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Growing raspberries in the home garden

Quick facts

  • Raspberry plants need full sun to produce the most fruit.
  • Raspberries can be grown successfully in most areas of Minnesota.
  • They're best pollinated by bees.
  • Prune annually.
  • Raspberries will start producing fruit a year after planting.
  • Rabbits love to eat the canes in winter. A chicken wire fence will help prevent rabbit damage.

Raspberries belong to a large group of fruits known as brambles, all in the plant genus Rubus. Raspberries can be grown successfully in most areas of Minnesota.

Three main types that can be grown in the home garden are red, black and purple. Yellow raspberries are red raspberries that don't make red pigment.

Raspberry plants have perennial roots and crowns, but their canes (branches) live for only two summers. Most raspberry plants bear fruit in summer.

Selecting plants

  • Purchase disease-free plants from a reputable nursery.
  • Viruses can be readily transmitted into a planting through infected plants, and there is no way to cure the plants once they are infected. Destroy infected plants to control the spread of viruses.
  • Raspberry plants can be purchased as dormant bare-root plants or as potted plants.


Early spring is the best time to plant raspberries. Choose a planting site that is in full sun. The plants will grow in part shade, but will not produce as much fruit.

Raspberries prefer rich, well-drained soil. A few inches of compost mixed into the soil prior to planting will create a high-quality planting site. A good rate is about 3 1/2 cubic feet of compost per 100 square feet.

Till the soil well before planting.

This video describes how to plant a row of raspberries and build a simple wire trellis.


How to keep your raspberries healthy and productive


Managing pests and diseases

Keeping plants healthy and well-cared-for is the best strategy for preventing a host of issues. When issues do arise, it is important to look closely at what you are seeing. Where is the damage located: leaves or fruit, primocanes or floricanes? Correct diagnosis is key in taking the right steps to address problems as they arise.

Find help identifying common pest problems:


Reviewed in 2021

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