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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Saturday - January 18, 2014

From: Williamsport, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation, Shrubs, Vines
Title: Propagation of blackberry from Williamsport PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have been told that if you cut a branch off of a black berry bush and stick it in water for a few days, and then put it in the ground it will grow into another bush. Please tell me if this is true and if it isn't please tell me how to grow more bushes. Thanks! :)

ANSWER:

"Blackberry" is kind of a general term - there are 62 plants in our Native Plant Database listed as belonging to the genus Rubus, which includes blackberries. With the common name blackberry, there are 31, and native to Pennsylvania, 19. We always like to know if a plant is native to the area where it is being grown, and by looking at the USDA Plant  Profile Map for those native to Pennsylvania, we found Rubus canadensis (Smooth blackberry) (among others) is native to Lycoming County, so we are using it for an example.  When we followed the plant link to our webpage on that plant, we found it had no Propagation Instructions. Many of our plant webpages  do have Propagation Instructions, but no luck on the Rubus.

Next, we went to the Internet and found a YouTube presentation from TexasPepper2 on how to propagate a blackberry.

Apparently, all blackberries can be treated pretty much the same way. Since in the wild they form thickets or colonies, it should be relatively easy to find starts.

 

From the Image Gallery


Smooth blackberry
Rubus canadensis

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