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Berry Plants: How Many Years Until Fruit?

by Stark Bro's on 03/07/2013
Pink Lemonade Bluberries

Whether you’re interested in the wide range of health benefits that come from adding something edible to your landscape or garden, or you’re a foodie who loves endless culinary possibilities, growing your own berries is an all-around rewarding endeavor.

After you plant them, berry plants tend to produce their first crops much more quickly than most fruit trees. You could be enjoying fresh berries sooner than you’d think, so it’s important to be prepared by planning ahead. If you’re eager to liven up your summer salads or start sipping on healthy, homemade fruit smoothies, then let’s get started!

Take a look at how many years it takes for berry plants to bear fruit, so that you can plan for your first harvest.

Stark Bro’s Berry Plants – Years Until Fruit*

Berry Plant Type Years Until Fruit
Aronia Berry Plants 2-3 years
Blackberry Plants 1-2 years
Blueberry Plants 2-3 years
Boysenberry Plants 2-3 years
Cranberry Plants 2-3 years
Currant Plants 2-3 years
Elderberry Plants 2-3 years
Goji Berry Plants 2-3 years
Gooseberry Plants 3-4 years
Grape Vines (& Muscadines) 2-4 years
Honeyberry Plants 1-2 years
Kiwi Berry Vines (“Hardy Kiwi”) 2-5 years
Jostaberry Plants 2-3 years
Lingonberry Plants 2-3 years
Loganberry Plants 2-3 years
Marionberry Plants 1-2 years
Raspberry Plants 1-2 years
Seaberry Plants 2-3 years
Strawberry Plants 1-2 years

Blueberry Block

And don’t forget — there’s more to these plants and vines than just fruit. Even while you’re waiting for them to reach fruiting maturity, they still make beautiful outdoor accents that will add interest to your landscape with gorgeous foliage that is lush during the growing season and turns various colors in the fall. Maintenance is also important to getting the most out of your berry plants. Some selections like strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries might try to bloom and set fruit the first year you plant them. You will be doing your plants a favor in the long run if you pinch these flowers off to avoid fruit set in their first year with you. Doing so will allow your new plants to devote their energy to becoming established and growing well so that they can support bigger, better crops of berries for years to come!

*Just like in our article, How many years until your tree bears fruit, these time frames may vary and these are estimates, but all “years to bear” begin counting after your new Stark Bro’s berry plants are transplanted into your growing space!

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Topics → Planting & Growing, Tips

24 Comments

  1. Vee permalink

    How long do oak leaves have to compost before using them for acidic mulch?

  2. Lori permalink

    Hi,

    I recently ordered 5 blueberry plants from your nursery (pinklemonade, patriot, elliot, northcountry, and northblue) in the 1 gallon pots (2 year olds). I would like to grow these in smart pot containers on our cedar wood deck. What gallon size smart pot should I purchase for transplantation once they arrive? Would a 15 gallon be too large?

    Thanks in advance for your reply,
    Lori

    • Hi Lori! Northcountry and Northblue are naturally smaller varieties that won’t grow quite as large as the rest. These can be kept in smaller Smart Pots, or in the same size as the rest if you want a more uniform look — it’s up to you!

      In my research, I have found that growers opt for either the 15-gallon or the 20-gallon Smart Pots in which to grow their blueberry plants. The 15-gallon Smart Pots aren’t too big for the plants as they mature, but they may seem roomy at first. As long as you ensure the soil used has the proper pH for blueberries (4.5-5.5), they will grow to fill the containers you use just fine.

      • Lori permalink

        Thank you Sarah!

        I will purchase the 15 gallon smart pots then, and see how they do for the next year or two.

        I do have a pH meter, and have ordered the netting, fertilizer, pine bark, peat moss and acid based potting soil, so I’m hoping my “old” green thumb won’t kill them. LOL

        This will be my first experience in growing blueberries.

        Lori

  3. Barry Potter permalink

    Do yall sell strawberry plants were the strawberrys are large and grow in texas my zipcode is77320 and can you recomend the types of strawberry plants

    • We do! If you ever wonder if something is recommended for your zone, you can enter your zip code on our website where it asks for one and a check mark will appear on the varieties that should grow well there.

      For example, if you go to the Strawberry Plants page, enter 77320, it says you’re in a zone 8B. Now, that’s borderline zone 9, and all of our strawberries are only recommended for zones up to 8. Technically, you can still give these a try, but your summer heat might be a little too intense for these strawberries. If you can construct a shade cloth covering for the plants, this might give them more of a chance to survive and produce for you there.

      These are the big, productive, strawberry plants I’d recommend if you are willing to give these a try:

      Allstar Strawberry
      Surecrop Strawberry

      There are more heat-tolerant varieties of strawberries out there. I remember there being U-pick strawberry fields when I lived in South Florida, but I can’t name any varieties off-hand. In this case, you might have luck asking local growers to see if anyone can recommend varieties that have worked well for them!

  4. george quire permalink

    dear sara, and everyone else a starkbros, I have been growing stark trees all my life as my parents and grandparents also did, they are the best trees in the world, anyone can ask and will get that answer, now that I have grown older and grow my own little nurserie on my own little DREAM FARM, guess what? it has a lot of stark trees and are just flat gettin’ with it as we say out here in ky… my grown son is growing stark at his farm just down the lane from me, he got a couple trees from lowes and they aren’t worth a crap ,I told him if you order a stark you’ll get fruit,,, well he did and they are great! he said wow they are better…TOLD YOU SO…George in ky.

