I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t love a sun-ripened, red raspberry. You too? The amazing thing about raspberries is that they’re quite easy to grow and are well suited to just about any landscape. In fact, if you want to start producing some of your own food, I highly recommend putting a raspberry patch in your yard this spring!
You don’t have to buy them from your local nursery. If you have a friend or neighbor who grows raspberries, you can probably get starts for free! Propagating raspberries from suckers is easy! Here’s how it all works.
Raspberries Spread By Rooting
In the spring, raspberries send out new suckers (or shoots) through their traveling root system. If you look closely, you’ll find little raspberry plants all around your friend’s established raspberry patch! All you have to do is dig these baby plants up, bring them home and replant them in a sunny location with decent soil.
FYI? They like acidity. For this reason, people often mulch around their plants with wood chips!
Identifying Raspberry Shoots
Raspberry shoots will appear just about anywhere in the patch, usually within 8 feet of the parenting plants. This is what you’ll be looking for!
How to Dig Out the Shoots
It’s really quite simple. Start between the established canes and the tender shoot, so you severe the parenting root. Stay at least 6 inches away from the base of the shoot so you get adequate amounts of root with it.
This is important for successful transplanting! Did you know the parent plant actually supplies food for the little sucker it sends up? That’s right! The tiny shoots have never been completely dependent on their own root system. So the more you can take with each one, the more likely it’ll be to survive.
Dig all around the baby plant, then carefully lift it out with some soil still intact. Taking some of it’s native earth will lessen the shock it receives when you replant.
I shook some off this root, just so you could see the system.
And here’s another, where I dug up even more root!
Transporting Your Raspberries
Taking soil with your roots, place them in a potting container or bucket. Dig, until you have what you need. Take a peek in the bucket, and if there are exposed roots, cover them with some earth.
And then? It’s time to head home with your prize! If you have a ways to go or can’t re-plant the shoots immediately, I recommend giving them a good, long drink of water!
Put your raspberries in the ground as soon as you can. Yes, you should have a pre-worked plot of earth ready and waiting!
When you replant your new raspberry canes, space them at least 2 ft apart. Also, be sure to replant them to the depth they were previously growing at!
After planting, water the earth around the your new plants. Over the next several days, you’ll be able to tell which ones made it and which ones didn’t! You can replant those that died, or simply wait until next spring when your established plants send up new shoots.
It’s quite simple, isn’t it? That’s how you go about propagating raspberries from suckers!