How to transplant raspberries

How to Move Raspberry Plants

Whether you have mature raspberry plants you must move to a new location or you are moving raspberry suckers to a permanent growing spot to propagate new raspberry plants, the best time to move raspberry plants is in the spring before new growth begins. Raspberry plants are surprisingly resilient and tolerate moves with little disruption. Once they are properly situated in a new growing location, expect them to take off with vigor.

Prepare new planting holes in the spring as soon as the soil is warm enough to work. Dig holes for the raspberry plants and add some compost to the soil that you remove from the holes (one part compost to one part soil). Space holes for red raspberries approximately 2 feet apart and space holes for black raspberries approximately 3 feet apart. Make the holes so that the raspberry plants will be at the same depth as they were when you removed them from the soil.

Use the shovel to carefully dig mature raspberry plants or use the trowel to dig raspberry suckers. If you are removing the suckers from beneath the parent plants, carefully remove them from the soil and use the pruning shears to separate any common roots from the parent plant. Simply clip the roots off so that they are 3 to 4 inches long extending from the suckers.

Place the dug raspberry plants into the prepared holes immediately. Spread the roots carefully into the holes and fill the compost and soil back in around the roots of the raspberry plants. Pat the soil firmly around the base of the plants.

Cut back mature raspberry plants by approximately one-third after moving them. Dispose of the removed canes. Do not cut back raspberry suckers at all.

Water the transplanted raspberry plants well after moving them. Provide regular water for one to two weeks after transplanting to ensure they get a good start in their new location.

Mulch generously around the raspberry plants. Place at least 2 inches of shredded mulch around the base of the plants to help prevent weeds and conserve soil moisture.

Raspberries From Cuttings

Purchasing a raspberry plant that’s already begun, such as a year old dormant plant to put out in the spring is the most common and easiest way to start Raspberry or Blackberry bushes. You can however start a new raspberry bush from a cutting or root division.

Red Raspberries are best started from primocanes Black and purple raspberries do not respond well to cloning via stem cuttings and are best propagated via tip layering.

In late summer Remove segments of the raspberry stem. Select healthier looking stems that are not brittle but will snap off as opposed to old growth that cracks and disintegrates or new green growth that will not snap off readily. It can be from either a floricane or primocane, but a healthy full grown primocane is best.

Cuttings should be taken in the morning before the sun starts bearing down and the plants are still hydrated. Each cutting should contain at least 2 leaf nodes that are at least an inch above the cut stem ends. Leaf nodes are small swellings in a plant stem from which leaves emerge. The area of the leaf node contains plant tissue known as meristem. Meristem is undifferentiated plant tissue from which new cells are formed.

Your cuttings should be 4-6 inches in length and from the upper part of the plant. Remove any excess foliage, leaves, flowers or buds from the lower third of the cutting, leaving only a bare stem. This reduces the amount of leaves that must be fed by the cutting and cuts down on lost moisture.

propagating raspberries from cuttings

For information on growing raspberries see the following two CSU publications.These publications explain things like biennial canes and other things about raspberries that are important to answer your question.

Stem cuttings are not the easiest way to propagate red raspberries due to the biennial-bearing nature of the stems (canes). However, red raspberries tend to produce suckers from the base of the plants. These suckers can be removed from the mother plant with a sharp shovel or trowel and replanted.

Black and purple raspberries often have long canes that bend over and touch the soil and can form new roots at the tips. You can cover these tips with 2 to 4 inches of soil to encourage rooting. Next spring, the rooted tips can be removed from the mother plant with a sharp shovel or trowel and replanted.

Older raspberry plantings may be infected with virus. Taking root suckers or rooted tips from virus-infected plants will pass the virus on to the new planting. Check your plants for signs of disease (yellowing, spots, wilting) before propagating.

To reduce the chance of virus in a new planting, don’t locate the new planting where raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplants or vining melons or squash. have been growing for at least 4 years.

All raspberries should be fertilized as growth starts in early spring and again in early June. Use 1/3 to 2/3 cups of a high Nitrogen fertilizer (21-0-0) per 10 foot hedgerow of raspberries. Fall bearing raspberries (produce a second crop at tips of that years canes) should be fertilized a 3rd time when the tips of that years canes start to bloom. If you want to apply compost or manure, apply it in late fall or early winter.

