Raspberries From Cuttings

Cloning Raspberry Bushes

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Purchasing a raspberry plant that's already begun, such as a year old dormant plant to put out in the spring is the most common and easiest way to start Raspberry or Blackberry bushes. You can however start a new raspberry bush from a cutting or root division.

Red Raspberries are best started from primocanes [see diagram] Black and purple raspberries do not respond well to cloning via stem cuttings and are best propagated via tip layering.

Raspberry Bush anatomy for cuttings

In late summer Remove segments of the raspberry stem. Select healthier looking stems that are not brittle but will snap off as opposed to old growth that cracks and disintegrates or new green growth that will not snap off readily. It can be from either a floricane or primocane, but a healthy full grown primocane is best.

Cuttings should be taken in the morning before the sun starts bearing down and the plants are still hydrated. Each cutting should contain at least 2 leaf nodes that are at least an inch above the cut stem ends. Leaf nodes are small swellings in a plant stem from which leaves emerge. The area of the leaf node contains plant tissue known as meristem. Meristem is undifferentiated plant tissue from which new cells are formed.

Your cuttings should be 4-6 inches in length and from the upper part of the plant. Remove any excess foliage, leaves, flowers or buds from the lower third of the cutting, leaving only a bare stem. This reduces the amount of leaves that must be fed by the cutting and cuts down on lost moisture.

The cells of the meristem will rapidly divide to form a callus and seal bruised ends of the cutting. Bruising in the area of the meristem will expedite rooting. You should also be making an small shallow cut on either side of the cuttings lower end to expose more of the cambium.

You can use rooting hormone if you'd like, it increases the odds for success. If you choose not to use rooting hormone, honey will also help See: Honey as a Rooting Agent.

Wet the stems if using rooting hormone powder, if using honey, roll them in the honey and then place them in water. I like to use a little cinnamon with the honey as it acts as an additional natural fungicide.

When roots emerge plant the cuttings in a planting tray. Bury the lower leaf nodes but leave the top set of leaves above ground. Treat them as house plants until spring when they can be transplanted outdoors.

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