Ultimate Guide To Propagating Raspberries

Image represents the stem cutting propagation of raspberry plant
Raspberries can be propagated by stem cuttings.

Are you confused about utilizing parts of the raspberry plant that you accidentally pruned this winter? Don’t make the mistake of throwing them!

Instead, propagate and grow more raspberries. Although raspberries effortlessly multiply on their own, oblige them to grow this way quickly.

Choose healthy stem and root cuttings, suckers, or seeds to propagate raspberries. These raspberry parts accept multiple propagation methods during early spring. But be advised not to propagate them during the winter on frozen grounds.

Image represents a raspberry sucker propagation
Suckers are tiny raspberry plants that can be used for propagating raspberries.

Pruning is a great way to grab healthy propagating parts from the raspberry plant.

But propagating raspberries need patience and the proper instruction, so if you do not want to go astray, read this article thoroughly.

Why Propagate Raspberries?

Propagating raspberries is both economical and easy. You can propagate all the raspberry varieties, and there are plenty of ways to do this.

Generally, propagating raspberries help populate new plants without spending money and crossbreeding to get new raspberry varieties.

Image represents different propagating materials of raspberry plant
Propagating raspberries requires stem and root cuttings, suckers, or seeds.

Besides, propagating raspberries has goodwill advantages.  

  • Propagating raspberries using stem or cane cuttings helps to keep the mother plant’s original traits in the new plant.
  • Suckers are like little raspberries, so you don’t have to wait for roots and leaves to develop. You can simply plant it and see it grow!
  • Raspberries growing from seeds can carry different characteristics than the mother plant, but it is helpful if you want to crossbreed new varieties.
  • Using root cuttings, you can give the raspberries a chance to grow and develop new canes early.

Best Time To Propagate Raspberries

As an amateur gardener, I accidentally propagated raspberries during the winter, thinking they would grow the following spring vigorously.

But, it didn’t go as planned as all the plants died from frost injury.

So you need to take stem cuttings during late winter in February. This is the time when the plant just awakens from dormancy.

After you have taken the cuttings, propagate them in early spring in March.

Similarly, it is also ideal for propagating the suckers in early spring along with cuttings from the roots.   

For suckers, the more immediate harvesting and planting you do, the better they will grow.      

And, of course, do this for all the raspberry varieties, whether they are summer-bearers or fall-bearers.

How Do You Propagate Raspberries?

I find the process of propagating raspberries fun because it is a chance to learn different methods to multiply plants and grow more.

There are two raspberry varieties, including summer-bearers and fall-bearers, that you can take the cuttings from.

Black and purple raspberries are fall-bearers, but the red raspberries are a bit confusing as they can either be summer or fall-bearers.

Tools Required To Propagate Raspberries

Anyway, keep yourself equipped with the tools needed for propagation.

ToolsSpecifications
PrunersTo cut the sections for propagation
Mesh ColanderTo strain and separate the seeds
DisinfectantTo sterilize the pruning tools
Gardening KnifeTo make a suitable layering cut
ToothpicksTo pick up seeds and placing them for germination
Seed TrayTo place the seeds for germination
Terracotta Pots With Drainage HolesTo root the cuttings
Liquid FertilizerTo fertilize the cuttings
Rooting Hormone PowderTo help the cuttings develop roots
Organic PerliteTo aid extra aeration for the cuttings in the potting mix
Gardening GlovesTo protect the hands during the process
ShovelTo dig up the soil
Low Nutrient SubstrateTo provide a suitable substrate for germinating the seeds
Plastic WrapTo cover the stem cuttings

1. Propagating Raspberries From Suckers

Suckers are mini-raspberry plants that sprout from the root system of the mother plant. They are connected to the mother plant using lateral stolon or runners.

Upon detachment, they are the masters of their own and grow to give a new independent plant!

Normally, gardeners consider stems or cane and root cuttings to propagate, but suckers are also blissful choices that give good results.

Thus, new canes also vegetate from suckers.

Here’s how you can propagate!

