Growing raspberry plants from seed.

linnea56(z5 IL)December 18, 2010

I would like to know what can be done to assure germination and success. Before anyone asks why don't I just buy plants, there is a bit of a story involved. My parents' 3 acre property in Wisconsin was sold 4 years ago, after my father passed away at 97. It had been my grandparents before, and they had planted an extensive orchard, and many different kinds of raspberry plants. My brother and I grew up taking care of those plants and enjoying the fruit. As time passed I'm guessing the varieties must have interbred: so what kind they are, I could not guess. At least one kind was originally Latham.

My brother's son also lived there for a while as a young adult to take care of his grandpa. While staying there he began to get very interesting in gardening, especially growing fruits and vegetables.

My brother and nephew went there last summer, to see how the place looked. The raspberries were past eating, the current owners don't pick them, I guess. But some seeds had matured. My nephew picked a few branches, saying he wanted to try growing them. My brother saved them and planned to ask me how to do it.

My nephew passed away unexpectedly in early September, aged only 24. Now my brother would really like to grow those raspberries more than ever, as a connection to both my parents and his son.

Can anyone tell me how to make this happen? Thanks for any advice!

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The easiest way to accomplish your goal would be to send the new owners a Christmas card, thanking them for the chance to visit to old homestead. Maybe a fruitcake would be nice. Then, you wait until April, and ask them if it would be OK to visit again, and dig out some raspberry roots. The roots can be put into small pots, with dirt packed around, and kept damp. A plastic bag to cover and prevent evaporation would be helpful. They should be transported to their new home, and planted within a few days, if possible. I have taken volunteer raspberry plants from our patch, and moved them to new locations, in the spring, just as they are leafing out. The success rate has been over 90%.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 12:17PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Well.... I know that wild blackberry seeds will grow into plants because they can be spread by birds.

Raspberries are a cool weather plant so probably don't need a lot of heat to germinate. They might need to be stratified and it won't hurt them to stratify them if it turns out they don't need it. Then just put them in some soil in the spring and make sure they don't dry out or get too wet and see what happened.

The actually plants at your parent's house are probably spread from root suckers and not by seeds, so are probably not mixed parentage.

However, if you want to germinate the seeds, go for it and I wish you the best of luck with the project.

There IS raspberry breeding going on and one of the universities that specializes in Raspberries can probably give you advice about how they germinate raspberry seeds.

Also, there is a "propagating from seed" forum here on Garden web. Maybe someone there knows.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 1:31PM
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Raspberry seeds can remain dormant for a very long period of time if not given the right opportunity to germinate. They have a thick seed coat that water doesn't penetrate very easily on its own. They need to go through scarification - weakening of the seed coat. In nature this is done by animals eating the berries. The acid in their digestive system breaks down the seed coat and those seeds then germinate once they get the right moisture and light after being... deposited lol.

I've have good luck using regular peroxide (3%) treatment. I soak the seeds in the peroxide for 30 minutes then dilute it with water 50/50 and let it sit for 24 hours. Then the seeds are ready for stratification. I put them in a damp medium in the refrigerator for 90 days. After that they can be planted in pots in a bright area but not direct sunlight.

Another method I've heard of but not tried is to bring water to a boil. Take the pot off the heat then put the seeds in. Let them soak in the hot water until it cools to room temperature. After that they can be stratified.

I've also heard of people using a diluted household bleach solution to scarify the seed coat but haven't tried that myself.

Good luck and sorry to hear about your nephew :( .


    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 2:56PM
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madferret(UK 8b-9a)

I have got a raspberry seedling atm which I've grown from wild raspberry seed, from which I'd tried to get cuttings to root.

I didnt do anything special other than dry them and remove as much pith as possible, but than I only got 2 (one of which died) from about 8-10 seeds, juse an experiment really though. I do have a 35W CFL over the seedling, although I am not sure if this made any difference or not.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 3:49AM
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Tossing moldy berries into the garden resulted in many volunteers. They seemed to be reverting -- thick spiney stocks that fall over and nice berries.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 4:22PM
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