Black raspberries: how to grow sweet berries the color of the night? Description and features of black fruit varieties

Black raspberries are often confused with blackberries, considering them one and the same culture. However, these are completely different plants with significant differences and, accordingly, different agricultural techniques. Varieties of black raspberries are still rare in Russian garden areas, but unusual sweet and healthy dark-colored berries are gaining more and more fans among gardening enthusiasts.

The history of growing black raspberries

Traditional raspberry varieties have red berries, but there are plants with orange, violet, yellow and even black fruits. Unlike blackberries, with which aronia raspberries are often confused, its berries are very easily separated from the stalk, which is the main difference between cultures.

Aronia raspberries are colored red when they are unripe and the ripe fruits turn black

Black raspberries grow not only in gardens, but can also be found in nature. The plant grows in the forests of eastern North America, in particular, is widely distributed in the central and northern regions of Illinois, USA. Habitats - arrays of deciduous forests, borders along forest stands, also there are large thickets of black raspberries in open areas.

Description of the appearance of the plant

Black raspberry is a perennial shrub that grows vertical shoots in the first year of life. Subsequently, lateral processes appear on them, and the stems take on a falling form. Flowers and fruits appear only on the shoots of the second year of life. Initially, the stems have a green color with a bluish tint, during the winter they are lignified and acquire a brown tint. Each shoot is covered with short curved spikes.

During the second year of life, short lateral processes appear on the stems, which end with the hands of the buds. The leaves consist of 5 lobes, which are ovoid in shape and have small teeth along the edges. The upper side of each leaf has a strong pubescence, and the lower surface is covered with short white hairs.

Black raspberry flowers are grouped in brushes.

Flowers are tightly grouped in brushes. Each flower has 5 white petals, 5 green sepals and numerous stamens. The petals are elliptical or oblong, and the sepals are triangular. They have approximately the same length. The flowering period occurs in late spring or early summer and lasts about 2-3 weeks.

The fruits are initially white, then turn red and, finally, when ripened, acquire a black-violet color. The fleshy bones that make up the fruit are sweet and slightly tart in taste, they are easily detached from the stem.

Table: characteristics of the fruit

Berry sizeDiameter 18–22 mm, weight 2.2 g.
TastePleasant, a little tart.
TransportabilityGood one.
ColoringDark violet, with a waxy coating.

The biochemical composition of black raspberries is different from red. A large amount of vitamin P and P-active compounds help protect cells from aging, improve the body's immune system, and improve anemia. But the most important property of black raspberries, scientists believe its ability to increase the effectiveness of the fight against cancer.

Table: differences between black raspberries and blackberries

Black raspberriesBlackberry
The stems have a noticeably bluish (bluish-white) hue.Green shoots.
Berries are easily removed from the receptacle.Fruits are difficult to separate from the receptacle, it remains inside the ripe berries when separated from the bush.
Flowering begins in late spring.It blooms in the second half of June.
There are more thorns than blackberries, but they are less dense.The thorns are large and sharp.
On top of the berry has a bluish coating and a slight hairiness.The berries have a glossy surface and an oblong shape.

Photo gallery: the differences between black raspberries and blackberries

With the separation of the berries of the blackberry, the receptacle remains inside the fruit

Black raspberries easily come off the receptacle

Blackberry fruits are glossy and have an elongated shape.

Differences of black raspberries from traditional varieties with red berries

  1. The berries of black raspberry have a sweeter taste than red; some varieties have a honey or blackberry aroma.
  2. Black raspberries have higher yields, about 4 kg of fruits can be collected from one bush.
  3. The plant has a high resistance to drought.
  4. Ripe black berries do not crumble for a long time.
  5. The plant does not form root shoots.
  6. Aronia raspberry has excellent resistance to common diseases of the culture and is practically not damaged by pests.
  7. Frost resistance is lower than in varieties with red berries.

