Boysenberry plants are a wonderful addition to any edible garden.
When allowed to thrive, they produce loads of fresh, sweet, fat fruit which is delicious whether it’s eaten straight off the bush, still warm from the Summer sun, preserved as Boysenberry jam or frozen and used through the year for fruit pies and smoothies.
As a kid, I remember a friend whose parents had the most prolific Boysenberry bush. We used to sit in the backyard after school and eat as many as we could until all the ripe berries were gone. I always hoped another lot would ripen before I was invited to go around again.
It’s no surprise then that when we first started our garden, and knew we wanted to make it an edible garden, one of the first plants I wanted was a Boysenberry plant.
Before I’d had a chance to get to the garden centre to buy anything, I just happened to mention to one of my work colleagues what I was doing and he said he had Boysenberry plants to give away.
I happily collected these plants from him and got them in the ground. They have gone on to produce masses of berries, and grow strong, healthy canes. Sometimes too healthy.
Boysenberry plants quickly become rampant if left untamed.
Not only do they send off runners underground, which then pop up in all sorts of places with new plants, but they are also prone to dropping the tops of their canes down, and if left long enough with the right conditions, they will start to sprout new roots which then produce a new plant.
This can cause a bit of work when you spot the plants in places you don’t want them. And being prickly, it’s not terribly easy to try and extract them once they have made themselves at home.
But if you want to propagate new plants, perhaps for friends and family, or to sell, the Boysenberry’s rampant nature can be very advantageous.
Free Boysenberry Plants
Propagating Boysenberry plants is really simple.
All you need is a healthy boysenberry cane, soil, water and time.
Once fruiting has finished, pick out new green canes that are healthy and strong.
Fill a pot or grow bags with good quality soil.
Take the top of the cane growth, and bury approximately 5cms of it under the soil in the pot or bag. Make sure to press down firmly so that the soil is in contact with as much of the buried cane as possible.
Water generously and then wait…..
You will need to water the cane regularly to keep it moist so that roots are encouraged to grow.
You can also encourage quicker root growth by covering the buried cane with a plastic bag or by cutting the bottom off a soft drink bottle then slicing it completely down one side so you can slip the cane through the cut side and and cover the buried end.
After approximately 1 month, depending on your conditions, you should be able to pull the cane back out of the pot and see the start of the roots growing.
Obviously you can leave the cane in the pot until plenty of time has passed and there is no doubt the roots have grown, but if you want to make sure before you take the next step of cutting the cane, just carefully pull it up to check.
Once the roots have started to grow, you can cut the cane you used away, leaving approximately 10cms on the new plant as a starter.
The cane you used will happily go on to produce new branches and plenty of fruit in the Summer, with no harm done.
If you dug your new plant up, repot it and water it in, leaving it to grow until it is large enough to be planted, given away or sold.
Just like that, you have free Boysenberry plants!