How to Propagate Blackberries: Multiply Blackberry Brambles

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Growing fruit in the backyard always leaves us wanting more! I only have two small blackberry plants and this winter the animals practically decimated them. I’ve decided to learn how to propagate blackberries so I can restore our brambles to production quality once again.

My mom has kindly offered for us to dig up a few of her blackberry bushes, as hers have exploded in growth. She’s also got a lot more gardening space than we do, so her many plants multiply rather quickly year after year.

I’ll cover my best tips on how to propagate blackberries here, and invite you to do the same in your comments.

Large, Juicy Blackberries on a berry bush - how to propagate blackberries
Large, Juicy Blackberries on a berry bush – how to propagate blackberries – we snapped this photo on our trip to Stiles Farm in NJ.

How do blackberries reproduce?

Blackberry plants can propagate through stem cuttings, root cuttings, tip layering, or growing new plants from seed. Growing blackberries from seed is more tedious and time-consuming, so most gardeners plan to buy new blackberry plants or propagate from existing plants.

Do blackberries grow from cuttings?

Yes, blackberries can grow new plants from stem and root cuttings. They can also grow roots from the tip end of the blackberry bush naturally and without warning.

How to Propagate Blackberries from Suckers

Propagating blackberry plants from suckers is quite possibly the easiest way to multiply your brambles. Follow these steps to propagate blackberries from suckers.

  1. Inspect the blackberry patch to identify any healthy suckers.
  2. Dig all the way around the sucker with a good shovel or hand spade.
  3. Gently pop the dirt chunk out of the ground and see if the roots are still connected in the ground.
  4. If so, you may need to dig deeper or snip the remaining root with pruning shears.
  5. Plant the blackberry sucker in its own space or container.
  6. Water it to help with adjusting to the relocation.
  7. Monitor each day for water needs and new signs of growth.
  8. Repeat for any other blackberry propagation candidates.
Propagating blackberry plants from suckers means digging up new plants and transplanting them.
Propagating blackberry plants from suckers means digging up new plants and transplanting them. Here’s my mom’s blackberry patch before peak ripeness.

How to Propagate Blackberries from Tip Layering

Blackberries also do a decent job of propagating themselves in ideal cases with what is called tip layering. When a blackberry cane grows so long that the end (or tip) touches the ground, it can actually root itself there. This essentially produces a daughter of the original blackberry plant.

This happened in my garden and I am hopeful that snipping the cane in half will result in two healthy plants. I am a bit nervous to do it but too curious not to at least try.

Blackberry tip layering where the free end of the berry bush roots itself
Hard to see because it’s still winter, but this is the spontaneous blackberry tip layering that occurred just over my fence into my neighbor’s yard!

I will return to this blog post and update with photos and my real-life experience propagating blackberries by tip layering.

In the meantime, did you know you can multiply your raspberry patch in much the same way with suckers? Check out a similar post on Propagating Raspberries from Raspberry Roots and Suckers.

Have you had any success trying to propagate blackberry plants? Do you have questions or suggestions?

We love hearing from you – please drop us a comment and we’ll be sure to respond!

Happy Gardening!

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