Thank you for contacting Ask An Expert at eXtension. If you have further questions contact your local CSU Extension Office in Gunnsion: [email protected], 970-641-1260, 275 South Spruce Street, Gunnison.

Transplanting Raspberries

When and How to
Propagate / Divide / Transplant
Red Raspberry Plants

Transplanting Raspberries or dividing or propagating red raspberry plants, to increase the size of your raspberry patch, is a simple process.

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*FTC Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying
purchases with no extra cost to you

Increasing the size of your raspberry patch is one reason you may be wanting to divide your plants. Other reasons may be that your patch is becoming unmanageable and over-grown and hard to maintain and harvest.

Or, perhaps you wish to divide your bounty with a friend or a neighbour who is anxious to grow their own raspberries too!

Since raspberry plants are “self-propagating” you will, no doubt, be using this division process from time to time!

Transplanting Raspberries is Easy to Do Yourself

When is the Best Time to Transplant Raspberries?

The very best time to transplant raspberry plants is in early Spring or in late Fall /Autumn, when the plants are in a “dormant” state.

Due to the fact that the plants are not actively growing during this time of dormancy, they are more equipped to manage the stress associated with the division process.

Do not transplant these plants in the summer; you will negatively affect your raspberry harvest by prematurely uprooting the fruiting canes.

In Early Spring – as soon as the soil around the plants is workable, and before any signs of active growth.

In Late Fall /Autumn – after the plants have gone dormant for the winter, and the raspberry canes have finished bearing fruit and have shed their leaves.

Red Raspberry Plants (“Original Plants/Canes”), produce young canes from their roots during the summer, but at the same time also produce some long underground suckers (“surplus suckers”).

The raspberry plants, (“suckers”), which grow from these are used for propagating /transplanting raspberries.

It is these raspberry “sucker plants” that are removed from the original raspberry canes/plants during late Fall /Autumn or early the following Spring.

Scroll down for step-by-step instructions for how to transplant raspberries.

Here are simple step-by-step instructions for the home-gardener for how to divide and transplant red raspberry plants.

Note – If you are looking for information about propogating Black or Purple Raspberry plants,

GO to How to Propogate Black/Purple Raspberries

How to Transplant Raspberries

Step #1

With the help of a garden fork, these surplus sucker canes/plants can easily be lifted so that the roots are exposed.

Make sure that one or two root buds are visible on the roots of the young canes. Use these canes only.

Carefully separate the young raspberry plant from the original plant, using sharp pruning shears.

Step #2

Immediately transplant the young raspberry cane/plant in prepared soil.

A loam soil with a high organic matter content is the ideal soil in which to transplant raspberry plants. The site should have full sun and have good air circulation for disease prevention.

Make a hole, about 6 – 8″ deep with a diameter slightly larger than the root system of the young cane, and fill the hole with water.

Insert the raspberry cane/plant into the hole, adjusting the planting depth so that the crown of each plant is just below ground level. Back-fill the hole with loose soil, and gently tamp the soil around the plant to keep it in place.

Step #3

After planting, using sharp pruning shears, cut the cane down to a bud about 9 – 12 inches above the ground. Make the cut just above a bud.

The newly transplanted raspberry plants should be watered regularly after planting. Do not allow the plants to dry out. In periods of drought, make sure that the soil is constantly kept moist.

Repeat the above process for each red raspberry cane/plant that you wish to transplant.

If you follow these easy steps for transplanting raspberries, over time, you will be able to have a raspberry patch as large as your heart desires, or your property will allow!:)

Here (below) are examples of good pruning shears for pruning raspberry plants/canes, available for purchase online at *

The available “holster” for the pruning shears, is a very handy accessory to have, because you often need two hands when using the shears.

With this handy holster you will have a place to safeguard your shears when you do!

These gardening “must-haves” make great gifts too!

For more detailed information about growing raspberry plants, here follow links (or use the navigation bars) to pages which will be helpful in your berry growing endeavours!

