Hydroponic Raspberries: How to Grow Raspberries Hydroponically

Raspberries are not good plants for a novice to grow hydroponically. That’s not to say it can’t be done. It can and has been done successfully.

However, keep in mind that.

  1. They are long term plants that generally are quite large.
  2. They produce a lot of suckers and canes that require vigilant pruning. Raspberries are pruned when dormant and after canes have fruited. The canes are biennial so a cane emerges and grows during one year than bears a crop of berries and dies the following year.
    An exception would be ever bearers.
  3. Brambles, which includes both Raspberries and Blackberries, are highly susceptible to Root Rot. Naturally in a hydroponic setup, this is a very real issue.
  4. They require pollination to bear fruit, so grown indoors they need to be hand-pollinated.

Hydroponic Raspberry Growing Quick Facts

  • pH for Hydroponic Blackberries and Raspberries should be 5.8 to 6.5
  • The temperature should be kept between 72 degrees F and 76 F
  • 10-12 hours of light daily optimal – but a minimum of 6 hrs.
  • Planting Raspberry from seeds is not a good idea. Transplants are recommended.
  • The optimal humidity range should be 65% -75%
  • Harvest 12 months/year is possible with staggered growth cycles.

Related: Growing Raspberries from Cuttings

Raspberry Plant Varieties

Smaller varieties of raspberry bushes can be misleading, even though they are small if properly maintained they can generate a comfortably high yield of berries. I have been most successful with:

Growing Hydroponic Raspberries

The raspberries that I grow I put into inexpensive poly bags [Grow Bags ] with a mix of perlite and vermiculite, 70% Perlite 30% Vermiculite.

Perlite does not retain water, Vermiculite retains too much – with Raspberries and other brambles, unlike some other crops where a 50-50 mix is advisable, you want to avoid too much moisture near the root base for extended periods due to the high susceptibility to root rot.

In spring, or whatever stage equates to Spring in your garden cycle the solution should be heavier in Nitrogen. Raspberries grow better with a higher proportion of Nitrogen {N}. However, towards the end of the cycle – Autumn, Potassium (K) and Phosphorous (P) should be added in higher concentrations.

You’ll have to keep a vigilant eye out for suckers, of which raspberry plants tend to produce a lot of.

Hydroponic Environment for Raspberries

A picture of raspberries being grown hydroponically.


Although, in nature, Raspberries and Blackberries Thrive in full sun , they will tolerate decreased light. Heat lamps are not needed, cooler fluorescent or LED lights suffice and will help hold down the electric bill.

Temperature and Humidity

They thrive in cool temperatures, best daytime temperatures around 72 F and 76 F, nighttime temperatures around 60 F. They can tolerate and adapt to temperature fluctuations and are not fragile in this respect.

The optimal humidity range should be 65% -75%. Levels above 90% will hamper pollination and encourage fruit molding. Levels below 65% can hamper pollination and lead to problems with mites.

Trellising and Plant Supports

Some varieties of Raspberries are way too large to even consider for a hydroponic setup, but there are many smaller varieties that work just fine. Even the smaller varieties will require a supporting trellis system for good plant health and production.

As the plants become heavily weighted down with fruit and foliage, they tend to bend over and sometimes break from their own weight.

At the culmination of the growing season leaves and old canes can be pruned off. Pruning and trellising have a strong impact on plant growth, quality, and production.

See ‘Pruning Brambles‘.


Hand pollination is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but Raspberries can’t be adequately pollinated by simply shaking the plants. If you have a location such as a greenhouse, garage, or shed where you don’t mind letting bees and other pollinators in – go for it! If not you will need to hand pollinate.

See Indoor Pollination

Avoiding Root Rot

  1. If transplanting from soil to a hydroponic system be sure to remove all soil residue off the root-ball without saturating the roots. Try not to let the roots dry out in the hardening and transplanting process. The plant’s energy is stored in the root system so be sure to do as little damage as feasible when transplanting.
  2. Hydroponic Root Health supplements will help to eradicate Root rot, so will horticultural peroxide. The least expensive route is a common household bleach. Add 5 – 7 drops per gallon of water twice weekly. Chlorine will naturally dissipate in water so it should be added every 3 -4 days or ‘twice weekly’.

If you prefer to stick with an organic method Beneficial microbes / Beneficial bacteria have been reported to be successful. Most commonly Mycorrhizae, are beneficial fungi that penetrate the root systems of most plants in nature. They are helpful in providing improved uptake of water and nutrients from the growing media. They also help protect the roots from harmful pathogens and disease.

Trichoderma   is a beneficial fungus that colonizes root systems. They prevent harmful fungi from entering the same root system, stimulate root development, and improve the plant’s adaptability to environmental stress.

See: How to Grow Hydroponic Blueberries