Make Your Plants Happy – Boysenberry Care Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive Boysenberry Care Guide! If you’re looking to grow delicious boysenberries in your own backyard, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to know to ensure your boysenberry plants thrive and produce a bountiful harvest. From planting to maintenance, we’ve got you covered!

So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to successfully care for your boysenberry plants. We’ll share best practices, cultivation techniques, and gardening tips that will help you grow healthy and happy boysenberries.

Ready to dive in? Let’s get started with the basics of boysenberry plant care.

Cultivation and History

Boysenberries are a fascinating fruit with a rich history. This hybrid fruit was created in 1923 by California horticulturist Rudolph Boysen, hence the name. It is a member of the Rosaceae family and is a cross between blackberries, raspberries, dewberries, and loganberries. The result is a fruit with a unique flavor that combines the sweetness of blackberries with a tangy twist.

Walter Knott, a famous farmer, found the struggling boysenberry bushes and decided to cultivate them. Thanks to his efforts, boysenberries gained popularity and became widely known. Today, boysenberries are commercially grown in the United States and New Zealand.

These berries are larger than blackberries and are loved for their juicy texture. They are typically harvested from May through mid-July, making them a perfect summer treat. Boysenberries are not usually sold fresh in grocery stores, so growing them yourself is the best way to enjoy their deliciousness.

Now that you know a bit about the cultivation and history of boysenberries, let’s dive deeper into how you can successfully grow these delightful fruits.


Propagating boysenberries is a straightforward process that can be done through various methods. One common method is growing boysenberries from cuttings. To do this, take a cutting from an existing boysenberry plant, making sure it has at least three nodes. Remove the bottom leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and plant it in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil moist and provide bright, indirect light until roots develop. Once the cutting has rooted, it can be transplanted into the garden.

Another way to propagate boysenberries is by growing them from roots. This method involves digging up a rooted sucker from an existing boysenberry plant and replanting it. Suckers are shoots that grow from the base of the plant. Dig carefully around the sucker, ensuring that it has a good portion of roots attached. Transplant the sucker into a prepared planting hole in the garden, ensuring that the soil is well-draining and fertile. Water the transplant thoroughly and provide regular care until it becomes established.

Boysenberry Propagation

Propagation Method Description
Growing from cuttings This method involves taking a cutting from an existing boysenberry plant and rooting it in a potting mix before transplanting it into the garden.
Growing from roots This method involves digging up a rooted sucker from an existing boysenberry plant and replanting it in the garden.

Both methods of propagation can be successful when done correctly. It’s important to choose a healthy and disease-free plant source when taking cuttings or suckers. Providing proper care, such as regular watering, fertilizing, and protecting the young plants from harsh weather conditions, will help them establish and grow into productive boysenberry plants.

How to Grow Boysenberries

When it comes to growing boysenberries, there are a few key tips to keep in mind to ensure your plants thrive and produce a bountiful harvest. Here are some essential boysenberry growing tips:

1. Choose the Right Location

Boysenberries thrive in full sun, so it’s important to choose a location in your garden that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. Additionally, the soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. Consider adding compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility and texture.

2. Provide Adequate Watering

Proper watering is crucial for the success of your boysenberry plants. They prefer to be kept evenly moist but not waterlogged. Aim to provide one to two inches of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.

3. Support and Train Your Plants

Boysenberries grow on trailing vines that can become quite long and unruly. To make maintenance and harvesting easier, it’s recommended to provide support in the form of a trellis or wall. As the vines grow, gently train them along the support structure and secure them with plant ties. This will help prevent breakage and optimize fruit production.

By following these boysenberry growing tips, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating healthy and productive plants. Remember to monitor for pests and diseases, and perform regular pruning to promote new growth. With a little care and attention, you’ll soon be enjoying the sweet and tart flavors of homegrown boysenberries!

Cultivars to Select

When it comes to selecting boysenberry cultivars, there are a few options to consider. One popular choice is the thornless boysenberry variety. Thornless boysenberries offer the same sweet-tart flavor and juicy berries as traditional boysenberries, but without the hassle of thorns. This makes them easier to handle and harvest, especially for those with sensitive skin. The lack of thorns also reduces the risk of accidental injuries while tending to the plants.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more traditional boysenberry experience, you can opt for the non-thornless hybrid variety. These varieties still offer the same delicious flavor and texture as the thornless ones, but with the added charm of their natural thorny stems. Some gardeners believe that the thorns contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of the plants and prefer the classic look of traditional boysenberries.

Popular boysenberry cultivars include the ‘Boysenberry’ variety, which is known for its exceptional taste and abundant juice. This cultivar is often the go-to choice for both commercial growers and home gardeners. Other varieties like ‘Brulee’ and ‘Mapua’ offer different flavors and characteristics, allowing you to experiment and find the perfect boysenberry taste for your palate.


