How To Plant Raspberries Canes [ Full Guide ]

Raspberries are a delicious and nutritious addition to any garden. Not only do they produce sweet and juicy fruit, but they also provide beautiful greenery and can act as a natural boundary or fence. While planting raspberry canes may seem like a daunting task, with the right knowledge and preparation, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of planting raspberry canes, covering everything from choosing the right location to preparing the soil and selecting the best variety.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Raspberry Canes

Before delving into the various aspects of planting raspberry canes, let’s provide a quick overview of the essential steps involved:

  1. Choose the Right Location: Select a site with well-draining soil, ample sunlight, and protection from strong winds.

  2. Prepare the Soil: Ensure the soil is rich in organic matter, well-aerated, and has a slightly acidic pH level.

  3. Select the Variety: Consider the climate and choose a raspberry variety that thrives in your region.

  4. Purchase and Prepare Canes: Buy healthy, disease-free raspberry canes from a reputable nursery and trim them before planting, if needed.

  5. Plant the Canes: Space the canes adequately and plant them at the correct depth, ensuring proper support for their growth.

  6. Care and Maintenance: Water, mulch, and fertilize the canes as needed, and provide support as they grow.

  7. Harvesting: Enjoy the fruits of your labor by harvesting the delicious raspberries when they ripen.

Now, let’s delve into each of these steps in detail.

Choosing The Right Location For Planting

Before you begin to plant raspberry canes, it’s crucial to select the right location to ensure the plants thrive and produce an abundant harvest.


Raspberries thrive in full sun, so it’s essential to find a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Without adequate sunlight, the plants may not produce the desired quantity or quality of fruit. Therefore, select a spot in your garden that is not shaded by large trees or buildings and receives ample sunlight throughout the day.

Soil Drainage

Good drainage is vital for the healthy growth of raspberry plants. Raspberries do not tolerate waterlogged soil, so it’s essential to choose a site with well-draining soil. Avoid areas where water tends to pool after rainfall. If your soil has poor drainage, consider planting raspberries in raised beds or amending the soil to improve its drainage.

Wind Protection

While raspberries need good airflow to prevent diseases, they can be susceptible to damage from strong winds. Thus, it’s beneficial to plant them in a location that offers some protection from strong gusts. Consider planting them near a fence, wall, or other plants that can provide a windbreak without impeding airflow.

Space And Support

Raspberry canes require space to spread out and support to grow upright. Plan for a location where the canes can be adequately spaced, with a support system such as trellises, stakes, or a wire fence to keep them upright as they grow. Proper spacing allows for good airflow, which aids in preventing diseases and promoting healthy growth.

Preparing The Soil For Raspberry Canes

Once you’ve selected the ideal location for planting raspberry canes, the next critical step is to prepare the soil. Properly prepared soil provides the necessary nutrients and growing conditions that are conducive to the healthy development of raspberry plants.

Soil Ph

Raspberries thrive in slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. Test the soil in the chosen location using a home soil test kit or by sending a soil sample to a local extension office for analysis. If the soil pH is too high, which means it is alkaline, you can lower it by incorporating organic matter such as compost, peat moss, or pine needles into the soil.

Soil Structure

The soil should be well-aerated to allow for proper root development and water infiltration. If the soil in your chosen location is compacted, consider tilling the area to loosen the soil. Adding organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure can improve soil structure, providing a loose and friable medium for the raspberry roots to grow and spread.

Organic Matter

Incorporating organic matter into the soil is essential for providing nutrients, improving soil structure, and retaining moisture. Spread a layer of organic matter, such as compost, over the planting area and work it into the soil to a depth of around 6-8 inches. This will help provide the necessary nutrients and create an optimal growing environment for the raspberry canes.


Mulching the soil around raspberry plants helps to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw, wood chips, or pine needles, around the plants, taking care to keep the mulch a few inches away from the base of the canes to prevent moisture-related diseases.

Selecting The Variety Of Raspberry Canes

With many raspberry varieties available, it’s essential to select the one that suits your climate, soil, and personal preferences. Consider the following factors when choosing the variety of raspberry canes:


Raspberry varieties are categorized as either "summer-bearing" or "everbearing." Summer-bearing varieties produce fruit on second-year canes, while everbearing varieties produce fruit on both first and second-year canes. Choose a variety that is well-suited to the climate in your region. For example, in cooler climates, consider varieties that are more tolerant of cold temperatures and have a shorter growing season.

