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Please can someboby help me?! I'm desperate to grow my own raspberries but, to date, every single one of the 11 plants I've planted have died! I've tried different varieties/ places/ sellers but NOTHING happens, they just don't grow....or live! It's driving me spare. I've now been given some bushes, dug up by a friend, and would dearly love some help ( They arrive next weekend, along with 2 gooseberry bushes).

My garden is south facing but gets shaded on east & west in morning & evening by next doors high fences. Any tips?

Thank you!


Is your soil acid or alkali?  If it's acid that may be why raspberries don't do well. 


I have raspberries that have jumped into my blueberry bed, they are loving it in there and that is extra acidic. I think they have iron defficiencies if grown in alkaline soil.  Try not to put them in if the ground is too soggy and pick the spot that has as much sun as possible.  

Be wary of what you wish for, they can be brutish - I'm contemplating getting rid of all of mine.


Hmmmmm!! I have no idea if it' s acid or alkali. I'm not a proper theory is if it grows it's meant to be there......probably explains my failure! I'm the only person in the world who only got 3 courgettes from 5 plants.....grown in pots! 

3 of the rasps were 'grown' in large pots. The rest of the garden lovers roses, mock orange, kale, toms, cosmos, lavender etc etc.......would they indicate an acid or alkali soil? My strawbs grow everywhere....even out of the tamac-y path!


Sorry - I got it the wrong way round  - Farmergeddun is right - raspberries prefer slightly acidic soil, but not as acidic as some fruits.  


Will they grow in big pots?



Are you planting the raspberries too deep?  They don't like that.


Raspberries also need plenty of water.   You can grow them successfully in pots, but giving them enough water is essential.

Billy Goat

As everyone says above they like slighty acidic soil,they need to be planted just below the surface, and they like regular watering when the fruits begin to appear.  They don't like water logged soil, so try to make sure they are sited in free draining soil.  Lastly give them a good mulch  and when using manure keep it away from the stems.

Remember they are essentially brambles.  I suspect they are in an area which is too wet

I've tried 5 different areas of the garden incl. pots........did everything you said with the pots but still nothing. Read up on growing them, RHS site etc......did everything the advice said........but no! twas not to be!! garden seems pretty well draining, never waterlogged. Like you say, they're brambles......most people get over run, for Pete's sake........what's wrong with me?!


Try looking at the RHS site on growing raspberries,it may give you some ideas on what is going wrong.It cover soil prep /growing in pots,and choosing the right type of raspberrycanes..


If you put them in pots use ericaceous compost.  If putting them in the ground I would

Dig a hole bigger than needed and put some ericaceous compost in, then your bushes.  Don't put them in deeper than they were before.  

Give them a good watering.  

Curse yourself in a couple of years when they are sprouting up everywhere.  

If you like coffee then used coffee grinds make a good mulch (you can get them from places like starbucks for free) and so do dropped pine needles (but not everyone has a pine forest nearby).  Oak leaves are supposed to be acidic too.

If the leaves on your bushes look pale and you don't think the canes are growing quickly enough I would guess that your soil isn't acid enough (look up "raspberry iron deficiency" on google images).  A simple and quick solution is to add ammonium sulfate.

If they aren't even getting to the stage of producing leaves in spring then your ground was probably too waterlogged or infected with some virus.


Hi gillyg......just said I've already done that on the previous post.......I don't have the money to buy specific varieties, especially if they all die, however, I got 5 canes for Christmas last year , all named as good by RHS........all now dead!

cheers, real coffee,so can use the grounds. A coupleofplants did start with leaves........but died. The others never even got to the leaf stage. The ground's not waterlogged but no idea re viruses......tho' they didn't grow in the pots either. 

Think one spot I tried must've had too many roots from nearby small ash tree. Thought I'd give it a try cos there was a huuuuuge old clump of kale been growing happily for at least 25yrs......but it didn't work.


I reckon your soil isn't quite acidic enough.  Kale likes it a little bit more towards the neutral ph scale than raspberries.

When you grew them in pots (or tried to) what soil/compost did you use?

Can't remember , I afraid........what would you advise? & do you think they'll work in pots? Might try 1 in pot & 1 in ground.



They will work in pots, it's just a pain to water them all the time while the fruit is setting.  They like plenty of water, but don't like their roots sitting in it.  

I would buy some ericaceous compost and plant them in that.  Just make sure you give them a good mulch so that the acidity is replaced when it's naturally diluted during winter rains.

Do you have an area of your garden where brambles like to grow?  If so I'd put your raspberries there - they thrive in the same conditions.  

If you still have no luck next year I would try loganberries - a cross between raspberries and blackberries and a bit more tolerant of differnent soil types.

As for diseases, raspberries are prone to :

Cane spot - purplish spots on the leaves and fruit.  The canes need to be cut to beneath ground level and burnt and then a copper fungicide used on the growing canes as they emerge.

Grey Mould - The canes start to die off.  Cut back to fresh growth and burn dead canes. Prune the canes back to let air circulate around them.

Spur blight is like cane spot with purple blotches but on the canes and the canes start to turn silver.  In spring the buds and shoots die back.  Again cut out diseased canes and burn them.  Use a copper fungicide when the buds have grown about an inch.

Aphids can also be a problem.  Look for the leaves curling, underneath there will be a sticky mess of tiny insects.  There are a number of ways of getting rid of aphids but I just remove the badly affected leaves, try to wash the others and then spray with a strong solution of washing up liquid.  If there are ants on there as well I try to find the nest and destroy it as they (literally) farm the little buggers.

Good luck!


Cheers farmergeddun! V comprehensive reply........which I will take good note of it! Always use the washing up liquid method for Nan's top tip!

i don't have any brambley areas........horsetails grow with the same abandon as the kale tho'.

shall bear the loganberries in might be a good they taste raspberriyish tho?


They taste like a cross between blackberry and raspberry.  

I bet I have more horsetail growing in my garden than you!  It's now growing out of my concrete steps. 

Lol! I've lost a 20' path somewhere in the midst of my horsetails! Carpeted part of the garden about 20yrs ago......and they're coming through that now!! That's why they're pretty much unchanged since prehistoric times!


I've given up trying to get rid of it.  I cut it if it gets too big - but now that area is the "natural" (what I really mean is lazy) garden with wildflowers.