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Blackberry Bushes: Transplanting

Updated on October 9, 2017


A blackberry bush is a wonderful perennial that will offer you an abundance of fruit, either for eating, sharing with your neighbors, co-workers or canning, every year. However wonderful, they do become scraggly and a little out of control with each season.

If your blackberry bushes are out of control, consider thinning them out and sharing them with your favorite church, school horticulture program, local gardening club or even your neighbors, friends and co-workers. After all, everyone adores receiving a gift from the heart.

I shared mine with my favorite gardening club. They had a plant sale in an attempt to raise money for the 4H club. It was such a success that I encourage you to do the same if you have an abundance of Blackberry bushes in your garden. Below are a few simple and easy steps to help get you started separating them into individual containers.


Gather your supplies before you start and have them all in your work area. You and your hands will become dirty, so avoid having to go searching for items once you get started.

  1. Blackberry bushes
  2. Potting soil or the dirt from the garden where you are digging the blackberries
  3. Shovel
  4. Container that drains (I use the plastic containers that other plants have come in)
  5. Gardening Gloves
  6. Good working shoes (the shovel will start to hurt your feet)
  7. Hose
  8. Gardening clippers or gardening loppers (you will probably need them - I take mine everywhere)
  9. A second set of hands - husband, wife, child, neighbor or even your mom or dad (I enlisted my 12 year old daughter and my mother)

Directions for placing in containers for gift giving

  1. Sort through the blackberry bushes and find the ones that look healthy and have a few leaves on them (look for healthy plants - discard the weak or diseased).
  2. Dig around the bottom of the cane about 3 inches from the base so you do not hurt the roots.
  3. Divide any plants that have more than two canes. To do this – simply pull apart. You may have to use your clippers and clip down the root from the base if they are entwined and tight.
  4. Select a container that is twice the size of the root ball of the blackberry plant. Ensure there are several drainage holes in the bottom of the container. If not, take a nail and tap a few holes in the bottom with a hammer. (I use plastic containers that other store bought plants have come in - they tend to hold moisture better than clay and are easier to manipulate). Since you are hopefully giving these Blackberry bushes away, there don’t have to be too many holes because the recipient will place them in the ground.
  5. Fill 1/4 of the pot with dirt. This can be topsoil, or simply the dirt from the garden. Blackberries aren’t picky and actually prefer sandy soil so don’t waste your money on good gardening soil.
  6. Get the Blackberry bush and prepare it for the container. You will want to get the dirt around the roots as loose as you can while keeping the roots intact. Further, you will want to remove any dead areas, weeds, or crazy long roots (you can do this by clipping them away or simply pulling the weeds, etc away from the roots - dirt)
  7. Place the root ball into the pot and add some additional soil all around the plant. You may have to clip some of the scraggly roots so it will fit properly. Note: This is when you may want to enlist some help. Some of the canes can be long and you will need assistance in keeping the plant straight while placing additional dirt in the pot
  8. Gently press down around the sides after each addition of soil (do not make it too compact) just enough to secure the roots.
  9. Water thoroughly
  10. Continue with step one and fill as many containers as you can – believe me…the organization or friend that receives them will be so excited!

What I contributed to the Garden Club

Directions for transplanting in the yard

It is best to transplant in early spring. Find a place in the garden that has full sun and well-drained soil. The type of soil does not necessarily need to be of concern because Blackberry bushes prefer sandy soil; however, they will accept many different types of soil.

  1. Space about 30 inches apart
  2. Dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball
  3. Fill the hole with some water to moisten the dirt (I also spray the roots)
  4. Secure a stake in the hole for the trailing types because the canes can grow to about 15 feet (I stake just about everything – so I would say to stake or provide a trellis)
  5. Place the plant in the hole and tie to the stake or trellis (you may want to enlist some help at this point)
  6. Add dirt in the hole
  7. Pack the dirt lightly
  8. Water thoroughly

Hint: If you need to tie your Blackberry bushes, I suggest using green mint flavored dental floss – it is very strong and durable and it will be camouflaged by the green leaves and berries

The Finished Product

© 2014 bellartdesigns


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