Mulberry varieties with black fruits: cultivation, care, description, characteristics and reviews

In the south, black mulberry has long been grown in gardens for the sake of an abundant harvest of sweet berries, which children especially like. Gardeners appreciate this crop for its unpretentiousness and high drought tolerance. In recent decades, mulberries are increasingly beginning to grow not only in the south, but also in central Russia.

Which mulberry has black berries

Many gardeners mistakenly call black mulberry absolutely any mulberry that gives dark-colored fruits. In fact, at least half of the black-fruited varieties (including the widely known varieties Smuglyanka, Black Baroness, Black Prince) belong to a completely different botanical species - white mulberry, which has fruits of very different colors, from pure white to black-violet.

Mulberry is divided into black and white, depending on the color of the bark, and not on the shade of berries.

Table: Comparative characteristics of black and white mulberries

SignBlack mulberryWhite mulberry
Fruit coloringViolet black.White, lilac-pink, purple-black.
Tree bark coloringDark brownish brown.Light brownish gray.
Leaf shape and sizeBroad-hearted, very large.Medium in size, ovate-pointed or dissected-lobed, often come in different shapes on the same tree.
Winter hardinessLow (up to -15 ... -20 ° С).Relatively high (up to -30 ° С).

Real black mulberry has large, wide-hearted leaves

Mulberry is one of the oldest cultivated plants, originally domesticated for feeding silkworm caterpillars, from the cocoons of which natural silk is obtained. In the regions of industrial sericulture, mulberry trees of fodder varieties, not fruit trees, predominate. They are more hardy, so they are often used in shelterbelts and urban landscaping.

Mulberry leaves - feed for silkworm caterpillars

Mulberry blossoms in the south in April-May, in the middle lane - in May-June. Pollinated by wind and insects. In nature, mulberry is a dioecious plant in which male and female flowers are located on different trees. Among cultivated fruit varieties, monoecious species dominate, having both types of inflorescences on a single tree. When sowing seeds, the characters are split, and among the seedlings there are many male plants. Therefore, valuable fruit varieties of mulberry are propagated only vegetatively.

Blooming mulberry is pollinated by wind and insects.

Mulberry fruits ripen in the south in May-July, in the middle lane - in July-August. The fruiting period is very long. Ripened fruits easily crumble to the ground. With normal pollination, mulberry trees bear fruit annually and very abundantly. If the flowering was good, during this period there were no frosts (which can damage not only the flowers, but also the leaves), and there are no or very few berries, which means that the problem is the lack of pollination. It is necessary to plant nearby a tree of another variety or to vaccinate suitable cuttings in the crown.

Sweet mulberries do not ripen at the same time

Dark-colored mulberry berries stain hands and clothes, stains are poorly washed.

Ripe berries become soft, juicy, sweet, they crumple easily and do not tolerate storage and transportation at all. Therefore, the crop is processed on the day of collection. Mulberries can be eaten fresh, dried, cook jam, make wine.

In good conditions, mulberry bears fruit annually and is very plentiful

In the south, mulberry grows up to 15 m in height, and in favorable conditions lives a couple of hundred years, and sometimes longer. In the north, young growth freezes almost every year, and the plant often takes on a bushy shape. Mulberry tolerates urban conditions and is not afraid of car exhaust.

Large mulberry trees are rarely found in Moscow, and in the form of a bush it is grown up to the Leningrad region.

Large mulberry trees are occasionally found even in Moscow

Black Mulberry Varieties

The word "black" in the name of the variety means only the color of the berries, but not the botanical appearance of the mulberry.

Of the black-fruited varieties, the most frost-resistant are those that belong to the botanical type of white mulberry. This is the Black Baroness, Dark-skinned Girl, Black Prince. They withstand frosts down to -30 ° C. Large-fruited mulberry varieties found in private nurseries of Ukraine and southern Russia, Black Pearl and Istanbul Black, have low winter hardiness and can grow only in the southern regions with warm winters.


This is the only variety of the black mulberry botanical species that is currently officially entered into the State Register of Breeding Achievements Approved for Use in the Russian Federation. The variety was bred at the K.A. Moscow Agricultural Academy Timiryazev. The tree is large, tall, with a wide spreading crown. Fruits are sweet, weighing 1.5-1.7 g, ripen late. The variety is winter-hardy, drought-resistant and heat-resistant.

Dark-skinned girl

Chokeberry variety of white mulberry, bred in the Belgorod region. Medium-sized tree with a pyramidal crown. Berries up to 3.5 cm long, early ripening, sweet with a slightly noticeable acidity. The variety is monoecious, productive and unpretentious. Winter hardiness - up to -30 ° C.

Black Baroness

Chokeberry variety of white mulberry, bred in the Belgorod region. Crohn spherical, moderate density. Fruits are 3.5-4 cm long, very sweet. Ripening period is from medium to medium late. Monoecious unpretentious variety with high productivity. Winter hardiness - up to -30 ° C.

Black Prince

Another aronia variety of white mulberry. The berries are very large, up to 4-5 cm long, sweet. Ripening period is average. Winter hardiness - up to -30 ° C, high drought resistance.

Black Pearl

Large-fruited mid-early variety for the southern regions. The tree is medium-sized. Fruiting is extended up to 2 months. Fruits are large, up to 4 cm long, weighing up to 6–9 g. Winter hardiness is average.

