Sad looking blackberry plant

Asked July 7, 2014, 1:06 PM EDT

This blackberry plant had immature fruit when I bought it. It was in the pot for about 2 weeks until I was able to get enriched top soil. The fruit was starting to ripen. After I planted it I noticed it beginning to wilt and the ripened fruit dried up. Some leaves turned yellow. To my knowledge, it was not planted where any other vegetable or fruits had been before. it's planted on a slight decline with helps the water run off. I was watering it everyday. It is in the shade until about 11am and then gets full sun until dark. It is sunlit mostly in the front and some sun peeks through the back. This is the sunniest spot in my yard that is the furthest from my garden vegetables. I noticed healthy new leaves sprouting from the bottom.

I followed the planting directions by making sure the root ball was intact and carefully planted it with about 1/2 inch above the top of the soil. Is this correct to do?

The plant has not grown. I added plant food when it was planted. It doesn't show signs of disease. Is it going through shock? I could look around my yard for a sunnier spot, but that area will be close to my garden (tomatoes, bell peppers, cukes). Should it be replanted, and can it?

I first wanted to keep it in a large container, but I was told by the store that I would have to take it in the house in the winter and it would be a large plant. Is that true? Would I be able to grow it in an 18 gallon container and leave it outside in the winter?



Monroe County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Hello Tina,

I think you are dealing with some transplant shock. Ordinarily these plants would be transplanted in the spring before leaves and flowers were on the plant. The larger the plant at transplant the more shock it will incur. Transplanting will always cause some very fine root hair root loss. The damaged roots are unable to provide adequate water to the top of the plant. I don’t think you can expect to ripen all the fruit that was on the plants before you transplanted them.

Do not move the plants to a different location. Your site sounds as if it is as good as you can provide, and moving them will only increase the stress. Do not add any additional fertilizer at this time. That will also stress these plants.

Be patient, keep regularly watering (don’t let the soil get soggy.) Growing fruit is a long term project. Your plants will get better each year they are in the ground. Follow the instructions in the “Growing Raspberries and Blackberries” guide I sent you last time.

If you have additional questions, you can speak to a Penn State Master Gardener in your area. Information on how to contact a Monroe County Master Gardener is available at

Monroe County Penn State Extension
724 Phillips Street, Suite 201, Stroudsburg, PA 18360-2224
Phone: 570-421-6430
Hours :
Monday through Friday 8:30Am -4:30PM