Anyone who has grown blackberries will tell you that these plants are easy additions to your edible landscape. When growing blackberry plants yourself, it is useful to know about the differences between varieties. For example, look at thorns: some blackberry plants have thorns that help to protect them, while other cultivars are thornless, which makes them easier to harvest. In this article, we are going to focus on the differences in blackberry growing habits and also share some information about when it is necessary to grow your blackberry plants on a trellis.
Growth Habits of Blackberry Plants
Erect blackberry plants grow upright and tend to stand on their own without needing additional support. This characteristic is ideal if you are hoping to grow blackberry plants in containers or if you are adding them as a hedge row or point of interest in your home garden. Erect blackberry plants may start out trailing at first, especially if they send up lots of vigorous growth at once, but their canes will eventually “hold their own” as plants mature.
Semi-erect blackberry plants have a spreading nature and will require a little support, in the form of a fence or trellis, to continue to grow up and keep their fruit off the ground.
Our selection of semi-erect blackberry plants includes:
When trellising blackberry plants, don’t stress out about finding the “perfect” trellis design. There are many forms a trellis can take, like an existing fence or a sturdy railing. Just remember: Most blackberry plants grow to be an average of 4-5 feet tall and wide. This information will help you design your ideal trellis system. You can usually find a DIY trellis kit at your local hardware store or, if you’re handy, you can design your own. It’s easier than you might think!
You can find illustrations of different kinds of blackberry trellises from the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service if you want to try your hand at constructing your own. Our book, Pruning Made Easy, also provides useful information about pruning and care for the different growing habits of blackberries.
Example of a Homemade Trellis via DeWayne Harrell of HobbyBerries featured below:
Some other berry plants besides blackberries might also require trellises.
Our selection of trailing berry plants includes:
Do you trellis your blackberry plants? What are some advantages to using a trellis that you have discovered along the way?