  • Look for a healthy sucker growing on a two to three years old mother plant.
  • Take a shovel and dig a circle around the sucker that you choose. Be advised that the circle must be at least 4 inches in diameter.
  • Use the shovel to sever the runner connecting the mother plant and sucker.
  • Make the soil loose using the shovel and shove it into the soil till you feel the root.
GIF illustrates the use of sucker for propagating raspberry plant
Suckers are good plant materials to propagate new raspberry plants.
  • Tilt the spade and gently lift the sucker along with some soil around its root zone.
  • Dig a hole about three inches deep in well-draining soil under a sunny site.
  • Propagate the suckers in a gap of three feet if you are going to plant more.
  • If the soil is poor, use a well-draining potting mix and spread it about four inches thick on the planting site.
  • You can dig the site and mix the compost with soil up to eight inches deep.
  • Place the suckers in the hole you have dug, and cover its roots with soil so they can stand firmly.
  • Apply water around the planted suckers so that the soil settles down.

It is ideal to water suckers once a week until they develop new canes and leaves.

If the canes develop, congrats! You have successfully propagated raspberry using suckers.

2. Propagating Raspberries From Stem or Cane Cuttings

While propagating raspberries, get an idea about the cane or stem types from which you can take some cuttings.

Canes or stems are the places where the fruit develops, and they are in two types.

Primocanes – Stems that represent the first year’s growth

Floricanes – Stems that represent the second year’s growth

Take the cuttings from healthy and green primocane for summer-bearers or red raspberries.

Unfortunately, fall-bearers such as black or purple raspberries don’t readily propagate using stem cuttings.

For these raspberries, another method called “simple layering” is famous.

Image represents the stem or cane cuttings planted for propagation
Take healthy stem or cane cuttings for propagating raspberries.

Thus, you can also propagate raspberry stem cuttings in soil or water.  

Propagation In Soil Medium

The different raspberries have individual propagation processes in soil. 

Propagating Summer-bearers
  • Cut a four to six inches long stem section using sterilized pruners that contain at least two or three leaves at the top.
  • Two to five leaf nodes are above the cut ends even better. Take the cuttings early in the morning when the plants are full of water.
  • Remove the lower leaves to expose leaf nodes from where the roots shall develop.
  • Take a terracotta pot about 24 to 36 inches in diameter and fill it with the potting mix that contains sandy-loam soil with added perlite.

If you are trying something organic, use well-aged compost or manure prepared during the fall or a few weeks before planting.

  • Dip the cuttings in the water and then into rooting hormone powder.
  • Make six holes, about three to four inches deep, using a pencil, and place the raspberry canes.
  • Keep the pot in an area that receives direct sunlight and lightly moisten the top soil layer.
  • Cover the cuttings using plastic wrap to keep them warm and moist.

Check the progress after two to three weeks by giving the cuttings a little tug with fingers to see if the roots have developed.

If the cuttings remain firm and steady, they must have developed roots. Bravo!

Propagating Fall-bearers

For fall-bearers, you can follow this strategy of simple layering first.

  • Choose a healthy primocane that is free of diseases.
  • Scrape a cut an inch deep into the tissue using a sharp knife, about a foot down from the cane’s tip.
  • Dig a small trench about three inches deep in the soil near the cane.
  • Pull the cane down to the ground and make the cut touch to the trench in the soil.
Image illustrates the process of simple layering in raspberries
Simple layering is the only method for propagating black and purple raspberries.
  • Cover it with soil from the top and place a stone to hold the entire cane in place.
  • Make sure you keep at least six inches of the stem tip free.
  • Water the area to keep it moist.

Keep an eye on the layered stem for six to eight weeks until new growth emerges, indicating that roots have formed.

Propagation In Water Medium

Propagating raspberries in water isn’t as effective as propagating in soil but will do the job of sprouting the roots.

Here’s how you can do this.

  • Take about four to six inches long cuttings with two or three leaves at the top from a healthy primocane.
  • Ensure two to five leaf nodes are at the lower end of the cuttings.
  • Make a hormone solution of strength 0.05% to 0.1% by mixing 0.5 mg or 1 mg of hormone powder in one liter of distilled water in a glass jar.
Image illustrates propagation of raspberry cuttings in water
When propagating raspberries, place the cuttings in water containing the rooting hormone.
  • Place the cuttings in the water and keep the entire setup in a sunny place.
  • Change the water in a couple of days if it turns murky with the same strength as the hormone solution.

After two weeks, you can see the roots developed in the cuttings.

Once you see the roots, transfer the cuttings to a well-draining potting mix.

You can also plant the cuttings directly in the garden and be generous to maintain the right growing conditions.

