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.
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. If you want to grow blackberries for their fruit, we recommend having a look at our range of garden blackberry plants.
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, planted at the usual 33cms spacing.
If you want a solid blackberry hedge, we suggest planting them at 5 plants per metre in a staggered double row, with 33 cms between each plant along the row and 40cms between the rows.
General description of Wild Blackberry Bush 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 a new flowers, semi-ripe and fully ripe blackberries all on the same plant. Blackberries are good to eat fresh or for making into jam.