Last week I was in one of the home improvement stores and started wandering the gardening shelves…always a dangerous thing! I looked around at all the packaged plants which in most cases are way too early to plant out and got sucked in by the displays. I ended up coming home with one Arapaha thornless blackberry plant. I love blackberry jam and of course fruit right off the vine is pretty good too. Since I have kids I figured the thornless would be the best choice. I only bought the one since blackberries are so easy to propagate and I figured I could easily have several by the end of the season.
The problem with the plant racks this time of year is that they are all kept indoors and the plants begin sprouting in the nice warm indoor store temperatures. It’s not a big deal unless the temperatures outside are freezing! Once the dormancy is broken you risk damaging the plant in a freeze outdoors so you have to keep it protected. When I picked my blackberry plant from the mass of blackberries I made sure that it wasn’t growing and still had tight buds so that I could place it in the garage until the weather warms. I probably could plant it out right now in the garden but I haven’t found just the right place yet. That’s another problem with impulse buys – you don’t always have a location planned for that new plant – but you can always find one!
As for propagation blackberries can be easily propagated through stem tips, division of the suckers, tip layering, serpentine layering, and trench layering.