes as long as twelve feet, are just sitting there doing nothing, just like the last batch of second year canes on that same plant. There is one small node on one of the floricanes on that plant, on the very bottom near the base of the plant, which has leaves and looks like it will make one blackberry. What in the world is going on? They have full sun, vigorous growth, all the right food and water, no disease, etc. What is the secret to getting floricanes to come back to life and put out leaves and berries? Is there something I need to do to stimulate them to grow as they are supposed to? Is it too late this year to do anything about it? (It's June as I type this, and I live in Golden Colorado.) I have another type of blackberry plant nearby, three plants called Prime Ark 45. They all do what all the web pages say blackberry plants are supposed to do. They put out canes one year and fruit like crazy all over those same canes the following year. They also put out new leaves on those second year canes as they do. And I prune the spent canes afterward just like I'm supposed to. They get all the same food and water and are near to the triple crown plants in the same full sun. So clearly it is not the environment, it is the species. Does triple crown have some special need that I am not meeting? This year's new growth on the triple crowns (especially as I have pruned them and laterals are preparing to go utterly wild with length and will fill up the trellis) looks like I may have 15 foot or longer new vines. I don't want to do all the work of trellising the new vines just to have them sit there next year as if they are dead, like the other second year canes on these same plants have done for two years in a row now. The plants are at least three years old. Finally, should I go ahead and cut off the second year vines that aren't fruiting to prevent disease, or is there still a chance they will "wake up" and put out leaves and berries this year? Please, please help if you can. I have spent hours and hours reading tons of pages on these plants, and not a single one mentions this ever happening or has any insight on what to do in this situation. Thank you from my heart for any help you may provide.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 18, 2015

You may need to look at growing conditions.
Your picture show quite a bit of shade.
A sunny location is a preferred.
Have you had a soil test? I would really recommend having this done and you will be able to determine what the soil needs.

Here are a couple of links that may help.

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