Black raspberry berries look very exotic

Varieties of Black Raspberries

Breeders are constantly working to develop new varieties of black raspberries, which is considered a promising crop. Thanks to their efforts, new products often appear on the market.

  • Cumberland. One of the oldest varieties of black raspberries. It was obtained at the end of the XIX century and is still the leading one. Cumberland black raspberries have a very beautiful bush shape with graceful curved stems. The variety does not form root offspring, so the bushes do not grow. Productivity in comparison with modern hybrids and varieties is not very high, the plant gives only 200 to 500 g of berries from the bush;
  • Airlie Cumberland. The berries of this variety are larger than the Cumberland variety, which became one of the parents of this variety of black raspberries. Their weight averages 2–2.2 g. The fruits of the Earlie Cumberland variety are round in shape, painted in black and purple, have a very sweet taste and a fairly dense texture;
  • Corner. An early variety of domestic selection. The shoots are long, reach 2.5 m and bend, forming an arch. The spikes are small. The berries are quite small, but juicy, with a pleasant sour-sweet taste and blackberry aroma. The productivity of Ugolka is high, the variety is resistant to both drought and frost;
  • Boysenberry. Shoots grow up to 3 m in length. Unlike other varieties of black raspberries, Boysenberry has no spikes. The berries have an oblong shape, they are very large, the surface is shiny. The variety is productive and tolerates frosts fairly well;
  • Bristol. The variety is considered one of the best. The fruits have a sweet taste and are very juicy. The shape of the berries is round, the surface is covered with a bluish coating;
  • New Logan. High-yielding and early ripe variety with brilliant and very tasty berries. The bush reaches a height of 2 m. It tolerates frosts poorly, so the plant needs additional shelter for the winter;
  • Litach. An early variety of black raspberries bred by Polish breeders. The bush is vigorous, stiff and curved shoots are strewn with numerous large spikes. Fruits of a spherical shape are covered with a grayish or bluish coating;
  • Luck. The productivity of this variety of black raspberries is high, up to 6 kg of selected medium-sized berries can be removed from one bush, their weight averages 1.7–1.8 g;
  • Gift of Siberia. Bushes of black raspberries of this variety are tall and powerful. The berries have a dessert flavor, but they are not very large, the mass of an individual fruit is on average 1.6 g. The advantage of the Gift of Siberia is its resistance to pests and common diseases;
  • Turn. Fruits with dense pulp, therefore, well tolerate transportation over long distances. Productivity of about 5.4 kg per bush. The fruiting period is short;
  • Black Jewel. Raspberry stems of this variety, unlike other varieties, are erect. Black Jewel is a winter hardy and very productive variety. The berries are painted black, have a bluish coating. The shape is round, the mass reaches 2.5 g. The taste is sweet with a blackberry aroma.

Photo Gallery: Black Raspberry Varieties

Cumberland is one of the oldest black raspberries.

Airlie Cumberland black raspberries are quite large

Black Jewel is a very productive variety

New Logan - an early ripe variety with very tasty berries

Berries of black raspberry variety Litach covered with a grayish or bluish coating

Productivity of the variety. Luck is high. Up to 6 kg of berries can be removed from one bush.

Bushes of black raspberry varieties Dar Siberia high and powerful

Turn raspberry raspberry can carry transport over long distances

The fruits of black raspberry Bristol have a sweet taste and are very juicy

Berries of black raspberries of the Ugolok variety are juicy with a pleasant sour-sweet taste

Video: Black Raspberry Cumberland

Features of planting black raspberry seedlings

Experts recommend starting planting black raspberry seedlings in early spring. If you carry out the procedure in the fall, immature plants may not suffer frosts and die. To place a raspberry, several important points to consider:

  1. It is necessary to choose a place sunny, because the plant does not tolerate even slight shading.
  2. Planting black raspberries should be placed away from the traditional red, as the plants can become dusty and instead of black berries you will get purple and ordinary red fruits.
  3. Ground water should not lie close to the surface, plant black raspberries on a hill, in loose and fertile soil.

