Creeping Raspberry: Lush Leaves And Vivid Fruit

Ed Wike
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Creeping Raspberry Plant Overview

Creeping raspberry (Rubus pentalobus) is one of a number of raspberry plants that have non-edible fruit, which some people find undesirable.

The plant’s leaves are green during warm months and golden brown in the winter. Its stems have small thorns, which allows the plant to creep over the soil to help it spread. Creeping raspberry spreads by seeds, new plants, and runners.

The fruit is known as dewberry or blackcap. The fruit is generally not eaten, although some people enjoy “fooling around with the kids” and offering these out of season.

The leaves have become more popular in the U.S. due to the marketing of raspberry leaf tea. The tea is used to help with labor, baby delivery, menstrual pain, menstrual cramps, breastfeeding, and constipation. The tea is not an FDA-approved drug and should not be used to treat all conditions. Baby releaf, however, is one of the conditions that may be treated with the tea.

There are lots of wild varieties of raspberries, which is why it’s so common. They are popular in culinary dishes, and many people love to use them in desserts or to make jam. In addition, it’s common to have them for ornamental use.

About Creeping Raspberry

Creeping raspberry can be an attractive ground cover for a sunny flower bed and developing a habit of cultivating this plant will be a tad more easy than with most other fruits, seeds or plants.

In general, the higher light is, the bigger this crop will be. This is also why it is recommended to plant it in a sunny place.

If you grow the Creeping Raspberry as a ground cover, you can easily maintain the shape of the bed because it will barely grow everywhere except where you wanted it to be.

The food is rich in vitamin C and its leaves are almost medicinal. It is a diuretic and it can help you in cases of colds, fever and diarrhea and it also has antiseptic and laxative qualities.

If you decided to make a creeping raspberry hedge instead of a ground cover, you might want to prune it in early spring in order to make it grow more bushy and thick.

If you are planting this type of raspberry in your backyard or another place where you plan to cultivate it, it is best to plant multiple plants because it spreads and fills the bed without a problem.

The fruit of this plant is different from its other types but it will look like a small raspberry. When you eat them, they have a tart flavor and they are also high in vitamin C as well.

What Species Is Crinkle-Leaf Creeper?

The Crinkle-Leaf Creeper, generally known as C. ternifolia, is a creeping form of the Black-Eyed Susan vine. It’s a native plant that thrives in moist to damp, well-drained soils and can grow in full sun to part shade. While it is the most popular form of C. ternifolia, there are many hybrid forms of the Black-Eyed Susan vine.

C. ternifolia is native to the eastern half of the United States. It can also be found in scattered locations south of the border and in parts of Canada. It grows in clumps that can spread as far as 3 feet. This allows the plant to hold more soil near the roots, which is vital for an undisturbed root system. It also rewards gardeners and landscape enthusiasts with a wide selection of flower colors. Most popular are the dark burgundy flowers with yellow centers.

C. ternifolia grows primarily by spreading underground stems, also known as rhizomes. The stems send out roots to further spread, and they can root if placed directly in the ground. The stems can also be easily divided. This allows the plant to be more adaptable to different conditions than many other plants.

Creeping Raspberry Care

The common name raspberry applies to soft, juicy, fleshy berries that have pits. The fruits are traditionally red but also come in black. Raspberries grow on heirlooms and hybrids. Most berries grow on vines but some grow as ground hay such as wild raspberries.

Plant creeping raspberries in a garden location with rich soil. Amend fractured soil with compost and chicken manure. Build raised beds to withstand flooding and frost. Set out new plants in late spring for early harvests.

Creepers prefer moist, well-drained, fertile soil. Apply compost and fertilizer before planting. Avoid fertilizing plants after they grow in the summer. Apply 8-10 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer for every 1,00 square feet of growing space.

Firm soil around plants to support growing canes. Each vine should have three nodes with canes growing from the base of the stem to the end of the last node. Select canes with their growing tips at nipple height. Choose fertile canes to propagate new suckers and to select for the next growing season.

Water raspberries regularly to keep soil moist. Water deeply to encourage deep rooting. Add mulch to the base of plants to decrease water evaporation and improve soil moisture. Replace mulch every 6-8 weeks to replenish soil microbes.

Light & Temperature

Creeping raspberry fruits grow best when subjected to a cold winter season followed by a hot summer. They can handle temperatures down to 25-30 degrees Fahrenheit but prefer about 50-60 degrees. They need a lot of sunlight to grow fast, but not too much. Any more than six hours of direct sunlight per day will burn its leaves. So make sure to put the creeping raspberry in a spot that gets sunlight gently filtered through a tree.

