If you’re planning to add a raspberry bush to your outdoor landscape, an important question that you might ask is how tall do raspberries grow? There are many different varieties of raspberries. The varieties don’t just differ in color and taste of the fruit but also the size of the bush. Some cultivars are bred to suit small gardens and container gardens. Yet, there are other varieties that won’t grow in a container and get quite tall and wide.
Let’s dig deeper into how tall do raspberries grow, how much space will they need in your garden and whether they need support and pruning over the years.
How Tall Do Raspberries Grow?
First things first, let’s find out what mature height can raspberry canes achieve. The mature height of a raspberry bush depends on the variety, but most bushes can grow to between 4 to 6 feet in height. There are some varieties that can grow as tall as 8 feet!
As for the width, it will again depend on the specific variety that you are growing. Most raspberry bushes, however, can grow between 3 to 5 feet wide. As the bushes grow tall, they’ll need some form of support to keep them from falling over. The height and width of the bush can be maintained with careful pruning if you don’t want the bush to outgrow its allocated space.
How Fast Do Raspberry Canes Grow?
Raspberry bushes typically bear fruit 1 to 2 years after planting. Some varieties can grow up to 4 feet or taller in just about a year! A raspberry bush gives new canes every year. These green canes are called primocanes. Primocanes don’t bear fruit during their first year. During their second year, when they are called floricanes, they bear fruit from early to mid-summer.
The floricanes have a brown bark, firmer than the primocanes. After their second year, the fruit bearing capacity of floricanes significantly reduces. Once their production falls, the old canes are typically cut back or pruned to the ground to make room for the raspberry bush to send out new canes and keep up the productivity.
Trellising Raspberry Bushes
Though raspberry bushes don’t grow very tall, a raspberry plant laden with berries is top heavy and might fall over if it’s not provided support. If you plan on keeping your raspberry patch for a long time, building a formal support system is worth a thought. Tall tomato cages work for shorter raspberry bushes. For taller bushes, you’ll need a trellis. To build a trellis, drive 6-feet posts into the ground at intervals and string wires between them. Tie the raspberry canes to the wires as they grow along the trellis.
For raspberry bushes that grow to a height of 4 to 6 feet tall, an ordinary trellis with posts and wires is fine since harvesting isn’t a problem at this height. However, if you’re growing one of the taller varieties that attain 7 to 8 feet height, consider installing a lean-to trellis or build your own. A lean-to trellis trains the plants to grow diagonally so the fruits can be harvested easily from the ground without using a ladder.
Pruning Raspberry Canes
Gardeners prune raspberry bushes every year. Not only does it keep the height and width in check, but it also makes sure that the old non-productive canes are removed and there is more room for new primocanes. Pruning the bushes to a suitable height also makes harvesting and managing the bushes easier.
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Summer-bearing raspberries are typically pruned in summers after harvesting to keep the bushes manageable. Cut all the canes that produced berries to the ground. These are the canes with the brown bark. Leave the green canes standing since they will produce berries in the following season.
Next, prune out the green primocanes that are overcrowding the bush. In general, you only want a single green cane in a 4-inch width. This will give room to raspberry canes to grow healthy without overcrowding one another.
Top Raspberry Varieties
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There are several raspberry varieties to grow. Make sure you choose something that suits your climate and the amount of space you have in your garden.
Some popular varieties include:
Grows well in zones 5 to 8 and produces large red berries, ready to pick between July to September. The variety grows to 4 to 5 feet tall and takes about a year or two to bear fruit.
Boyne is a cold-hardy, compact raspberry bush that grows to a mature height of 3 to 4 feet and a comparable spread. It gives bright red berries about a year after planting.
This dwarf raspberry bush is the perfect choice for small space gardeners and grows excellently in containers. The thornless bush grows to a maximum height of about 2 to 3 feet and won’t need support. It’s a productive plant and will do even better with regular pruning.
Double Gold Raspberry
Suited to USDA zones 4 to 8, this variety produces medium-sized orange fruit that matures between July to September and continues bearing through the cold weather. The bush will start bearing fruit within 1 to 2 years of planting and grows to a mature height of 5 to 8 feet tall.
Now that you know how tall do raspberries grow and how to support and prune them to maintain a healthy bush, you’re all set to grow a raspberry patch of your own. Choose a variety suitable for your garden, maintain it well and it will give juicy berries for seasons to come.