Planting black raspberries: step by step instructions

  1. Prepare the landing hole. Its size should be approximately 0.5 m in width and depth.

    The size of the landing pit should be at least 50 cm in depth and width

  2. Prepare a nutrient substrate from the top layer of the earth, humus, sand and wood ash in a ratio of 2: 1: 1: 0.5.
  3. Sprinkle a layer of soil with fertilizers on the bottom of the planting pit and moisten it.

    A nutrient substrate is poured into the planting hole from the top layer of the earth, humus, sand and wood ash

  4. Carefully straighten the roots of the seedling, put it in a hole and cover it with earth.
  5. Moisten your planting.
  6. Seedlings can be arranged in a row. Black raspberries are planted in trenches 0.5 m deep. A minimum of 0.5 m is left between the plants, and between 1 and 1.5 m between the rows.

    A minimum of 0.5 m is left between plants, and between 1–1.5 m between rows

A feature of black raspberries is that it does not propagate by root offspring, that is, the culture will not creep. Thanks to this, black-fruited varieties can be safely planted in the middle of the plot, combine plantings with other berry and fruit crops, and even arrange bushes in the flower garden.


Black raspberries are considered an unassuming crop. Caring for it comes down to pruning, several watering and top dressing per season. And lush well-groomed bushes with gracefully curved shoots will become a decoration of the site, attracting attention.

Top dressing

For the season, the culture requires three top dressings. The procedure is started when the plant has flowered. To do this, make an infusion of chicken droppings (1 part to 16 parts of water) or manure (1: 6). To 10 l of the prepared nutrient solution add 1 l of wood ash and 50 g of superphosphate. Under a bush of black raspberries make one bucket of fertilizing, pouring it around the perimeter of the plantings. After fertilizing, the soil is abundantly moistened. The second top dressing with the same solution is carried out during the fruit ripening period, and the third - after the collection of the first berries.

Creation of support and features of cropping

The shoots of black raspberry are very long, in the first year after planting, they grow upright, and in the second they take the form of an arch. At the same time, the tops, touching the ground, can take root, as a result of which the plantings will be thickened. Due to this feature of the culture, it is very important to take care of the plant support in advance. To do this, wire trellis. At the beginning and end of the row, wooden posts are dug in about 2 m high, on which a strong wire is attached in three rows, positioning it at a height of 0.5 m, 1.8 m and 2.1 m.

Another option for supporting powerful shoots can be an arch. It is set between two bushes, and the stems are attached to the arches. This design is not only functional, but also very decorative.

The shoots of black raspberries will grow long and curved, so you need to take care of the support in advance

Pruning black raspberries is carried out twice a year: the first procedure is in late June, and the second in late autumn. When performing summer pruning, the apical part of the stems is cut off at a height of 1.7 m. This contributes to a more intensive development of lateral branches, the number of which can reach 6–8 pieces, which will increase the yield of the bush. In autumn, it is necessary to cut out 2-year-old shoots that have already proclaimed. And 1-year-old stems are shortened to a value of 30-50 cm above the ground.

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Winter preparations

Black raspberry does not tolerate frosts as well as its red-fruited relative, so it is necessary to carefully prepare it for wintering. To do this, you need:

  1. Carefully bend the shoots to the ground.
  2. Secure them with metal brackets.
  3. For planting, you can put spruce branches, which is the best natural insulation.

If the winter is not snowy, then heap snow on the bushes and pour sawdust on it, which will help prevent melting.

Black raspberry shoots must be bent to the ground and attached with metal brackets

Propagation of black raspberries

Propagated black raspberries not like red. The thing is that black-fruited varieties do not form root offspring. But you can breed the culture on the site using layering, apical cuttings and seeds.

Propagation by horizontal layering

The procedure for the propagation of black raspberries horizontal layering should begin in the spring.