GROWING Raspberries

PLANTING Raspberry Plants


Growing Raspberries from SEED

Raspberry Plant CARE
(Fertilizing/Watering/Spraying/Sun Requirements)

HARVESTING Raspberries

PRUNING Raspberry Plants

Raspberry PESTS

Raspberry DISEASES

ORGANIC Raspberries

TOP of Transplanting Raspberries
HOME to Raspberry Depot Homepage

Moving Raspberry Bushes

Red raspberries perform best in garden soils that are amply supplied with organic matter and well drained. Remove all of the sod and weeds before you prepare the soil. Raspberries should be planted in a site that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. Avoid planting raspberries within 300 feet of any wild blackberry or wild raspberry plant. Early spring planting is preferred over fall planting. Raspberries are best transplanted in spring before new growth breaks. They can also be transplanted this fall after they go dormant from frost. The crowns and roots of raspberry are perennial, but individual canes live two years. The canes produce fruit and die and so they should be pruned out. Red raspberries produce new canes from the base of the second year old canes and from buds produced on the roots. A mulch of straw or other appropriate material can be very helpful for weed control and soil moisture conservation in the raspberry plantings where soil drains well.

Propagating Raspberries: Can You Grow A Raspberry Plant From Cuttings

Raspberry plant propagation is gaining in popularity. After all, who doesn’t love the plump, juicy berry soon after strawberry harvest and just before blueberries are ripening? With a careful soil preparation and selection of virus free stock, propagating raspberries will keep you enjoying these edible brambles for years to come.

Raspberry Plant Propagation

Raspberries, whether red, yellow, purple or black, are susceptible to viruses. Resist the urge to propagate raspberries from an existing patch or your neighbor’s garden as these plants may be infected. It is always best to acquire stock from a reputable nursery. Raspberry propagations are available as transplants, suckers, tips, root cuttings, or tissue-cultured plants.

How to Propagate Raspberries

Raspberry propagations from nurseries arrive in culture vessels, in rooting cubes, or as year old dormant plants. The rooting cubes should be planted after danger of frost passes. They tend to be the most insect, fungus and nematode resistant raspberry propagators.

Year-old dormant raspberry propagators reach maturity earlier and tolerate drier soil. This type of raspberry plant propagation should be planted within a few days of purchase or “heeled in” by placing a single

layer of the plants along a sheltered trench dug in well drained soil. Cover the roots of the raspberry propagation and tamp down. Let the raspberry plant acclimate for two to three days and then move into full sun within a five- to seven-day time frame.

Can You Grow a Raspberry Plant from Cuttings?

Yes, raspberry plants can be grown from cuttings. However, as mentioned above, it is preferable to purchase raspberry starts from a reputable nursery to avoid any contamination.

Red raspberry plant propagation comes from primocanes, or raspberry suckers, and may be transplanted in the spring when they are 5-8 inches tall. The suckers come up from the roots and these root divisions can be cut through with a sharp spade and separated. The red raspberry sucker should have some of the parent plant’s roots to foster the most vigorous raspberry propagations. Keep the new raspberry propagation moist.

Black or purple raspberries and some blackberry varieties are propagated by “tip layering” wherein the tip of the cane is buried in 2-4 inches of soil. The tip then forms its own root system. The following spring, the new raspberry propagation is then separated from the parent, leaving 6 inches of the old cane attached. This portion is referred to as “the handle” and should be snipped off at soil level to reduce any potential disease from carrying over.

Final Note on Propagating Raspberries

When transplanting any of the above methods of raspberry propagations, be sure to plant in well draining soil with good air circulation and adequate moisture. Do not start your berry patch in a previously Verticillium wilt prone garden area such as where tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant or peppers have been grown.

This fungus stays in the soil for several years and can be devastating to your raspberry propagations. Keep black or purple raspberry propagations 300 feet from their red counterparts to reduce the risk of virus cross over. Follow these tips and you should be making raspberry jam for the next five to eight years.

Tame and Transplant Wild Black Raspberries

I am interested in cultivating my wild black raspberries so I will have an easier-to-pick patch. Also, what is the best time of year to transplant them?

