Growing Black Raspberries in Florida

Growing Black Raspberries in Florida is easy and fruitful. Learn about the fruit, tips, and more. Plus learn how to grow them in your yard.

2 years ago I found a black raspberry plant on the dead plant rack at Lowes for $1. I figured if it died, I wasn’t out anything. WOW, I had no idea that growing Black Raspberries in Florida would be so easy and fruitful!

Can you Grow Raspberries in Florida?

YES! While many raspberries grow in zone 4-8. Black raspberries can be grown successfully in Florida. Although not many people consider them.

Some tips are planting them in filtered light where they are getting only about 6 hours of direct sun a day and planting them against a fence or building where they have wind protection.

Black Raspberries

What are black raspberries? Rubus occidentalis is a species of Rubus native to eastern North America. Some people think they are a weed, but I think that they are an amazing addition to a homestead or garden.

Health wise they are full of antioxidants and vitamins. Some may even call them a superfood. I love to use the leaves for tea as well. I highly recommend you do a little research on the health benefits of raspberries. They are so good for you!

Best Conditions

I planted my raspberries on the western side of my house. At them time I didn’t imagine they would get large. I was wrong! The one foot tall shoot I purchased has grown into a 10 foot tall 15 foot wide bramble of raspberries. It works perfectly for us because it acts as a privacy screen for our pool yard. I have actually thinned them out, and given plants away. I am also planning on planting some elsewhere on the property too.

These raspberries, like damp, acidic soil. If you over water than can get moldy/rot. There has to be a balance. Here in Florida the sun can get very strong. Ours get full sun for about 6 hours a day. The rest of the day it is filtered. I have found this really helped the plant get established without stress. I also fertilize with a berry fertilizer twice a year. In the late winter and early summer.

Planting them against a house, fence or building helps protect them from frost damage and wind damage.

Taste

Some people say that they don’t like the taste of black raspberries. I have heard them called watery, or bland. I think that those people didn’t have them growing long enough or in the right conditions. My berries are sweet and juicy! You have to let them grow and stay on the vine until they are completely black. If you pick them too early they don’t develop their sugar enough.

Yes, you may loose some to the birds, but my advice is to go out early in the morning and get that days berries. If I don’t have enough for a full snack, or recipe, I rinse them and put them in a freezer bag. I defrost them when I am ready to use them.

Season

Our black raspberries start to flower in Febuary. By early March they are covered in Bees and other pollinators. We are getting the first fruit by Mid-April. Typically we get a second flower round and more fruit during the summer, but not as plentiful as that first round. The canes die back after summer and start to put their energy into sending off new shoots.

Long story short you will have fruit mid/late April, and possibly more into the early summer here in Florida.

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