Marion berry cold tolerance

Asked November 23, 2020, 6:00 PM EST

Hello, we were given four thornless Marion berry plants in 3-gallon pots that we will plant in the spring and train to a trellis. Would these plants survive and flourish in large containers, say 5-gallons or so? Would a Portland winter damage the roots that do not have the benefit of being insulated in the ground? Thanks very much

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

Is the trellis already installed? It would definitely be better if the plants over-wintered in the ground. Even if you haven't installed the trellis, you can still mark out the locations for the posts and then plant. It's doubtful you will get much of a harvest next summer, but by planting now, your plants will have a much better start out of dormancy next spring.

If you need to keep them in pots, then I would 'insulate' the pots with leaves, woodchips or sawdust.

I'm not a big fan of trying to keep things in pots unless the plant was bred for pots, is small or grows slowly.

Sara, thanks much for the response. The trellis is not up yet. Sounds like we would be better off putting the plants in the ground now, rather than letting them overwinter in pots. We can certainly do that, and put the trellis up in the spring. By the way, the plants have a lot of canes/vines, some up to 6' long. Should we just let them hang out over the winter, or trim them back at this point? Thanks again.

No, do not cut back the vines because they will produce fruit next year. In a perfect world, you would let the new growth lay on the ground until you have completed your harvest. You then cut back to the crown the 'spent' canes and then put the current years growth on the support/trellis.

I think the canes will be fine but you will need to be careful next spring when you do put up the trellis.

I may have to see about getting some of these because I do love my marionberries and thorn-less is quite appealing.