A Thornless Blackberry For Trellises, Arbors and Buildings

Sep 22, 2018 | Love This!

Imagine: A trellis or arbor filled with long canes filled with small, pinkish white flowers in June…but the fun doesn’t stop with the flowers – in August that same structure is dripping with blackberries…and not a thorn to be seen.

Name: Rubus Doyles Thornless Blackberry

Type of Plant: A blackberry plant with long canes, heavy berry production and no thorns.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: There are so many people who have a small arbor or trellis and most perennial vines are too large for these structures. There are situations where you want a plant to soften the side of a structure and again, most vines are too big. And there are also part-shade locations where a climbing rose, for example, won’t flower. Have I got a plant for all of these situations…all of that and large blackberries too!    

 A Word to the Wise: This plant has to be managed well every year. If you’re a “plant it and forget it” kind of gardener, this one isn’t for you. Because in October you need to cut all the canes that bore fruit down, and train the new canes that started to grow up over the structure. Then next summer as those new canes get longer, you’ll need to tie them up on the structure as they grow.

And the canes can get to be 15 feet long. So if going over an arbor you’ll only need one plant on one side, and it will drape over the top and other side.

As beautiful as any flower, these berries hang like jewels in July, August and part of September.

We have this blackberry growing on the west side of our shed where it gets only part sun. In some years the canes are long enough to train on the edges of the north and south sides as well.

The blackberry flowers are small and sweet in the summer.

The berries are large and juicy when they are ripe.

2 Comments

  1. Jessica

    How do you train it along the building/roof line (i.e. what items do you use to secure the stem to certain spots on the outside wall of the building/roof)? We have a thornless blackberry near a privacy fence so am thinking maybe we could train it along the fence, but not sure how to secure it to the fence…

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      You take the new canes that are growing this year without fruit, and tie them up. You have to do this as they grow so that they’re flexible. We have wooden “U” holders that my husband made to hold them against the sides – you could also use hooks or screw-eyes that you attach into the wood and then tie the canes to them with twine. Once the current year’s fruit is finished, you remove those and start the new ones in their place.

      Reply

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