Resistance To Diseases

Some raspberry varieties are more resistant to certain diseases, such as root rot, rust, or powdery mildew. Research the disease resistance of different varieties and choose ones that are less susceptible to prevalent diseases in your area. This can help minimize the need for chemical treatments and promote a healthier, more sustainable raspberry crop.

Flavor And Fruit Characteristics

Consider the flavor, color, size, and texture of the berries when choosing a raspberry variety. Some varieties produce large, firm berries suitable for fresh eating, while others are better for processing into jams, jellies, or baking. Taste preferences vary, so select a variety that aligns with your desired flavor profile and intended use for the fruit.

Growth Habit

Raspberry varieties have different growth habits, ranging from erect to trailing. Erect varieties generally require less support and can be planted closer together, while trailing varieties benefit from a trellis or support system to keep the canes off the ground. Consider the available space and support options in your garden when choosing a raspberry variety with an appropriate growth habit.

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Purchasing And Preparing Raspberry Canes

When purchasing raspberry canes, it’s crucial to obtain healthy, disease-free plants from a reputable nursery or supplier. The following steps outline the process of purchasing and preparing raspberry canes for planting:

Purchase From A Reputable Source

Purchase raspberry canes from a reputable nursery or garden center to ensure you are getting healthy, disease-free plants. Look for canes that are certified as disease-free and are accompanied by proper labeling and care instructions. Avoid buying plants that appear weak, damaged, or show signs of disease or pests.

Choose The Right Time For Planting

Raspberry canes are typically planted in early spring or late fall when the plants are dormant. Planting during these times allows the roots to establish before the growing season, giving the plants the best chance of success.

Trim Canes If Necessary

Before planting, inspect the raspberry canes for any damaged or excessively long growth. Trim the canes to around 6-8 inches in height, cutting just above a bud. This helps to promote branching and encourages vigorous growth once planted in the ground.

Planting Depth And Spacing

When planting raspberry canes, dig a hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the roots, spreading them out in the hole. Place the canes at the same depth they were previously growing, typically around 2 inches deep for dormant canes. Space the canes according to the recommendations for the specific variety, typically 2-3 feet apart in rows spaced 6-8 feet apart.

Provide Support

After planting, install a support system such as a trellis, fence, or stakes to support the growing canes. This helps maintain an upright growth habit, prevents the canes from sprawling on the ground, and makes it easier to manage and harvest the fruit.

Planting raspberry canes is a rewarding endeavor that can result in the delicious and bountiful harvest of flavorful berries. By carefully selecting the right location, preparing the soil, choosing the best variety, and acquiring healthy plants, you can set the stage for a successful raspberry garden. With proper care and maintenance, your raspberry canes will flourish, providing you with an abundant supply of fresh, homegrown berries. Whether you enjoy them fresh, baked into delectable desserts, or preserved as jams and jellies, the fruits of your labor will surely be enjoyed by all. Happy planting, and may your raspberry patch yield a bumper crop for years to come!

Planting Raspberry Canes In The Ground

Raspberries are delicious and nutritious berries that can be easily grown in your backyard. They are not only tasty but also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Planting raspberry canes is a straightforward process that can be done by beginners and seasoned gardeners alike.

  1. Choosing a Suitable Location: Raspberry plants thrive in well-draining soil and require at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Before planting, choose a location in your garden that meets these criteria.

  2. Preparing the Soil: Raspberry plants prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Start by testing the soil pH using a soil testing kit, available at most garden centers. If the pH is too high, add sulfur or peat moss to lower it. Additionally, ensure the soil is rich in organic matter by incorporating compost or well-rotted manure.

  3. Clearing the Ground: Remove any weeds or grass from the planting area to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Use a garden rake or hoe to loosen the topsoil, making it easier for the raspberry canes’ roots to penetrate.

  4. Digging the Planting Hole: Each raspberry cane should be planted in an individual hole, spaced approximately 2 to 3 feet apart. The hole should be wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots without bending or crowding them. A depth of 8 to 10 inches is usually sufficient.