3. Propagating Raspberries From Root Division

Both the summer and fall-bearers can also be propagated via root division.

To propagate, follow these steps.

  • Uproot is a healthy raspberry plant during winter when it is in the dormant phase. So, you can prune the young rootlets as thick as a pencil, about three inches in length.
  • Ensure to take the rootlets nearest to the mother plant’s root ball.
  • Use pruners and trim off the bottom end of rootlets diagonally.
  • Place the root cuttings in a terracotta pot with the same potting mix mentioned above.
  • Make holes using a pencil about three inches deep in the potting mix.
  • Dip the cuttings first in water and then in the rooting hormone powder and place them in the holes.
  • Place six cuttings per pot, which should be 24 to 36 inches wide.
  • Lightly moisten the soil with water. And place the cuttings in a shaded area away from sunlight.

Shoots may take several months to appear, so you can apply water-soluble fertilizer once they do.

Take the newly sprouted cuttings and place them in your garden early spring.

Check out this video to learn about propagating raspberries from the stem and root cuttings.

4. Propagating Raspberries From Seeds

Seeds can be another way to propagate raspberries if you want offspring different from the mothers. 

However, growing raspberries from the seeds is a slow method than directly planting the cuttings or suckers.

The first step of propagating raspberries using seeds is to harvest the fruits first.

So, you need to harvest the fruits of raspberries in summer. Once you have gathered the berries, you can now extract the seeds.

If you have finished collecting the raspberry seeds, you can continue with the following!

  • Place the raspberries in a mesh colander having 1/4th mm holes.
  • Keep the raspberries under the running sink water.
  • Crush the berries along the side of the mesh using a spoon or spatula.
  • Pick the individual light-brown colored seeds using a wet toothpick.
  • Peel the excess flesh from the seeds under the low running water.
Image represents the process of separating the seeds of raspberries using a strainer
Separate the seeds of raspberries from the fruit pulp using a mesh colander.
  • Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours.
  • Prepare a seed tray containing two-inch thick low-nutrient seed starter compost.
  • Place the seeds individually about an inch apart from each other.
  • Keep the entire setup near a north-facing window during the winter and transfer the tray to the area that receives the dappling sunlight during spring.

After four to six weeks, the seeds may germinate, and you can transfer the seedlings to four-inch pots once they reach about one inch in height.

You can also transplant the seedlings to a larger pot and place them in a sunny area with mildly acidic and well-draining soil.

Things To Consider During Propagation

  • Use distilled water while watering.
  • Make an angled cut of 45° while taking the cuttings for propagation.
  • Water the compost during germination whenever the soil feels dry to the touch.
  • Avoid soggy water conditions in the soil.
  • Use sterilized pruning tools to make the cuts.
  • While transferring the rooted cuttings to a new pot, keep its root intact and safe.

If you need to keep the journey of propagation from the beginning, you need to prune raspberries first.

Tips To Care For Raspberries After Propagation

If your raspberry plant grows healthy roots, move it to the field, and ensure these primary care requirements.

  • Plant your growing raspberry plant in the sunny spot in your garden. It requires full sun of 6-8 hours to grow.
  • Provide 0.016 liters of water during the growing season and 0.065 liters of water during the fruiting stage per week. 
  • Maintain a temperature between 21 and 23°C during the growing seasons.
  • Sustain ideal humidity levels around 50%- 60% for full growth.
raspberry-in-corner
Raspberries grow well in zone 3-10.
  • Provide sandy-loamy soil having pH levels between 5.6 and 6.2.
  • Prune the diseased or spent canes during late winter or early spring after the plant matures.
  • Transplant your potted raspberry plant during early spring or late fall.
  • Use balanced type 10-10-10 fertilizer once in one or two weeks during peak growth. Avoid fertilizing the plant during the fall and winter.

After propagation, raspberries become weak and are under frequent attack by pests. So, spray Neem oil during late winter or early spring to deter them.

Conclusion

Propagating raspberries is one of the easiest and most calming exercises for gardeners.

All you have to look for is the right time and season to grow summer and fall-bearer varieties.

Healthy stems, roots, suckers, and seeds are the right materials to initiate propagation.

Hence, don’t let the parts go to waste and use them to grow more raspberries!

Want to be an avid green thumb? Learn about propagating Lucky Bamboo Seeds & Monstera, which are useful plants to start your gardening journey!

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