Istanbul black

The fruits are very large, up to 5 cm long, ripen late. The tree is tall with a spherical crown. Very productive variety for the southern regions. Winter hardiness is average.

Photo Gallery: Black Mulberry Varieties

Mulberry Admiral has high winter and drought tolerance

Variety Smuglyanka - monoecious, productive and unpretentious

Istanbul black mulberry in the southern regions gives a plentiful harvest

Mulberry Black Baroness has very sweet fruits

Mulberry fruiting Black pearl stretched for 2 months

Mulberry Black Prince has very large berries

Mulberry cultivation

The mulberry is photophilous, heat-resistant and drought-resistant. In nature, often grows on poor soils, on dry rocky slopes. It does not tolerate only too acidic soil and stagnant moisture. When planting on heavy clays, a drainage layer of crushed stone or broken brick is necessarily laid at the bottom of the planting pits. For mulberries in the garden choose a warm sunny place, closed from the cold winds.

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The best seedlings are obtained by rooting cuttings taken from trees growing in the same area. Gardeners in the central and northern regions should be very wary of commercially available powerful large-sized seedlings; such specimens are most often grown in the south and have low winter hardiness.

The best mulberry seedlings are obtained from rooted cuttings

In the south, mulberries are planted in spring or autumn, in the middle lane and to the north - only in spring. For large trees in the south, the distance when planting is 7–8 m; for bush formation in the more northern regions, it is enough to leave 3 m between plants.

Regarding the preparation of landing pits, there are two opposite points of view:

  • dig a hole with a depth and a width of 1 m, fertilize generously with humus at the rate of 2-3 buckets per plant to provide seedling with food for the next couple of years. Thus, a rapid and rapid growth of the aerial part of the seedling is achieved in the first years after planting;
  • dig a small hole to fit the roots in a straightened form. Do not put fertilizers at all. This method provokes a more active and deep growth of the root system. The aerial part at the same time grows very slowly, but the plant turns out to be stronger and more durable, thanks to deep powerful roots it better withstands frost and drought.

Mulberry planting on poor soil contributes to the development of a deeper root system

Adult mulberry trees are very resistant to dry air and soil. Young trees need watering in the 1-2 year after planting, and only in the absence of rain. Dampness in late summer and autumn interferes with the ripening of shoots and worsens the wintering of plants.

Pruning and wintering

Mulberry tolerates pruning well. In the south, it is usually grown in the form of a tree, and all pruning is reduced to removing excess thickening branches and limiting the height. The first years after planting, the plant can not be pruned at all.

In regions with frosty winters, multi-stem bush formation is advisable:

  1. In a young seedling, the top is cut off immediately after planting to cause abundant branching in the lower part of the trunk.
  2. In the first years of the tree’s life, it makes sense to pinch the tops of actively growing shoots in mid-August for their better ripening.
  3. In the future, a multi-stem bush is formed with branches of different ages extending almost from the soil level. The places where the main skeletal branches should leave should be in the winter in the snow so that they do not freeze in severe frosts.
  4. Every spring, all the frozen tops of the branches are cut out, cutting them to a healthy part. Large sections are covered with garden varieties.

With a bushy formation, all the main forks winter in the snow and are less damaged by frost.

In spring, especially in the middle lane and to the north, mulberry awakens much later than most other trees. Therefore, with the definition of winter damage, you must wait until June. Frozen specimens in most cases are well restored.

Very young trees 1-2 years after planting can be wrapped with agrofibre for the winter, and the soil under them can be insulated with lapnik. Wrapping adult mulberry trees does not make sense.

Diseases and insect pests Mulberry is usually not affected. Berry crops can be significantly damaged by birds (starlings, thrushes, sparrows), to protect against which trees with ripening fruits can be covered with a protective net.

Video: Mulberry growing

Mulberry Reviews

Mulberry is a "cunning" tree. If the weather gets past 15 years, then it will not freeze. At a young age, she has little chance. And it feels better in a more continental climate, I mean our breadth. In Belarus, for example, there is not enough summer heat.


100% green cuttings are rooted in an ordinary cuticle. Cuttings are best taken from local winter-hardy large-fruited forms. Seedlings, alas, do not repeat the positive qualities of their "parents". In the middle lane, only white mulberry grows (which has forms with white and, mainly, with black fruits). But it tastes exactly the same as the southern black mulberry, in which the fruit is noticeably larger, but which is completely unstable.


In the spring of 2015, he planted 2 mulberries - Smuglyanka and the Black Baroness side by side. They took root well and grew a lot during the year, but they froze in winter - the Baroness at all, and Smuglyanka almost to the ground. In the next 2016, 5–6 shoots one and a half meter long grew from the remaining hemp. In winter, they froze by about half. Since I do not like it when the trees grow “broom”, I left the most powerful shoot, cut the rest. And this remaining shoot had to be shortened to a height of 80–90 cm, because the rest was frozen. This year, 5–6 new shoots over one and a half meters long have grown from this small stem. The uppermost and most powerful has grown already 2 m in length.


Mulberry Smuglyanka began to ripen, the variety grows well, hibernates and stably bears fruit in our conditions.

Boris 12.

The main condition for the successful cultivation of mulberries is the right choice of planting material. This is especially true for the middle zone and other areas with a similar climate, where many southern species and varieties of this culture do not withstand winter frosts. But even in favorable southern regions with mild winters, you can be left without a crop if you mistakenly plant a garden with infertile specimens that give only male flowers.


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