    • Congratulations to the generations of your family who have had success growing your own fruit trees, George! We’re delighted to have been, and to continue to be, a part of that. It’s great that your son will carry on the tradition as well. :)

  5. Ann permalink

    How old are the shipped grape vines? 1,2,3 years?
    Thank you

    • The grape vines we ship are typically 1-year plants, and the “years to bear” starts counting from the time you plant them. :)

  6. Kjell Lie permalink

    Thanks for all the good advise as always! All my plants are doing well.

    • Thanks very much! “How many years until I see fruit?” is one of the most frequently asked questions we get. I’m glad this has been useful to you. :)

  7. Brenda Robertson permalink

    I have two of your blueberry bushes in pots for the last two years and they have produced a few blueberries. My question to you is do they need a cold period? I carry them into the green house in the Fall and don’t let them stay out in the winter. The leaves still mostly fall off though and I was wondering if I should let them stay out in the winter to cold set them?
    Thank you.

    • Great question, Brenda! Many blueberry plants are accustomed to going dormant and surviving winter temperatures — but, in general, this can depend on the varieties being grown and the growing location. For example, I wouldn’t recommend leaving a truly heat-tolerant southern highbush variety out to overwinter if you live in the far north.

      It’s good to note that your blueberry plants are still losing their leaves seasonally, because they are responding to the seasonal changes in their environment, which is triggering their “hibernation mode”. I’m not sure how heated you keep your greenhouse in the wintertime, but temperatures between 32 and 45 (ºF) will satisfy any chilling requirements for a blueberry plant while it’s dormant until warmer temperatures come again in spring.

      Your blueberry plants should be able to survive cooler temperatures in the winter, even if they are in containers, but keep in mind it is easier for winter injury to occur in a dry container than a moist container. If a hard freeze is in the forecast, and any time the soil becomes very dry, be sure to protect your blueberry plants’ roots by watering just enough to keep things moist (not soaked). Also consider applying mulch over the surface of the container’s soil if you haven’t already. This will retain moisture and also help insulate the roots.

      • Brenda Robertson permalink

        Thank you for your answer. I keep my greenhouse at the temps you recommended so I will continue to bring them in in the winter months as we do get some hard freezes sometimes.

  8. V Rodgers permalink

    Can I plant seedless grapes vines beside concord grapes, or seedless beside white grape plants? Will they cross-breed??

    • While cross-pollination between different varieties will occur if they’re planted near one another, you don’t have to worry about this altering the fruit that is produced. The DNA from the different varieties won’t be present in the fruit itself, since fruit is merely a casing for seeds and any seeds would contain the naturally-crossed genetic material. The fruit will be true to the variety you planted, so you won’t have to worry about things like your white grapes becoming Concords or any of that. :)

  9. Diana permalink

    I bought blackberries last year and they were very vigorus. My question is: What year canes bear the fruit? I dont want to prune out the fruit bearing canes. My blackberries are the thornless trailing kind and I have wires around the patch to keep them out of the dirt. I have never grown blackberries and want to give them the best chance of fruiting.

    • All blackberries should flower and fruit on the second-year floricanes, but “primocane blackberry” varieties have a tendency to flower and fruit on the first-year canes as well. First-year canes are called “primocanes” (these are typically vegetative canes that become fruiting canes in their second year) while second-year canes are called “floricanes”.

      When pruning, it helps to keep all long, vigorous growth within a 4-5 foot range — anything longer than this can just be pruned back to 4-5 feet to keep things manageable. You can do this at any time of the year. This will help keep the plant open to sunlight and air circulation, which improves the fruit quality and reduces the chances of fungal diseases.

      When you prune in the late fall/winter/early spring, only *completely* remove:
      1. canes that have flowered and set fruit (these will not fruit again)
      2. damaged, diseased, dead canes (these are dead weight and can be sites for disease)
      3. small weak canes, allowing the stronger, healthy canes to remain for future seasons

      I hope this helps! :)

  10. Rachael permalink

    What kind of tree/bush is pictured next to the text on this page?
    It looks like a bush, but I have a tree in my yard and it has the same berries on it, but it being fall, they’re more of a brown color on the outside. I’m curious as to what it is!
    Thanks for the help!

    • The photo pictured above is of a Pink Lemonade Blueberry plant – the blueberries are actually pink! It’s a bush/shrub that gets to be about 4-5 feet tall/wide. I’m not sure what would be growing in your yard, though. :)

  11. Tina permalink

    Hi Sarah, we planted our first Gooseberry bush this spring. It looks very healthy and it grows a lot. Now my question is, do we have to cover it during the winter? We live in the Yukon and our temperature drop sometomes down to minus 40. Thank you very much. Tina

    • Hi Tina — Gooseberry plants tend to be incredibly cold hardy, but it never hurts to try to protect them from the winter elements.

      I would at least recommend mulching around the plant’s root system starting in the fall to keep it insulated from those low temperature drops. Any additional protection, like putting a tomato cage or fence around the plant and then stuffing it with straw, will help to insulate the plant as well.

      I’m glad to hear your gooseberry plant is growing well for you — the health of the plant will have a lot to do with its ability to thrive even after a harsh winter. :)

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