When to plant new blackberry plants

Asked October 5, 2015, 1:09 PM EDT

I am in the process of rooting BlackBerry cuttings that will be rooted in mid October. I plan on then planting in pots to further develop them. I think that by the time they are mature enough to plant outside there will be a danger of them freezing.
-1- Should I keep them in pots all winter? If so how big the pots be?
-2- I know mature blackberries are pretty hardy, but these young plants I fear would be susceptible to freezing. What the is the best way to protect them over the winter IE.... Should I keep them in pots or put them outside
Heel them in and put mulch over?

Clackamas County Oregon

2 Responses

Successful propagation of blackberries varies by the type. The three main types of blackberries are: trailing, erect and semi-erect, the difference being in the growth habit of the canes.

Erect varieties produce stiff erect canes that will require pruning. Common cultivars are ‘Cherokee’, ‘Shawnee’ and ‘Navaho’. Erect varieties propagate most commonly by root cuttings or suckers. Simply remove some of the small canes or suckers at the base of the plant. Suckers can be produced by tilling next to the plant, breaking the roots and causing new suckers to come up. The canes should be shortened to 2 to 3 inches.

Common trailing varieties are: ‘Marion’, ‘Olallie’, ‘Cascade’, ‘Thornless Evergreen’ and ‘Black Butte’. These are considered the least cold hardy of the three types and experience bud and cane damage when temperatures fall below 13 degrees F. The most dangerous times for these cultivars is late fall and late winter when damage can occur at 20 degrees F.

Semi erect blackberries produce very vigorous arching canes. Common varieties are: ‘Triple Crown’, ‘Loch Ness’ and ‘Chester Thornless’.

The five leafed wild blackberry common everywhere is Himalaya and is an invasive weed. It is also illegal to grow in Oregon.

Trailing and semi erect blackberries do not produce suckers or develop well from root cuttings. The most successful method for cultivation is by tip layering. Place the tip end of a cane in the soil and cover with 2 inches of soil in September or October. These can be transplanted in February or early March by digging and cutting the original cane 3-4 inches from the new plant.

Blackberries can also be propagated from leaf bud cuttings. Rooting takes about 6-8 weeks. When done in spring, the plants will be ready for planting the following autumn or spring. If this winter turns out to be warmer as predicted, there may be time to start propagation now. One gallon pots would provide more protection from cold and also be less likely to dry out. The pots should be protected from freezing by putting them in a garage, shed or against the house and covered.

More information on growing blackberries can be found here:


Thank you very much the answer was very helpul. I am propagating Chehalem blackberries which I am sure are trailing similar to Marion so I follow that advice.