How to transplant wild blackberry bushes begins by first considering their physical state. Prune the blackberries and pick only the healthy ones for transplanting, before burning the infected plants.

Determining Ideal Season to Transplant Blackberry Bushes ~ Evergreen Seeds Digging up New Site and Preparing the Holes ~ Evergreen Seeds Keeping Blackberry Plants Watered ~ Evergreen Seeds Propagating Blackberry Plants Using Cuttings ~ Evergreen Seeds Selecting and Preparing Site for Blackberry Bushes ~ Evergreen Seeds How to Transplant Wild Blackberry Bushes Infographic ~ Evergreen Seeds

You could also identify and select the ones producing the best fruits for transplanting during the fruiting season. Acquire more knowledge on how to move blackberries to a new home by reading this article.

How to Transplant Wild Blackberry Bushes With Confidence

To transplant wild blackberry bushes with confidence, select new and healthy blackberry plants for transplanting during fall. Prepare the planting holes in loam soil, on an elevated site that is not susceptible to flooding. Regularly water the blackberry plants to keep them moist and add fertilizer once a month.

1. Determine the Ideal Season to Transplant Your Blackberry Bushes

Transplant blackberry canes during the fall season when the plant is not active. Older canes will die immediately after harvesting blackberries from them in summer, leaving young dormant canes that are yet to bear fruits.

We encourage you to transplant blackberries during the fall season or early in spring, just after their dormancy period. This gives these plants the best chance of thriving. The plants will grow and blossom as spring advances.

2. Dig Up Healthy Blackberry Bushes for Transplanting

First, remove old and dead canes, and leave only new, healthy blackberry plant material. If the unhealthy plants are numerous, completely leave the diseased blackberry thickets out when considering bushes for transplanting. The best time to carry this out is when the blackberry bushes are dormant, without many leaves. This normally occurs during fall.

Dig down to a depth of about 15 centimeters, while maintaining the same distance away from the selected blackberry canes that you want to uproot. Use a hoe to make furrows around the bushes. Blackberry bushes have somewhat shallow roots that easily sprout into new blackberry plants. These normally appear just beside the parent thickets, making it easier to dig up the entire root system.

Use a shovel to lift the uprooted plants out of the ground together with the clod of soil that covers the roots. Carefully place the plants in a flowering pot or bag. Evenly lift the blackberry bushes from all sides, similar to the way you dig around them.

3. Select and Prepare the Site

The ideal site to plant blackberries should receive up to eight hours of direct sunlight every day. It should also have minimal shade and good aeration. Adequate sunlight is required for healthy plants with good flowering and healthy blackberries.

Look for an elevated site, as ground depressions are susceptible to flooding which affects the roots of wild blackberries. Loam soils are preferable for blackberry bushes, considering that they are more aerated and well-draining. They also have the ability to retain some moisture that is certainly needed by your blackberry plants.

Dig the site for planting blackberries down to a depth of about half a meter. Carefully lay compost, manure, or any organic material within the trenches, before adding mineral fertilizer that contains magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Pour in water until the pit is fully drenched, and then mix everything together with the soil. Leave the prepared site for about three weeks as you prepare the blackberry plants that you want to transplant.

4. Propagate the Blackberry Bushes Using the Method of Division

Only new blackberry shoots are required for transplanting. The new growing blackberry shoots are more likely to have intertwined roots between adjacent plants so you need to separate them first before the transplantation process.

Separate the young plants using pruning shears until each single blackberry bush remains on its own, with just a single root network and a couple of branches. Employ the method of division in spring for the best results.

5. Propagate the Blackberry Plants Using Cuttings

Identify and cut strong blackberry shoots from the branches of the parent bushes. Use pruning shears to cut the shoots off at an inclined angle. Each shoot should preferably be at least 15 centimeters long. Ensure that the shoots have no fruits or flowers.

To minimize water loss from the shoots, be sure to leave only a few top leaves and remove the rest of them. Create a solution using rooting hormone powder and water, and dip the inclined ends of each shoot into this liquid. Obtain several containers and fill them with the hormone solution to ensure that the roots that develop from each shoot do not get entangled.

Fill some flower pots with potting soil and plant the blackberry cuttings. Keep the cuttings well-watered, and expose them to average sunlight in a well-aerated environment. To check the readiness of the shoots for transplanting, monitor the root development. If you gently try to pull out the shoot and it resists upward movement, it is more likely that it has formed some roots.

6. Use Layering to Propagate Blackberry Shoots

Layering is a method of planting blackberry canes into the ground to prepare them for transplanting. Bend each blackberry cane to fit into the soil and use a sharp pruning shear to cut its underside. Add some rooting hormone to the cut underside. This underside is the surface that comes into contact with the soil.

Regularly water the planted blackberry cane, making sure to keep the soil moist to ensure quicker root development. The blackberry layers are ready for transplanting when roots begin to form.