Helen Sweeny
Edgerton, Wisconsin

If you are simply cleaning up a wild patch, cut out the old, dark brown canes (stems) at the ground, and then throw some compost over the bases of the newer canes, which are usually green or reddish brown. If the new black raspberry canes are so big and unruly that they bite you when you get near the patch, use pruning loppers to top them back to about 8 feet. They will then grow short lateral stems, which often bear a good crop of wild black raspberries.

Anytime from early spring to early summer is good to dig and move black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis) and other wild brambles. Like other wild ones, black raspberries can carry viral diseases, so it’s best to plant them as far as you can from cultivated red raspberries. Or, start with certified disease-free plants of a tasty, improved variety such as ‘Jewel.’ Black raspberries grow best in fertile, well drained soil. Whether wild or cultivated, black raspberries that are moved to a new spot will spend their first season growing new canes, which will bear the following summer. Cane production will be much stronger once the patch is established. Two years from now, you should be buried in wild black raspberries.


Read more: Figure out what you should be sowing, transplanting or hardening off now in Sow Seeds Now!.

Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on Google+.

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Black raspberries have a unique flavor, capturing the deep earthy notes of a blackberry and combining it with the sweet brightness of a raspberry. Why on earth aren’t they more common in home gardens? Likely because black raspberries require specialized care and staking for optimal yields.

Somehow wild black raspberries manage to get along just fine without us. They may not produce huge yields on any one plant, but the plants grow in mass, meaning there’s plenty to go around. If you want to forage them wild, you’ll need a bit of patience. You can also try to tame your own wild black raspberry, and propagate it in your backyard.

Wild black raspberry plants that I’ve tamed into a dense patch at the center of my home orchard.

Foraging Wild Black Raspberries

Though the unripe fruit of a black raspberry plant looks somewhat like a cultivated raspberry, black raspberries are easy to identify if you look closely. They have a different growth pattern than standard raspberries. While raspberries put off single canes, arching up from the ground, black raspberries come from a central leader. The central black raspberry stalk will branch out, producing fruit on side branches.

If you’re still confused, give those red fruits a gentle tug. If it’s a black raspberry plant, they won’t budge. They’ll also be hard and sour since they won’t fully ripen until they’re black.

Ripe black raspberry fruit next to a single unripe black raspberry in my home garden.

The fruit on black raspberry plants tends to ripen over an extended season, so it’s hard to harvest a large quantity of fully ripe berries. Especially when you’re popping all the best ones right into your mouth.

If you want to harvest enough for homemade black raspberry ice cream, you’ll likely have to pick a few that are slightly under-ripe. They’ll be firmer, and maybe a bit tarter, but still plenty sweet and flavorful.

Up here in zone 4 central Vermont, peak wild black raspberry season happens in mid to late July. In more southern latitudes, it’s likely a few weeks earlier.

Taming Wild Black Rasberry Plants for Your Home Garden

If you happen to have wild black raspberry volunteers in a convenient spot, you can tame them by cleaning them up a bit. Simply cut back any old dried canes, lopping them off at ground level. New canes are green or a reddish brown, while old canes are tan and look dry.

Sometimes black raspberries get really long and leggy, and you can stake black raspberries up, tying them to a central post. Ours put off long stray arching branches, and it’s ok to trim those back so they don’t catch your hair as you pass. Canes with trimmed tips will put out lateral branches which will bear good crops too.

If you’re transplanting black raspberries from the wild to your home garden, early spring through early summer is the best time. They’ll grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. They likely won’t bear their first summer after transplant, but you can expect a good crop every year after.

Keep in mind that wild black raspberry canes can carry viral plant diseases, so if you have cultivated raspberries be sure to keep them separated. Our tamed wild black raspberries tend to grow better than any cultivated plants, but perhaps we’re just lucky.

If you’re concerned about introducing disease into your raspberry patch, you can shop for certified disease-free black raspberry cultivars. The cultivated strain, called Jewel Black Raspberry, is known for great crops.

Once you’ve established your tamed black raspberry patch, they need to be pruned regularly and staked. While red raspberries grow in rows, black raspberries like to grow in hills with a single stake. Here are some detailed instructions on staking and pruning black raspberries.

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