  1. Shallow beards are made at a distance of 0.5 m from the bush.
  2. Bend down the shoots and put them in the prepared recesses.
  3. The place of contact of the stem with the ground is pinned with a metal bracket and covered with earth.
  4. During the summer period, roots form in this place, and a new plant begins to form.
  5. Next spring, separate it from the uterine bush and transplant the resulting bush to a new location.

This method is very effective. From one adult plant, you can get 5-6 quality seedlings.

Propagation of raspberries by horizontal layering is the easiest way.


Another method of reproduction is with green cuttings. The procedure is carried out in the summer, while it is desirable to harvest planting material on a cloudy day. In the middle of the season, adult black raspberry bushes from the roots appear small processes with several leaves. Such shoots must be cut with a knife 2-3 cm below the soil level.

After that, they are put in a container with Kornevin's solution for 6-8 hours. Then planted in the school at a distance of about 10 cm from each other, moisten the soil and cover the planting with a film.

To propagate black raspberries, take green shoots 7–10 cm long and cut them with part of the root

After about a month, the green cuttings begin to take root, a sign of this will be the appearance of new leaves. At this time, you can reduce watering and often ventilate the greenhouse. In the spring of the next season, rooted cuttings are transplanted to a permanent place, while they should be excavated together with a lump of earth.


Propagation of black raspberries by seeds is considered one of the most troublesome and long methods, but if there is no other way to get seedlings, then you can grow a bush from a berry. For this:

  1. We select good and ripe berries.
  2. Grind them and squeeze the juice.
  3. Pour the obtained pulp with water and mix.
  4. Balanced seeds should sink to the bottom, and light seeds should float.
  5. We pour out water with floating waste.
  6. We collect and dry the seeds in the air.
  7. Seeds are sown in a greenhouse in a loose substrate to a depth of 2 to 5 mm.
  8. We periodically moisten the plantings, preventing the soil from drying out.
  9. After the appearance of 2-3 true leaves, we dive seedlings.
  10. 2 years after planting, young plants are planted in a permanent place in the ground.

    Seedlings are planted in a permanent place in the soil 2 years after sowing seeds

Reviews gardeners growing black raspberries

A very beautiful shrub, unripe berries are red, and ripe black with a bluish coating. To taste, it resembles a blackberry, only more sweet. Unlike red raspberries, it "does not creep", but grows with a bush. An interesting method of reproduction, if you tuck the crown of the head, it will give roots and a new bush will begin to form next spring - for this they gave it the nickname "walking raspberries."

Svetlana Yurievna

I grew such raspberries, but there isn’t much taste in it, the berries are small and bony, it takes up a lot of space, it needs constant garter (if you don’t tie it up, it tries to root itself in the most unexpected place), it’s very prickly, it grows more than 3 meters tall and the crop is small. For raspberries, the best part of the garden was reserved. I watched her for a year, two, three, then dug up the whole. So Cumberland is an amateur. In jam, it is terribly bad: there is no aroma, huge bones, no taste, therefore they add red classic raspberries, without red, and jam will not work.


I look forward to Cumberland's new crop every year. It is higher in yield than ordinary raspberries. It is important to plant it correctly, tie it to the trellis, then it is convenient to pick the berry, and there are no unwanted roots.

Svetlana (Kharkov)

I have black raspberries growing, but only the second year, so we are waiting for the harvest, sir. I wintered normally during this terrible winter. Last year, I did not follow her, and one lash remained lying on the ground and in the fall it turned out that the top of the shoot had taken root. So, apparently, and must be propagated.


My sister asked me some seedlings. She has black raspberries growing normally. I planted it myself - the first year was black, as expected, with large berries. And in the second year, she became an ordinary raspberry ... red. To the nearest other raspberries - 200 meters ... Pollinated? But why all the berries?

Do it yourself

Black raspberry is a healthy berry whose taste is not inferior to its relative with red fruits. However, scientists believe that it is aronia that helps fight cancer. In addition, the culture has many other advantages, it is incredibly beautiful, it looks very exotic. Her offspring do not creep across the site, so you can plant a plant even in the flower garden.


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