How to Propagate Blackberry Plants

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to Propagate Blackberry Plants
Blackberries (Alvimann/

Many gardeners enjoy the fruits of a thriving blackberry patch. When you succeed in growing abundant blackberries, the natural desire is to enlarge your patch. Propagating your existing blackberry plants to create more plants is a simple and inexpensive way to increase your blackberry harvest. Propagate your blackberry plants by root cuttings for a fast and easy method of producing new blackberry plants.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Blackberry roots (1/4-inch to 1/2-inch diameter)
  • Garden shears
  • Garden trowel
  • Container and potting soil (optional)
  • Plastic sealing bag (optional)

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  1. 1

    Identify a mother blackberry plant by finding an older plant with younger plants surrounding it. The roots of the mother blackberry plant are required for root cuttings.

  2. 2

    Dig in the soil around the mother blackberry plant in the autumn when the blackberry plants are entering the dormancy stage but the ground is not yet frozen. Find the root system of the mother plant by digging carefully around the blackberry plants with the garden trowel.

  3. 3

    Use the garden shears to sever six-inch root pieces that are between one-fourth and one-half of an inch in diameter. Cut two to three six-inch pieces from each mother plant to propagate new plants. As long as the roots are at least one-fourth of an inch in diameter, the plant is suitable for root cutting. Replace the soil around the mother plant.

  4. 4

    Plant the root pieces immediately under a layer of soil between two and four inches thick. Water the newly planted root cuttings lightly.

  5. 5

    Look for growth from the root cuttings the next spring and expect blackberries from these plants the following growing season.

Tips and warnings

  • Instead of planting the root pieces in the outdoor soil immediately, you may also plant them in containers for up to one year. Transplant the new blackberry canes to the garden soil the next spring. Gardeners also place root cuttings in a plastic sealing bag and store them in the refrigerator over the winter months. Plant these root cuttings the following spring using the method described in step four.

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