Thornless Boysenberry Non-Thornless Hybrid Boysenberry
Easier to handle and harvest Classic thorny appearance
Suitable for those with sensitive skin Can contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal
Same delicious flavor and texture Same delicious flavor and texture

Table: Comparison between thornless and non-thornless boysenberry cultivars.

When selecting a boysenberry cultivar, consider your personal preferences, gardening style, and the specific needs of your growing conditions. Whether you choose the convenience of thornless boysenberries or the classic charm of non-thornless hybrids, you’re sure to enjoy the bountiful harvest and delightful flavors that boysenberries have to offer.


Managing Pests and Disease

Effectively managing pests and disease is vital for the health and productivity of your boysenberry plants. By implementing preventive measures and taking prompt action when issues arise, you can ensure that your plants thrive. Here are some common pests and diseases to watch out for:

Common Boysenberry Pests

Several pests can pose a threat to your boysenberry plants, including:

  • Aphids: These small insects feed on the sap of the plant, causing distorted growth and the spread of diseases.
  • Spider Mites: These tiny pests can cause yellowing of leaves and webbing, leading to reduced plant vigor.
  • Thrips: Thrips feed on the leaves and buds, causing discoloration and deformed fruit.

To prevent pest infestations, regularly inspect your plants for signs of damage or the presence of pests. Insect exclusion netting can help protect your plants from flying insects like the Queensland fruit fly. If pests are detected, consider using organic pest control methods like spraying with neem oil or making homemade sprays with ingredients like garlic and chili pepper.

Boysenberry Diseases

Boysenberries can be susceptible to various diseases, including:

  • Grey Mould (Botrytis): This fungal disease can cause rotting of fruit and foliage, particularly in humid conditions.
  • Fusarium Wilt: This soil-borne fungus can cause wilting, yellowing, and death of the plant, affecting the vascular system.

To prevent the spread of diseases, practice good garden hygiene by disposing of fallen fruit and plant debris. Regularly prune your boysenberry plants to improve air circulation and remove any dead or infected parts. It’s also important to avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can create favorable conditions for disease development. If disease symptoms are observed, consider using appropriate fungicides or seeking advice from a local horticulturist.

Pest/Disease Symptoms Prevention Treatment
Aphids Distorted growth, sticky residue (honeydew) Regularly monitor plants, encourage beneficial insects Insecticidal soap, neem oil
Spider Mites Yellowing leaves, webbing Maintain humidity levels, regularly clean plants Insecticidal soap, neem oil
Thrips Discoloration, deformed fruit Remove weeds, encourage beneficial insects Insecticidal soap, neem oil
Grey Mould (Botrytis) Rotting fruit and foliage Improve air circulation, remove infected material Remove infected material, fungicides
Fusarium Wilt Wilting, yellowing, plant death Prevent waterlogging, use disease-resistant cultivars No cure, remove and destroy infected plants

By implementing these pest and disease management strategies, you can protect your boysenberry plants and ensure a healthy and fruitful harvest.


Growing boysenberries can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for any gardener. By following proper care and maintenance practices, you can ensure the healthy growth of your boysenberry plants and enjoy a bountiful harvest of juicy and delicious fruits.

Remember to provide your boysenberries with the right growing conditions, such as full sun and well-draining soil. Regular watering and proper pruning will help keep your plants healthy and productive. Additionally, protecting your boysenberries from pests and diseases with organic pest control methods will ensure their well-being.

With the information provided in this comprehensive boysenberry care guide, you have all the tips and guidance you need to successfully grow boysenberries in your own garden. From propagation to harvesting and preserving, this guide covers every aspect of boysenberry plant care. So, get ready to enjoy the sweet rewards of your hard work and indulge in the flavorful world of boysenberries!


Can boysenberries be shipped fresh to grocery stores?

No, boysenberries are not typically shipped fresh to grocery stores. It is best to grow them yourself.

When do boysenberries mature?

Boysenberries mature from May through mid-July.

What is the flavor of boysenberries?

Boysenberries have a flavor similar to blackberries but with added sweetness and tang.

How can boysenberries be propagated?

Boysenberries can be propagated through dormant bare roots, small plants from a nursery, cuttings from existing plants, or by using the tip layering method.

What are the best growing conditions for boysenberries?

Boysenberries thrive in full sun locations with well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. They prefer a pH level of 6.0-7.0.

Are there different cultivars of boysenberries?

Yes, there are several boysenberry cultivars available, including thornless and non-thornless hybrids.

How can pests and diseases be managed in boysenberries?

Good garden hygiene, regular pruning, and organic pest control methods can help manage pests and diseases in boysenberries.

What is the best way to care for boysenberries?

Follow the best practices for boysenberry care, including proper watering, pruning, and protection from pests and diseases.