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Understanding blackberry and raspberry plant growth is necessary for proper training and pruning of caneberry plants. The crown of the blackberry and raspberry plant is perennial, and canes are biennial. Management of canes varies with plant type, pruning and training, and the particular trellis system used.

Floricane-Fruiting Blackberries and Raspberries

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Both floricane-fruiting blackberries and raspberries have a similar plant growth cycle. In the first year, primocanes grow and often branch but remain vegetative These canes are called floricanes in the second year, and small branches—referred to as laterals—grow from the buds (Figure 11). Fruit is borne on the tips of these laterals. After the floricanes have produced a crop, they die.

Figure 11.

Figure 11. General plant growth including primocanes and floricanes. Daughter plants can be grown from first year canes and suckers produced from roots.

NSW WeedWise

Primocane-Fruiting Raspberries and Blackberries

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Primocane-fruiting cultivars produce fruit on the tips of the first year’s growth in the late summer and fall. Fruit production usually continues until a hard frost occurs. This portion of the cane will then die. When grown for a primocane crop, canes are usually mowed to the ground in the winter. If allowed to grow a second year, the canes will fruit just below the area that fruited during the primocane year. This production technique, however, is not recommended in the Deep South. The best results have occurred with only primocane production. Primocane-fruiting blackberries (such Prime-Ark® 45 and Prime-Ark® Traveler) have recently become available. These plants will produce fruit in late summer and early fall. Consult with your local Extension agent to find out if primocane-fruiting cultivars can be grown in your region.


Extension Specialist (Small Fruits)
Horticultural Science
University of Arkansas
University of Tennessee

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Publication date: Nov. 2, 2015

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