How to Grow Raspberries in Containers

Potted Raspberries Raspberries Grown in Containers

Raspberries are not commonly planted in containers, but they can and do grow well and produce bountiful berries when properly planted and cared for. 

Suitable Containers

Any container you choose should have ample drainage holes, Raspberries require good soil aeration and are very susceptible to root rots, so can not be sitting in overly wet soil any longer than necessary. The container should be large enough to accommodate growing room for the root system as well as the raspberry bush. Too small of a container will lead to poor root development and hence poor plant development and lackluster harvest.

Growing Raspberries and Blackberries in Containers

A container 16-24 inches in diameter and at least 2 feet deep is best for most raspberry varieties. Naturally larger containers are just fine, A container can never be too big, but it can certainly be too small, leading to spindly “pot-bound” unhealthy and stifled plants.

Raspberry Varieties

The height and spread of the raspberry bush you choose should be taken into consideration. Smaller, more compact varieties of Raspberries that produce fruit in their first season are advantageous. Small raspberry bushes are sometimes very misleading, they can and do produce abundant yields of berries despite their small size so long as they are properly maintained. 

Some Raspberry cultivars suitable for container gardening are Autumn bliss, Anne, Munger, Heritage, Royalty and Brandywine.

Seeds and Seedlings

Planting Raspberries from seeds is not suggested. Transplants or root-stock is recommended. However, if you are going to plant from seed anyway – Raspberry Seeds should be planted in Early Autumn {Indoors} Fill a starter tray with sterile potting soil in the early fall. Press 2 to 3 raspberry seeds about 1/4 of an inch into the soil of each cell. The same as planting any other seeds in starter trays, gently compact the soil to remove excess air space.

Assuming you planted your seeds in Early Autumn, they should be sprouts shortly after the Winter Holidays – the time of year when only the most dedicated gardeners are thinking about their gardens.

Basic Environment for Potted Raspberries


Raspberries and related bramble thrive in full sun. They are tolerant of a little shade, but sun is best at least 6-8 hours daily. Place your containers in a sunny location with some good air circulation. Indoors a window with a southern exposure or balcony.


Potting soil should be porous with some vermiculite and or perlite is best. Try not to use soil from your yard, especially if you are bringing your plants inside.

If you are going to use ground soil – it will work – but potting soil is best.

There is less of a chance that potting soil will be contaminated with pathogens and pests, fungal diseases and bacteria, as opposed to yard soil. Raspberries are highly susceptible to verticillium wilt, cane blight and other plant diseases.

Potting soil is also expensive, containers don’t have to be filled to the brim with costly potting soil. Try filling the lower third with empty plastic bottles, or other non-metallic, non-organic refuse. This will not only be more cost-effective but will also make for a lighter weight and more easily mobile container. I sometimes use clay pebbles leftover from my hydroponics garden, they aren’t all that heavy, and lend themselves well to providing adequate drainage.

Fresh potting soil is also more adaptable to the nutrient and ph requirements that your raspberry bush needs. Soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5, which can be raised or lowered by adding either limestone or sulfur. See  Tracking and Adjusting Soil pH. Raspberries need balanced nutrients, equal amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

Some chicken wire or screening cut to fit and placed on the bottom of your container, over the drainage holes will help to prevent soil from being washed away. 

Supports for Potted Raspberry Plants

Raspberry bushes, even the smaller varieties suited for container gardening need to be supported by a trellis or similar plant support, even a tomato cage if need be.

The supports will prevent them from breaking under their own weight and help to decrease wind damage. Some trellises are highly aesthetic and will not detract from the appeal of your landscape. Any support you use should not block too much sunlight.