Raspberry Root Stock Growing Instructions

Tips for successful raspberry root stock plantings...

Do not let rootstock dry out before or after planting...

keep slightly moist, but not soggy. Do not soak in

water until ready to plant and then for no more than 1

minute. If roots dry out, they will die. If you plant in

soil that does not drain well, the roots could rot...

avoid areas of standing water after rains.


Do not plant more than 1 inch deep...1/2 inch or 1/4 inch is

better. Planting deeper will result in less canes or

failure in most soils.


If your soil forms a hard crust when dry, cover

rootstock with a mix of (50%) soil and (50%)

Peat moss, fine bark, compost or perlite.

Use overhead watering until canes are at least 6

inches tall, then drip is OK.


If planting in containers use a mix of peat moss

(25%), fine bark (40%), perlite (10%) and

pumice (25%). Use fertilizers meant for container

growing (low salt). Do not use generic big box store

potting mixes meant for flowers, house plants or

vegetables as it will cause the roots to rot.

Plant as soon as possible after receiving.

Raspberry rootstock is the easiest and most economical way to establish raspberries!


Raspberry rootstock is the easiest and most economical way to establish raspberries, no matter if you are planting multiple acre fields or a small backyard patch. One ounce will plant a row 2-1/2 foot in length. One 8 oz. order will plant a 20 foot row…16oz. will plant a 40 foot row. This is the preferred method for raspberry farmers because of the lower cost and the ease of planting. If you are planting over a 40 foot row, divide your rootstock into pound amounts and place into individual plastic bags so you do not have your entire rootstock order exposed to drying wind when you are planting. The fine root system should not be allowed to dry during the planting process. This can happen very quickly on a warm, windy spring day.


You can expect 24-36 new canes on average to grow from 8 oz. of rootstock the first year. If you care for your new raspberries properly, you will get more canes to grow... and if you neglect the planting you will get less new canes. This is true no matter what you choose to plant...rootstock, bare root canes, or plants.


All it takes is a little patience and remembering to water regularly. Planting raspberry rootstock is different than planting seeds. First buds need to form on the roots and grow to break through the soil. This can take from 4 to 8 weeks for the new canes to appear. If there are small canes or buds on the rootstock, point them upright when planting. The shallower you plant the rootstock and the lighter/ fluffier the soil covering the rootstock, the more canes you will get to grow. It is important that the rootstock does not dry out before or after you plant or they will die. Also if the roots of raspberry plants are waterlogged, they will root rot and do poorly. So it is a compromise...if you are planting in the field/garden you will usually cover the rootstock with ½ to 1 inch of soil so you do not need to water as often. If you are planting in a more controlled environment in containers, or with automatic water systems, covering with only 1/4 inch of soil will produce more canes.


It can take up to 8 weeks for all of the new canes to appear. The main things are.... not planting too deep (1 inch max.) watering in well when planting, and continue to keep soil wet, but not saturated. Always dig with your finger to see that the water is soaking in and not just wetting the surface.


If your soil is too wet or cold to till, the raspberry roots can be planted in containers 1/4 inch deep to root out before they are planted in their permanent location. Place the containers in a sunny warm location. Usually in about 3-4 months after you planted the containers, they are ready to plant in the permanent garden area. One oz. of roots plants 4+ containers.


If you can’t plant right away, store unopened package in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


How do I plant?

Lay the rootstock like a thin rope on the surface of the soil and cover with 1/2 to 1 inch of fluffy, composty soil. Do not use straight compost. If you have bought enough rootstock for 5 feet...spread the rootstock to cover the 5 feet. It is ok to cut the thicker roots into 6 inch sections, but do not cut the smaller rootstock. If you bought rootstock for 120 ft., spread the rootstock to make a 120 ft. row. Planting thicker will produce canes too thick for the first year. If you are planting in containers, do not use a potting mix bought at Big Box or chain stores that is meant for house plants, flowers, or vegetables as it will not drain well enough and root rot the raspberry plants.


Cover the rootstock with moist soil quickly so it does not dry out.


When Will I See New Canes?

 About half of the new canes will come up sometime in 4-6 weeks after planting with the balance coming up in weeks 6-8 if your soil temperature is at least 45 degrees. It also depends on the weather and when we take the rootstock out of the freezer. The rootstock is in 50 pound boxes, and is dormant when we take it out of the cooler. The canes you see first are the buds that had developed before you planted the rootstock. The new buds take longer to develop.



Choose a watering method that waters all of the soil in your row. Drip systems work well for established raspberry plants, but does not work for newly planted rootstock. Water if the ground surface dries. Keep soil moist, but not wet after planting, until canes emerge, which can take 4-8 weeks. If your soil dries out at the level where the roots are, the roots will die, or you will get fewer canes.


How do I Fertilize?

Fertilize lightly when the first canes are about 2 inches tall. Fertilize again 3 weeks later. The goal is to get the canes as close to 3 ft. tall before they bloom this year for ever bearing varieties and the same height for June bearing varieties that will bear next year. For chemical fertilizer, sprinkle the fertilizer on the surface, do not mix into soil. Do not pile next to new canes. For organic fertilizer, mix into soil.


Patented varieties are sold for fruit production only.  Propagation is prohibited.