  5. Planting the Canes: Gently place a raspberry cane into the hole, with the crown (the swollen base of the cane) level with or slightly above the soil surface. Ensure the roots are spread out naturally, avoiding any kinks or tangles. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the base of the cane. Repeat this process for each raspberry cane.

  6. Watering and Mulching: After planting, water the canes thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, around the base of the canes to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

Caring For Raspberry Canes After Planting

  1. Pruning: Pruning raspberry canes is essential to encourage proper growth and increase fruit production. For summer-bearing varieties, prune the canes to around 4 to 5 feet in height during late winter or early spring. Remove any damaged, diseased, or weak canes, as well as any canes that have already fruited. This will promote the growth of new fruiting canes.

  2. Supporting the Canes: Raspberry canes can become top-heavy as they grow, so providing a support system is crucial. Install a trellis, fence, or stakes to support the canes and prevent them from bending or breaking due to their weight. As the canes grow, gently tie them to the support structure using soft plant ties or garden twine.

  3. Managing Diseases and Pests: Raspberries can be susceptible to various diseases and pests, such as aphids, spider mites, powdery mildew, and fungal infections. To prevent these issues, regularly inspect your plants for any signs of infestation or disease. If necessary, treat affected plants with organic or chemical controls recommended for raspberries.

  4. Weed Control: Weeds can compete with raspberry plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Regularly inspect the area around your raspberry canes and remove any weeds promptly. Mulching with organic materials like straw or wood chips will also help suppress weed growth.

  5. Removing Suckers: Raspberry plants produce underground shoots called suckers, which can emerge several feet away from the main plant. If left unchecked, these suckers can crowd and compete with the existing canes for resources. To prevent this, carefully dig up and remove any suckers, ensuring they are detached from the main plant.

How To Properly Water Raspberry Canes

Watering raspberry canes correctly is vital for their overall health and productivity. Follow these watering tips to keep your plants well-hydrated:

  1. Deep and Infrequent Watering: Instead of shallow, frequent watering, it is best to deeply water your raspberry canes. This encourages the development of deep roots, which help the plants withstand periods of drought. Water the canes once or twice a week, providing enough moisture to penetrate the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.

  2. Avoid Overwatering: While raspberries require regular watering, excess water can be detrimental to their growth. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. To determine when to water, check the moisture level of the soil by inserting your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If the soil feels moist, hold off on watering for a few days.

  3. Watering Newly Planted Canes: Newly planted raspberry canes require more frequent watering. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not soaked, during the first few weeks after planting.

  4. Irrigation Systems: If you have a large raspberry patch or live in an area with limited rainfall, consider installing a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses to provide consistent and targeted watering. These systems deliver water directly to the base of the plants, reducing waste and ensuring efficient hydration.

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Fertilizing Raspberry Canes For Optimal Growth

Proper fertilization is crucial for the healthy growth and productivity of raspberry canes. Consider the following fertilization guidelines:

  1. Soil Testing: Before fertilizing, it is essential to conduct a soil test to determine the nutrient levels in your soil. This will help you identify any deficiencies and adjust your fertilizer application accordingly.

  2. Organic Matter: Prioritize incorporating organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, into the soil before planting or as a top dressing around the canes. Organic matter improves soil structure, enhances nutrient retention, and promotes microbial activity.

  3. Nitrogen Fertilizer: Raspberries benefit from a steady supply of nitrogen, especially during the growing season. Apply a balanced fertilizer with a higher percentage of nitrogen (such as 10-10-10 or 14-14-14) in early spring, following the recommended application rate on the label.

  4. Side Dressing: To provide additional nitrogen throughout the growing season, side-dress the canes with a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer in early summer. Work the fertilizer into the soil around the base of the plants, taking care not to disturb the roots.

  5. Avoid Over-Fertilization: While fertilization is essential, it is crucial not to over-fertilize raspberry canes, as this can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of fruit production. Follow the recommended rates and avoid applying fertilizer near the end of the growing season.

Growing your own raspberries can be a rewarding experience, and by following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully plant and care for raspberry canes. Remember to choose a suitable location, prepare the soil adequately, and provide proper care throughout the growing season. With proper watering, pruning, fertilization, and disease management, your raspberry plants will thrive and yield abundant, delicious fruits for you to enjoy. So roll up your sleeves, get your gardening tools ready, and start planting those raspberry canes!

