Plants look after us if we look after them
The blackberry bush, also known under its alias Rubus fruticosus, flowers in the summer with pinkish white flowers which are pollinated by the wind or insects. The dark blue blackberries then appear on the plant. With a bit of care you can then pick your own blackberries all summer and autumn long. The shrub grows best over a pergola or summerhouse or along a fence or wall. The blackberry also fits in large containers or pots on the balcony or terrace, particularly the compact varieties that require little maintenance. The blackberry is native to the whole of Europe and the high mountains of South America. Who hasn’t picked blackberries in the dunes or in the woods? When the blackberry’s runners touch the ground they form roots, creating a tangle of branches with thorns. That’s why blackberry bushes were used to protect holy places in the past. Blackberries are healthy, packed with vitamins and delicious. But you can also freeze them for later, or use them straightaway to make tasty juices, cakes, desserts, jams or salads. Birds also love blackberries - protect the bush with a net. Some blackberry species remain very compact, which means they also work well on your patio or balcony.
- Blackberries like a partially shady or sunny spot - the fruit will ripen there well and taste good.
- Water the plants regularly and make sure they don’t dry out, particularly when they’re planted in pots or containers.
- Blackberries like a humus-rich, lightly acidic soil.
- Cut the plant back to 40 cm in the spring so that it remains compact and healthy. Prune again in the autumn before winter arrives if the plant has grown too big. Pruning and sometimes thinning ensures that the fruit are bigger and sweeter, and ripen more quickly.
- Give young bushes a bit of protection in the winter. Older bushes are very hardy.
- Give the blackberry some extra food for acid-loving plants in the spring so that it can grow and bloom well.