University of Maryland Extension

Thornless Blackberry

Rubus spp.

Blackberries without thorns? Now nothing should keep you from this luscious fruit. For a modest investment of time and money, plants produce large berries for many years. Select an erect or trailing variety from HGIC’s fact sheet, “Getting Starting with Small Fruits.”  Plant in spring or one month before the last fall frost. Give full sun and fertile soil with 6.2-6.8 pH.   Multiple canes arise from the crown. Trailing types have canes sprawling 10 feet or more, so prune then support them with a trellis of two posts and two horizontal wires.  Canes produce berries their second year, then die. Each spring, prune out old dead canes. Keep green one-year-old canes to produce a new crop.     

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Text and photo by Ellen Nibali



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