How to Grow Wild Blackberries From Seeds

Updated February 21, 2017

Americans and Europeans began growing wild blackberries in their gardens in the early 19th century. Besides tasting delicious, blackberries are rich in vitamin C and great by themselves or in pastries and desserts. One shrub is all you need for season after season of abundant berries. Fortunately, it's not that hard to grow your own perennial blackberry shrub from seeds.

Gather seeds. You have two options: Pick several blackberries from a wild blackberry bush during growing season. Put them on the ground where you want your shrub to grow. In the spring, new seedlings will sprout. This option will not work well if wildlife constantly visits your chosen area.

With this method, you'll likely end up with more than one seedling. As soon as they sprout, thin them out to one plant.

Your other option is to crush a blackberry, wash off the pulp and save the seeds.

Prepare the seeds. Blackberry seeds need stratification, which is the process of storing seeds at a low temperature in a moist environment to end dormancy. If you're leaving your berries outside to decompose and germinate into a new bush, nature will take care of this process for you.

If you've crushed a berry and collected the seeds, store them at 3 degrees C (3 degrees C) for a month before sowing them.

Find the right soil. Blackberries don't need rich soil, but it has to drain water well. They grow in sand, clay or loam, either in the shade or sun.

Sow the seeds. Put them in a cold frame in the fall to sprout and develop seedlings.

As soon as the soil warms up in the spring, dig a hole for the seedlings outside that's deep enough to accommodate the roots without them bending. You may want to transplant only one seedling. Blackberry shrubs grow fast and take up a lot of room.

If you plant more than one seedling, set them 2 feet apart. If you plan to have rows of blackberry bushes, space the rows 7 feet from each other.

Prune dead canes. Your blackberry bush will begin to bear fruit in its second summer. From that point on, every fall cut any dead branches. Also, thin the live branches to 4 canes per foot.

Things You'll Need

  • Wild blackberry seeds
  • Seed starting tray
  • Sand, clay or loam
  • Cold frame
  • Spade
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About the Author

Emma Watkins writes on finance, fitness and gardening. Her articles and essays have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "The Writer," "From House to Home," "Big Apple Parent" and other online and print venues. Watkins holds a Master of Arts in psychology.