Supporting And Training Raspberry Canes

Raspberries are a delicious and versatile fruit that can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, or used in various culinary preparations. Growing your own raspberry canes is not only satisfying but also allows you to have a steady supply of this delicious fruit right in your backyard. However, successfully planting and maintaining raspberry canes requires proper care and attention.

Proper support and training are essential for raspberry canes to grow and bear fruit efficiently. There are two main types of raspberries: erect and trailing. Erect raspberries grow upright and require a different method of support compared to trailing varieties, which have long canes that vine along the ground.

Erect Raspberries

  1. Choose the right location: Select a sunny spot in your garden with well-draining soil. Avoid areas prone to waterlogging or standing water.

  2. Prepare the soil: Raspberry canes thrive in soil with a pH between 5.6 and 6.2. Conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and amend the soil accordingly. Add organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve soil fertility and drainage.

  3. Install support structure: Erect raspberries require a trellis or support system to keep the canes upright and prevent them from falling over under the weight of fruit. Install sturdy posts at either end of the row and stretch strong wires between them. Space the wires at intervals of 18-24 inches, starting from a height of 3 feet from the ground.

  4. Planting: Dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the entire root system of the raspberry cane. Place the cane in the hole and backfill with soil, gently firming it around the base. Water the newly planted cane thoroughly to settle the soil and provide moisture to the roots.

  5. Pruning the canes: Prune the newly planted raspberry cane back to a height of about 6-8 inches above the ground. This encourages the cane to branch out and develop multiple fruit-bearing laterals.

  6. Training: As the raspberry canes grow, tie them to the support wires using soft plant ties or twine. Encourage the canes to grow vertically along the wires. Remove any laterals or side shoots that emerge below the top wire, as they will not receive enough sunlight to produce fruit.

Trailing Raspberries

  1. Select the right variety: Trailing raspberries are often referred to as "everbearing" or "fall-bearing" raspberries. They tend to have longer canes that sprawl along the ground. Popular trailing raspberry varieties include Heritage, Autumn Bliss, and Cascade Delight.

  2. Choose a location: Similar to erect raspberries, trailing varieties prefer a sunny spot with well-draining soil. Ensure the soil pH is within the proper range of 5.6 to 6.2.

  3. Prepare the soil: Improve the soil fertility by adding compost or well-rotted manure. Trailing raspberries benefit from a slightly raised bed to aid drainage and prevent waterlogging.

  4. Planting: Dig a planting trench that is wide and deep enough to accommodate the entire root system of the raspberry cane. Place the cane in the trench, ensuring that the crown of the plant (where the roots meet the stem) is level with the soil surface. Backfill the trench, gently firming the soil around the cane.

  5. Pruning the canes: Unlike erect raspberries, trailing varieties do not require initial pruning at the time of planting. Prune the canes in early spring, removing any damaged, weak, or diseased canes. Prune the remaining canes back by about one-third of their length.

  6. Training: Trailing raspberry canes naturally tend to sprawl along the ground. To prevent the canes from touching the soil, place a layer of mulch or straw around the base of the plants. This also helps retain moisture and suppress weed growth. Alternatively, you can install wire supports or frames above the plants and train the canes to grow horizontally on the supports.

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Pruning Raspberry Canes For Maximum Yield

Pruning raspberry canes is an important practice that helps maximize yield and maintain the health of the plants. The pruning techniques vary depending on the type of raspberry canes: summer-bearing and fall-bearing.

Summer-Bearing Raspberries

  1. First-year canes: After planting, summer-bearing raspberry canes will not produce fruit in their first year. These canes are called primocanes. Prune all the primocanes back to ground level in late winter or early spring.

  2. Second-year canes: In their second year, these canes become floricanes and will bear fruit. Floricanes should not be pruned until after they have finished producing fruit. Once the fruiting season is over, cut the floricanes down to ground level to make room for new primocanes to grow.

  3. Thinning canes: To ensure adequate airflow and sunlight penetration, thin out the number of canes. Leave the strongest canes, about 4-6 per linear foot, and remove any weak or damaged canes. Aim for a well-spaced, upright growth pattern.

