Wild Bramble Blackberry Bushes
- Native bramble, thorny or thornless.
- Blackberries in late summer.
- Self fertile.
- Excellent ground cover for wildlife.
- Suitable for wild country hedge mixes, in moderation.
- Bareroot Delivery Only: Nov-Mar.
Rubus fruticosus: Brambles for Ground Cover & Wild Country Hedging
Delivered by Mail Order Direct from our Nursery with a Year Guarantee
The native, wild Blackberry Bush, Rubus fruticosus, also known as bramble, is a vigorous, suckering plant that can colonise any well-drained site, creating an excellent habitat for wildlife. It is very shade tolerant and thrives on poor soils, although it needs some sun to bear a decent crop of fruit.
Blackberry bushes won't really make a "proper" hedge by themselves, but a bank of mature bramble will discourage intruders. Blackberry is generally planted in a country mixed hedge with other hedge plants like Hawthorn.
Blackberries growing on open ground will form mounds up to about 1-2 metres high, but they can also grow, much like a rambling rose, up fences and upright plants to a height of about 4-5 metres.
For blackberries grown for their fruit, browse our range of garden blackberry plants - the vigorous long caned varieties are also suitable for mixing into a hedge.
Wild Blackberry hedge plants are only delivered bareroot, during winter (Nov-March).
All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
Spacing a Blackberry hedge:
Blackberry should be used sparingly in a mixed country hedge. 1 blackberry plant every 5 metres or so is a good amount. We think the plant's natural shape argues against planting the solid hedge as it will look more like a mounded bank which will be a very effective barrier but will look a bit curious if it is clipped.
General description of Wild Bramble plants:
The native blackberry is one of the fastest-growing large shrubs in the country. It will grow almost anywhere apart from very wet sites, although its shallow root system allows it to do well on raised banks near streams and lakes. The heart of a bramble bush is underground, sending up new canes every year from just below the soil. This makes it almost impossible to kill a blackberry by cutting it back: you have to dig it up or use a weed killer. Although blackberries can be a troublesome weed to some gardeners, a dense thicket of brambles provides first-class accommodation for all sorts of birds and small animals.
Brambles are self-fertile and produce crops of fruit for several weeks in late summer and autumn.
Blackberry canes that aren't supported by a fence or neighbouring plant will tend to arch up a bit and then creep along the ground. These prostrate canes can root and form new plants, so chop them back if you don't want them to spread and take over.
History & uses of Rubus fruticosus:
Blackberries are unusual in that they don't ripen at the same time, like most fruiting plants. In late summer, you will see new flowers, semi-ripe and fully ripe blackberries all on the same plant. Blackberries are good to eat fresh or for making into jam.
Growing Wild Blackberry plants:
Blackberry bushes will grow well in any soil apart from low-lying, boggy sites. They tolerate shade, although they won't produce many fruit in full shade. They are very hardy and suitable for exposed, frosty locations.
Prepare your site before planting:
Native plants like Wild Blackberries are very tough. The only essential preparation is to kill the weeds in a strip a metre wide along the planting site: improving the soil should not be necessary. If your soil is exceptionally poor and dry, then digging in some well rotted manure and/or compost is worthwhile.
Watch our video on how to plant a country hedge for full details. The instruction to cut the plants in half after planting isn't necessary for brambles, because they naturally grow from ground level.
Remember to water establishing plants during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Hedge Planting Accessories:
Prepare your site for planting by killing the weeds and grass with Neudorff WeedFree Plus.
You can buy a hedge planting pack with sheets of mulch fabric and pegs to hold it down.
If you are planting in an area with rabbit and/or deer, you will need to use a plastic spiral guard for each plant, supported by a bamboo cane.
If your soil quality is poor, we recommend using mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of new trees and shrubs.
You can also improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore.