Know Blackberry Companion Plants (& What not to Plant with them)

Due to the blackberries’ tart flavor, many gardeners prefer to plant them in their gardens. Besides, they can also have a boosted growth if you grow them with other plants.

Generally, blackberry companion plants include shrubs such as hazelnuts and blueberries and herbs such as bee balm and tansy. But avoid planting raspberries, carrots and other plants.

Continue reading to learn companion planting benefits and some excellent plants for blackberries.

Why to group Blackberry with Companion Plants? 

Companion planting is widely used in gardening and agriculture for numerous reasons, which work the same for Blackberry.  

  • Companion planting helps avoid pest infestation or pathogenic fungi damage to plants.
  • Different plants secrete a sweet aroma that attracts pollinator insects near them. 
  • A plant can significantly benefit from its companion plants’ copious nectar and pollen as they attract many beneficial insects.
  • Some plants benefit from their large companion plants by exploiting those plants’ size as a protective shelter.
  • Companion planting helps boost agricultural or gardening output, thereby increasing crop productivity.
  • This keeps the soil moist and prevents erosion. Ground covers (companion plants) planted between the main crops can help reduce soil erosion. 

Good Companion Plants For Blackberry

Choosing the right companion plants for your blackberry bushes can help them thrive, and knowing what companion plants you need around your main plant is a bonus.

1. Companion Trees

Many people prefer planting trees around the Blueberries for better growth.

These large trees store moisture in their canopies and can thus shed nutrients in the form of leafy mulch.

This leafy mulch spreads around the soil and neighboring plants to enrich and insulate the soil. Due to this, the plant will have better fruit yields.

If you have a more extensive garden, you can consider hosting more enormous trees, such as oak, as companion plants for your blackberries.

Trees such as the White Oak and Pacific Madrone are complementary plants for Blackberries.

Blackberries prefer exposure to the full sun. So, many gardeners use dwarf trees like pears and almonds as companion plants to benefit from the leafy mulch and direct sun.

2. Companion Shrubs

Lower shrubs can be good companions for blackberries as these shrubs tolerate the shade of higher and taller brambles.

Ladybug on a Plant
Ladybugs are kind of beneficial to the plants as they eat off the harmful insects hovering on your Blueberries.

These shrubs help disorient insects and pests eager to feed on your blackberry plant.

Gardeners usually recommend fruit-bearing shrubs as companion plants for blackberries to elevate a garden’s productivity.

Blueberry shrubs do not shade blackberries and tolerate acidity.

Some other shrubs, such as hazelnuts, serviceberries, and thimbleberries, can fill in gaps between blackberry harvests.

3. Companion Herbs

Herbs are great companion plants as they aid in repelling harmful pests and insects from the Blueberry plant.

Planting tall herbs just before or between your Blackberry harvests encourages pollination.

A few examples of these herbs are hyssop, Tansy & rue, rose bushes, bee balm, and borage. Let’s look at some of them in detail below.

Tansy & Rue

Tansy or Tanacetum Vulgare and Rue or Ruta spp. are among a few other herbs known for their plant compounds that repel insects.

Gardeners, however, do not prefer planting tansy too close to blackberries as it spreads aggressively.

This yellow flowering herb has leaves containing a mixture of camphor, borneol, and thujone.

Camphor disorients destructive Blackberry predators such as Japanese beetles, ants, flies, and striped cucumber beetles.

Hyssop, Bee Balm and Borage

Hyssop or Hysoppus Officinalis is another herb companion plant for blackberry. They attract bees and repel pests such as flea beetles and cabbage moths.

Bee Balm and Borage are other companion plants for blackberry that attract pollinators to aid in pollinating your plant.

These plants are called honeybee magnets because they attract many bees for pollination. 

Besides, Strawberries and blackberries complement growing when placed 18 to 30 inches apart.

Garlic

Pungent-smelling Garlic protects Blackberries, especially from aphids.

Besides only aphids, Garlic repels destructive pests such as beetles, weevils, and spider mites.

You can grow Garlic a foot before a Blackberry border or between Blackberry bushes.

There is a lot to offer from garlic so learn how companion plants can leverage the benefits. 

4. Ground Cover Crops

Ground cover crops such as mint, lemon balm, and chives are good companion plants for your blackberry bushes.

They can serve numerous functions ranging from attracting pollinators to repelling insects.

Gardeners plant ground cover crops to hide the bare stems of blackberry bushes.

Nitrogen-rich soil is the primary nutrient of blackberries. So, it is a good idea to plant plants like compact peas or beans near the stems of blackberries.

5. Oat Varieties 

You can sow an annual variety of oats in the fall after the second year of your blackberry plants’ growth.

Oats are competitive plants because they compete with blackberries for water and nutrients. It causes the roots of Blackberry to harden in preparation for winter.

What not to Plant with Blackberries?

The following plants can hurt the plant in different ways and may even kill your plant.

PlantsReason to avoid them
RaspberriesThey share same diseases that can transmit quickly to one another
CarrotsHigh need of nutrients
Nightshade Vegetables (Tomatoes, Potatoes, etc.)Can transmit deadly diseases and insects to Blueberry and vice versa
AsparagusSlow-growing plant with high nutrients requirements

You must avoid the above plants if you want your blackberries to live full lives.

Wrapping Up… 

You can group nutritious edible plants to make the blackberry patch a new mixed-produce garden.

Also, the lower shrubs befriend blackberry by tolerating the shade of higher brambles. 

If you have other plants, you may want to read about their companion plants including Potato, Mint, and Basil.

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