What is wrong with my blackberries? (pics included)

m5allenMay 17, 2012

My Natchez blackberry plant just does not seem to produce quality berries. I am not sure what I am doing wrong? This plant flowered fairly well in the beginning of spring, but the berries it produces are just not fully formed. You can see from the pics that only a few of the "bulbs" on the berry form, and the result is a tiny little mutant berry.

Can anyone help me out with this? It has been in a general potting mix amended with some pine bark fines. I fertilize every so often with liquid Miracle Gro. It gets sun for most of the day and I try to keep it watered, but not overwatered. It seems to have some nice new growth coming from the base of the plant, so I am not sure what is going on with the berry production?

I am pretty new to gardening, so any help would be appreciated.


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I think it is just down to incomplete pollination.Do you notice any bees or other pollinators on the flowers(especially early morning)?I have literally hundreds of wild blackberry plants on my property(each year they pop up in new areas,as the birds drop the seeds in their droppings) & they are covered in pollinators,but I still get some berries that are not fully formed-they still taste great though.Have you considered planting in the ground & letting it spread?It will give you better fruit production & attract more pollinators.Hope this helps

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:18AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Could it be stunted because of the small container? I have blackberries in the ground & the roots seem quite extensive - suckers pop up yards away from the main plants.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:41AM
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I agree with incomplete pollination. Your plants being situated right next to that wall the wind cannot help pollinate when the bees are inactive. My Natchez are grown inside my screen pool cage and get pollinated only by the wind and from a fan and the berries are full. My plants are also in pots while I am preparing a spot for them outdoors.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:38AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

x3 on incomplete pollination.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 11:45AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi m5allen

I have my blackberries planted next to a fence in my backyard, it only gets the water from a sprinkler twice a week, I think if you plant it in the ground they will do better for you, they are hardy. In another side of the yard, I have one with thorns that I am trying to kill it and it always pop back.

My blackberries today and I have been picking ripe fruit...


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Thanks for the help. Come to think of it, I really did not notice many bees around when my plants were flowering. Not sure why?

I would love to be able to plant most all of my plants in the ground, but we are renting and I plan to take everything with me when I leave. Someday I hope to be settled in somewhere and be able to plant in the ground.

I also have a native Sawtooth Blackberry and it is growing like a weed. It is thorny as heck, but I love this plant, it is almost maintenance free.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:44PM
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