Once you have your own blackberry bush, you’re probably waiting for it to flower and bear fruit! However, it can get quite frustrating sitting and waiting for your first blackberries of the season to begin ripening, only to NOT flower and grow berries at all. Or if it does, it ends up being unshaven or smaller than expected.
It can leave you wondering: Is my plant broken? Why is my blackberry bush not flowering?
Read on as I show you the common reasons why your blackberry bush may not be flowering and how you can remedy that!
Why Is My Blackberry Bush Not Flowering?
The time blackberries bloom would depend on your region’s weather. In warmer climates, they begin blooming during mid-April to early May. In cooler climates, they start blooming in late May.
Besides that, your blackberries would begin ripening around 60-70 days after blooming begin to open. This would depend on its variety as well, which can differentiations between 11 days or so.
But what happens when it’s been weeks past May and nothing happened yet? There are several reasons why that may be the case, such as:
1. Blackberry Bush Viruses
Does your blackberry plant look healthy and blooms, BUT it produces misshapen or no fruit at all? Then this might mean that your blackberry plants have been affected by one of the many common blackberry plant viruses.
Such viruses include the following:
- Blackberry Calico
- Blackberry Tobacco Streak
- Raspberry Bushy Dwarf (it can also affect blackberries)
- Black Raspberry Streak (also affecting blackberries)
Unfortunately, most blackberry diseases won’t show any obvious signs and symptoms of infection on the plant. The only sign you know is that it decreases the number of blackberry fruits on your plant.
In fact, you may be surprised that some blackberry cane diseases may make the plant grow even bigger and quicker. Some diseases would sometimes affect only one kind of blackberry species and not the rest. So if you have a variety of blackberry plants and only one is affected, then you have to see if there is an infection or disease.
Unfortunately, if your plant already has the virus, then it can’t be cured. Once infected, your blackberry plant needs to be removed immediately to ensure that your other plants won’t become infected with the same disease.
You can prevent this from happening by making sure the blackberry plants are certified and free from viruses. Furthermore, if you have wild blackberry brambles, it should be at least 150 yards away from your domestic blackberry bushes, since most blueberry bushes have such viruses.
2. It Has Fungus
There is a fungus known as Anthracnose that would cause blackberries to NOT fruit at all. This blackberry fungus is usually spotted when your blackberry fruits begin to ripen, but it would start wilting or tiring brown before the berries fully ripen.
If you notice that your blackberry plants have fungus or show signs of it, then you can treat them using a fungicide. You should also make sure that you remove and dispose of all the infected blackberry canes.
3. There Are Pests
There are also certain pests such as mites, thrips, or even raspberry fretwork beetles that may cause fruiting problems with blackberry plants.
Check your bushes carefully, particularly looking into the undersides of its leaves to check if your plants have unwanted pests or insects.
If you find any pests, then treat it immediately using pesticide to get rid of them right away. However, do take care, because when you remove all the insects from your blackberry bush, this can reduce its pollinators, which would reduce the number of blackberries it produces.
For those who don’t like using chemical pesticides, you may be able to create your own organic pesticide from natural ingredients. But I can’t guarantee its effectivity compared to using the usual pesticides you can purchase in-store.
4. Any Environmental Factors?
Besides the three reasons mentioned above, there are also other environmental factors to look into. If you don’t see any signs of viruses, fungus, or pests, check into these factors:
- Make sure your soil is tested to ensure that it has a healthy balance of nutrients your blackberry bush requires. If your soil isn’t within normal pH levels, amend the soil as needed until the soil becomes a suitable environment for your plant. Make sure that your soils aren’t too heavy as well, as this can cause poor drainage and have your plant not produce well.
- There may be a lack of pollinators in your blackberry bushes. To do this, limit your use of pesticides around the bushes to ensure that the pollinators get to your plants. Only use pesticides as required, only putting in the recommended amount.
- You may have invested in an “unhealthy” blackberry plant. If you haven’t planted any blackberry bushes yet, make sure that you only get high-quality varieties from reputable garden nurseries. If you get wild or poor quality blackberry bushes, it may have come from stock and won’t be able to produce large and high-quality blackberry flowers and fruits.
- Do NOT crowd your blackberry plants, as they won’t thrive under such conditions. Furthermore, make sure you water them regularly to avoid getting short and fruitless plants.
Are you wondering what else is there to learn about your blackberry bush not flowering? Check out this interesting video:
Wrapping It Up
Blueberry plants are easy to plant and will grow in the right environment, as long as you care for them well. So if your blackberry bush isn’t flowering, you have to address the problem to see if it can still be remedied, or if you’ll need to start over again. Make sure that you take the lessons you learned to prevent any issues from happening, allowing your blackberry bush to flourish and flower when the time comes.
I hope that this article answered your question, “why is my blackberry bush not flowering?” Now that you know all about it, start following the right steps to grow your blackberries well.