Fall-Bearing Raspberries

  1. First-year canes: Fall-bearing raspberry canes, also known as primocanes, will produce fruit in their first year. Allow the primocanes to grow to their full height without pruning.

  2. Second-year canes: The second-year canes of fall-bearing raspberries will bear fruit in late summer or early fall. After harvesting the fruit, prune these canes to ground level to make way for new primocanes.

  3. Thinning canes: Similar to summer-bearing raspberries, thin out the canes to ensure proper airflow and sunlight penetration. Leave the strongest canes, about 4-6 per linear foot, and remove any weak or damaged canes.

Harvesting And Storing Raspberries

Proper harvesting and storage techniques are crucial to enjoy the sweet flavor of raspberries even after the growing season.

  1. Harvesting: Raspberries are ripe when they have a deep color, easily detach from the core, and are soft to the touch. Gently pick the ripe berries, being careful not to crush or bruise them. Harvesting is best done in the early morning when the fruits are cool and firm.

  2. Storing: If you plan to consume the raspberries immediately, refrigerate them in a single layer, unwashed, in a shallow container. They should be consumed within 2-3 days. If you have a larger harvest, you can freeze the berries for long-term storage. Wash the raspberries gently and allow them to dry completely before placing them in a single layer on a tray. Freeze the tray until the berries are firm, then transfer them to a labeled freezer bag or airtight container. Frozen raspberries can be stored for up to 9-12 months.

  3. Preserving: Raspberries can also be preserved by making jams, jellies, or syrups. Follow a reliable recipe and canning instructions to ensure safety and longevity.

Common Problems And Solutions For Raspberry Canes

Growing raspberry canes comes with its share of potential problems. Here are some common issues that gardeners may face and the solutions to address them:

  1. Fruit flies and other pests: Fruit flies can infest raspberry fruits, causing them to spoil. To prevent infestations, use floating row covers or fine mesh nets to exclude the pests. Additionally, regularly remove any fallen or overripe fruits from the ground to reduce pest activity.

  2. Diseases: Raspberry plants can be susceptible to various diseases, such as fungal infections like powdery mildew or gray mold, and viral diseases like raspberry mosaic virus. To prevent diseases, choose disease-resistant varieties, maintain proper plant spacing for good air circulation, and remove and destroy any infected plant material.

  3. Drought stress: Raspberry canes require consistent moisture, especially during fruit development. Provide supplemental watering during dry periods, aiming for about 1-1.5 inches of water per week. Apply mulch around the base of the plants to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

  4. Weed competition: Weeds can compete with raspberry plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Regularly remove weeds from around the base of the canes, taking care not to damage the shallow root system. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or straw, to prevent weed growth and retain soil moisture.

  5. Birds: Birds can be attracted to ripe raspberries and cause significant damage. Protect your crop by covering the plants with bird netting or using reflective tape and scare devices to deter them.


Growing your own raspberry canes can be a rewarding experience, providing a bountiful harvest of delicious fruits. By selecting the appropriate varieties, providing proper support and training, and following pruning and care techniques, you can enjoy a successful raspberry crop. Remember to harvest the fruits at their peak, properly store or preserve them, and address any common problems that may arise. With a little effort and attention, you can relish the sweet taste of homegrown raspberries throughout the growing season.


What Are The Ideal Conditions For Planting Raspberry Canes?

Raspberry canes thrive in well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. They also prefer a sunny location with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.

When Is The Best Time To Plant Raspberry Canes?

The best time to plant raspberry canes is in the early spring, after the threat of frost has passed. This allows the plants to establish strong roots before the summer heat.

How Do I Prepare The Soil For Planting Raspberry Canes?

It is important to prepare the soil before planting by removing any weeds and loosening the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches. Adding organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, can also help improve soil drainage and fertility.

How Far Apart Should I Plant Raspberry Canes?

Raspberry canes should be planted 18-24 inches apart in rows with a spacing of 5-6 feet between rows. This allows enough room for the canes to spread and for air circulation.

How Should I Care For Newly Planted Raspberry Canes?

After planting, water the canes deeply and continue to keep the soil evenly moist for the first year. Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and suppress weeds. It is also important to provide support for the canes, such as a trellis or stakes, to keep them upright as they grow.