Propagation of raspberries is easier than it seems. The plants are usually very difficult to kill, which is a great advantage for anyone who needs the delicious fruit in their own garden. Generally, there are two different methods of propagation: either by dividing the plant or by digging offshoots from an existing plant. The exact steps and instructions on how to propagate raspberries can be found below.
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How to propagate raspberries
Raspberries are very vigorous, but the quality of the berries suffers if the plants are not propagated properly. With good propagation and planting methods, your chances of having a healthy plant that produces juicy berries increase.
Method 1: Take cuttings
This is one of the most popular methods for propagating raspberries. Each year, the raspberry bush forms canes or shoots that thicken and grow. The first set of canes is called primocane. These are often sections of the plant that thicken and form a kind of woven basket at the base of the raspberry.
The canes may also grow underground and root some distance from the main bulb. The sudden emergence of green, leafy shoots away from the main raspberry bush results in offshoots growing out of the primocanes, and these are often smaller canes. These younger, green shoots look like little suckers hanging off the thicker canes. To propagate red raspberries with these offshoots, you will need the following tools:
- a garden spade
- rubbing alcohol
- sharp secateurs or a knife
- a pot
- potting soil with a slightly acidic pH (6.5-6.7)
Winter is the best time for propagating and planting raspberries. Be sure to protect the propagated cuttings and avoid frost freezing the plants.
- First, select an area of the main raspberry plant from which you want to cut the cutting for propagation. It should be a healthy area that shows no signs of rot or insect infestation. The primocane should be healthy and have several offshoots coming from it.
- Choose a section that is not too deep into the main plant, as you do not want to damage your existing raspberry.
- Using a sharpened garden spade cleaned with alcohol, cut through the primocane and separate a section with offshoots and roots from the parent plant. Carefully brush some soil off the roots so you have a better view of the cutting. Use pruning shears to cut off most of the primocane, leaving only sections of offshoots with adult roots.
- Each cutting should have several healthy roots to be eligible for propagation.
Care of raspberry cuttings
Place the cuttings in a pot with soil with the pH required for raspberries, 6.5-6.7. Spray them with a little water, being careful not to drown the plant. The soil should be loose and not tightly compacted. Fortunately, raspberries grow quite well in the wild, and even if you don’t try too hard, the cutting should do well. Place the cutting in a sunny spot that is protected from the weather.
If you wait until early or late spring to propagate cuttings, the plant will be immature when the summer heat sets in and scorches the soft leaves. By propagating in late winter, the plant will be established by the time it has to survive the summer heat.
Since the propagation is very sensitive to cold, you should cover the soil with mulch or put the plant in a sunny place. If the weather turns cold and rainy, it is better to put the pot on your porch or in a greenhouse. Water the cuttings when the soil is dry to the second knuckle when you stick a finger in the soil.
Method 2: Propagation of the tips of the plant.
A good method for propagating cuttings of the raspberry plant is to create your own mini raspberry plant and then cut it from the main plant. This method is also suitable for other varieties of the raspberry plant, such as black or yellow raspberries. Prepare the following tools:
- Garden shears
- Sterilizing liquid or rubbing alcohol.
- A paperweight or a medium sized stone
- Slightly acidic soil
Еs important to find healthy tips of raspberry bushes. Then bury each tip in the soil a short distance from the plant, using a weight to gently hold the raspberry in place. The adult plant will continue to provide the tip with adequate moisture and nutrients as the tip responds to the soil and forms its own roots.
After a few weeks, if you remove the stone and the top of the raspberry is stuck and won’t come out of the ground, you can cut the raspberry off by cutting it close to the ground. It is important that you use sterilized scissors for all cutting. Wait until the ground is warmed through by the sun. This means that late afternoon is the best time of day to get the new raspberry plant out of the ground.
Use a brush to loosen the soil from the cutting and inspect it for viability. Check that the roots are well established, and if you are sure that the propagation was successful, plant the cutting in a pot with slightly acidic soil. Spray the cutting with water until the top layer of soil is moist, and then place it in a sheltered spot where it will receive full sun during the day. So easy to propagate raspberries!