7. Dig up the New Site and Prepare the Holes

The prepared planting site with the organic manure and inorganic fertilizers that you added should be ready after about three weeks. Prior to digging the holes, ensure that the soil pH is between five and seven. You may add some sulfur-containing compounds to improve soil acidity, or lime to reduce it.

You may add some more compost and mulch to the soil if it is clay since it is likely to hold too much water than the blackberry plants would need. The organic matter helps to improve drainage.

8. Transplant the Blackberry Layers, Cuttings, or Shoots Into the Holes

Place each blackberry plant into its own hole. Be sure to let down the roots to shallow depths so that they are just below the ground surface. Add the soil and mulch to completely cover the roots. Remember to plant blackberry bushes in rows.

Blackberry varieties can either be the creeping type or upright ones. Support upright ones with a wooden cane, use a trellis system, or tie them to a wire fence to aid their vertical growth. Leave more spaces between creeping blackberry plants than you do for the upright varieties.

Once you lay the plants into the holes, immediately water them until the soil above the roots is completely soaked. Ensuring an environment that has all the necessary requirements for the newly planted thornless blackberries helps to prevent blackberry transplant shock.

9. Keep Your Blackberry Plants Watered

Be sure to water your plants every day for the first three weeks after transplanting blackberry shoots. Thereafter, irrigate the plants, preferably with a sprinkler or soaker hose, three times each week for about two hours per session. The shallow roots of blackberry plants require regular but mild watering.

Keep the soil in which you transplant blackberry bushes continually moist to a depth of about 15 centimeters. Moisture depths greater than this value are more likely to cause the roots to rot. Watering blackberry plants toward dusk or early in the morning allows more water to soak into the soil without evaporation.

Avoid water extremes. However, it’s important to note that underwatering your blackberry plants is much better than overwatering them. This is because the plant is drought-resistant hence it can survive with minimum water, especially after the roots become well-established.

10. Regularly Tend to Your Plants

After transplanting blackberries, maintain the plants by constantly weeding them throughout the first couple of weeks. The shallow, fine, and fragile blackberry roots are easily taken advantage of by weeds. Weeds also accommodate parasites such as the leafrollers. To control these, you may introduce organic Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria to naturally destroy the leafrollers’ larvae.

Be sure to clear your blackberry plantation of any wild brambles that often host parasites such as the cane borer worm. Where a number of your plants are infected by pests like the red-necked cane borer, the solution is to prune all affected blackberry canes and burn them. Failure to do so may see the cane borer spreading to other parts and to the other plants as well.

11. Add Fertilizer to Growing Blackberry Bushes

Add fertilizer to your blackberry plants to restore the organic nutrients that gradually deplete naturally. Initially apply very little fertilizer just after transplanting the blackberries. Applying fertilizer encourages the rapid growth of weeds that compete with the delicate roots for soil nutrients. Afterward, we recommend you apply fertilizer generously as spring starts.

We encourage you to initially use 3-3-3 NPK slow-release fertilizer for good results as it is relatively gentle for the young plants to absorb. You may also apply organic fertilizers like compost or manure at the end of fall just before winter. Adding NPK fertilizer affects the soil pH, hence the need to regularly test your soil to adjust the nutrients accordingly, without moving the pH out of range.

Frequently Asked Questions

– What Causes Rapid Growth of Transplanted Blackberry Bushes?

Rapid growth of transplanted blackberry bushes is caused by a number of factors, including fertilizers, herbicides, viruses from pests, and environmental conditions. This is a condition known as fasciation. You can regulate this condition by isolating the affected blackberry canes and then pruning them, before burning.

Once you do this, you are more likely to contain the condition as it doesn’t usually spread, neither is it extensively damaging.

– When Can Your Blackberry Plants Bear Fruits After Transplanting?

Your blackberry bushes can bear fruit after about two years after transplanting them. In the first year, your plants develop their physical structures to full maturity. They are purely vegetative and develop canes known as primocanes in the first year.

In the second year, flowers and blackberry fruits are then produced by these same canes, which would have developed into floricanes.


Planting wild blackberries will surely take you less time, now that you know all the steps to follow. If you keep the following points in mind as you transplant your bushes, you won’t go wrong:

  • Transplant blackberries during spring time when the plants are dormant to get a thriving bush.
  • Identify and obtain healthy blackberry canes and prepare them for transplanting by using the methods of division, layering, or cuttings.
  • Select a transplanting location that has loam soils, good drainage and aeration, and which receives up to eight hours of sunlight daily.
  • Once you transplant your blackberry bushes, be sure to remove weeds and keep your plants well-watered.
  • You can expect to harvest blackberries from your plants in the second year after transplanting them, once they have fully matured.

Transplanting wild blackberry bushes will definitely enhance your gardening skills. Prepare to enjoy a bountiful blackberry harvest as you put your new gardening knowledge to use!