I have tried blackberry cuttings several times and have not had any success with them. I can easily propagate with root cuttings, harvesting the suckers, tip and serpentine layering but cane cuttings has proven difficult. Note, I have not tried using the rooting hormone for the cuttings so maybe that is why but research says you can do it without the rooting hormone. I recently did an experiment on stem cuttings trying both primocanes and floricanes along with scratching and no scratching to promote rooting. Neither worked. It’s difficult to keep the right moisture levels. I’ve also tried using a lot of moisture and less moisture along with keeping the cuttings inside and outside in the shade. Still no growth. I don’t want to use a rooting hormone so I’ll stick with root cuttings, harvesting the suckers, tip and serpentine layering which I find the easiest. Check out my experiment below.
One of my favorite things to grow in the garden are blackberries. They are easy to propagate, cold hardy and great to eat and enjoy with family. See my video below for more details and examples of why I recommend everyone grow blackberries at home!
5 things to do at the end of your blackberry season.
1. Prune the floricanes.
2. Tip the canes to encourage laterals.
3. Add compost/fertilizer.
4. Cane management – attach to trellis.
5. Blackberry propagation – Tip Layering.
I often tip layer my blackberry plants and they will sometimes grow roots thru the bottom of the container drainage holes. In this video, I pull up the blackberry root and do three cuttings.
A very easy way to add more blackberry plants to your garden is to let them do the work for you. Blackberry plants will send out roots under the soil that will spread out and send up suckers. These are new blackberry plants that will begin growing in that area. If they come up in an area that is good for your row or garden then you’re all set! If they pop up outside the row or garden then you have a few options.
1. Dig them up and transplant to another area of the row or garden.
2. Transplant them to a pot and grow them in containers.
3. Give them away to family, friends or neighbors.
I’ve found tip layering to be the most successful way for me to propagate blackberry plants.
Below listed in order are the ways I find to be most successful for propagating blackberries:
1. Tip layering also called tip rooting. I do this most often and it is very simple. Place the tip of a cane in a small cup or pot and cover it with soil. In 4 weeks you can cut it from the main plant and hand it to someone else to plant in their own garden.
2. Blackberry suckers. Dig up the suckers and move them to a pot. Try to keep as much of the roots as you can. Make sure they get sufficient water after transplanting so they can grow their roots.
3. Serpentine layering. This works with trailing varieties of blackberries as they are easy to bend down into pots and over again to several more pots with a single cane.
4. Root cuttings. I’ve had some success with root cuttings but not as much as the top 3.
5. Cane cuttings. I have tried this method several times but have not had any success. I’ve tried keeping the cuttings indoors and outdoors in the shade. I’ve also tried keeping moisture in soil and misting the leaves but have yet to find the right combo to keep them alive. Thankfully, the other 4 methods work well for me!
Easy way to get more strawberry plants and free is by using runners. I have tried planting strawberry seeds and it takes much longer than you may want to wait. I’ve found the easiest way is to get some bare root strawberry plants and then when they send out runners – you can propagate them directly into small containers. Simple and fast!
You can easily propagate your blackberry plants by tip layering them. Also called tip rooting – I like to do this directly into small plastic cups making it easy to verify that the roots are growing and then share with others! I reuse a plastic container and drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Take a blackberry (or raspberry) cane and bring it down and bury the tip about 2-3 inches into the middle of the cup. Cover with a rock on top to keep it in place. Check back in about 3 weeks to see the roots along the bottom. To separate, go back up the cane leaving at least 3 or 4 nodes of leaves and cut. Now you can transplant this to another area of your garden or simply give the cup to family or friends that want to grow their own!
Serpentine Layering is one of the two ways I propagate my blackberry and raspberry plants. Trailing varieties work best as they are easier to layer in the manner. I take a cane that easily bends down to a pot and I lay it across and bury the center of the cane. As it grows, usually about another week or 2 then I bring it over to another pot and repeat the process. The most I’ve gotten is 7 new plants from a single serpentine layered cane!