When left alone, the creeping raspberry plants spread out on their own quite nicely. They will, in fact, expand into a garden space of about 2-3 feet. They are easy to keep in check if you simply prune them back occasionally. However, they do not need to be pruned often, it is actually beneficial to prune them only lightly to keep the size manageable.

When you're done pruning, be sure to mulch the base of the plants to keep them from getting any diseases, bugs, or other problems.

It is especially important to water the creeping raspberry hard and well when you first plant them in your garden. They will be thirsty and need all the water that they can get to keep their strong roots and leaves growing. Once they've become established, they can be watered regularly and can take wet feet. They prefer to stay moist though, and can be watered easily with a drip irrigation system or automated sprinklers.


Raspberry bushes are very hardy. Fruits do not grow if the estimated air temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

This plant can tolerate soils with a pH of 5 to 7, and can grow in full sun, or partial shade.

Water is necessary for fruit growth. Keep the soil slightly moist; water during dry spells. The Raspberry plant prefers moderate to heavy water.

Raspberries are very easy to grow from seed, so if you already have a fruitful plant, then planting this bush is even easier.

The plant can tolerate bitter cold temperatures and thrives in zones three to nine. The popularity of this plant stems from its bright, dark purple fruits that are sweet and juicy.

If you are fond of growing this plant, then you should know that the seeds come inside the fruits, which are produced on the plant. They are leathery and have a soft texture.

Plant Raspberry during springtime since it can grow fast during this period. The plant only requires about 250 chill hours.

This plant prefers dappled light to full sunlight to grow the best and the most abundant fruits. If you live in an area where there is a denier amount of sunlight, then we suggest you make use of artificial lighting to ensure plants and fruits develop at their best.

You can feed the leaves and the soil with compost in order to increase the growth and flowering of your plant.


Pests, and Fertilizer Needs.

If you decide to plant a creeping raspberry plant, make sure you have a well drained soil that is rich and full of nutrients. A balanced diet of fertilizer will help keep the plant healthy. Feed the plant 15-20-4 fertilizer (according to the feeding table) and spread onto the soil around the plant. The best mixtures are those designed especially for plants with lots of root growth, like raspberries.

Before fertilizing, check the soil pH with a home testing kit. The ideal range for raspberries is 6.0-6.5. Correcting the soil pH if it is too acidic or alkaline is essential. For example, using a solid fertilizer such as 19-5-9 will neutralize alkaline soil , and using sulfuric acid will make mildly acidic soil more alkaline.

Creeping raspberry is a low maintenance plant. It needs less trimming than other plants, and can grow upright if spread out or trailing if trimmed. However, it is susceptible to several pests. Early detection is key to keeping these pests at bay. Look out for small black or white worms with red or black heads. These are raspberry weevils, which feed on the stem and root of the raspberry plant. Also watch for white or gray larvae that are about 1 1/2 cm long and feed on the leaves.


Climbing and creeping raspberries are magnificent additions to any edible flower garden.

They have lush, deep-green leaves and in summer, they produce clusters of bright-red, juicy fruits.

In fall, the plants are covered in eye-catching yellow blooms that are attractive to hummingbirds.

For creeping raspberries, you can expect to harvest around 10 to 25 pounds of fruit each year. You'll need to prune your plant every winter to encourage new growth and fruit production.

When it comes to fertilizer for your creeping raspberry, you want to follow the manufacturer's instructions precisely. Like any other fruiting plant, creeping raspberries need plenty of nitrogen. Fertilizer high in nitrogen encourages flower production.

During winter, when no fruiting is happening, the plants still need food. They need it especially during dormancy, when the roots aren't active. Using a product specially formulated for use during dormancy will prevent the creeping raspberry from using its stored energy before the spring.

Fertilizer for creeping raspberry is available in most gardening centers in either granules or liquid form.


If you have a raspberry plant at your home, you might have attempted to propagate new plants from the leftover canes. This might have worked for the second or a few years, but after the age of two or three, the canes will start to produce fewer fruit and die. This is actually a plant’s way of renewing itself. Most of these plants die because diseases or harvest wild canes to increase their number in an effort to live up to their potential.

Commercial raspberry growers collect the seeds from the fruit and can propagate them on the basis of the quality of the seed and the appearance of the seedling. The quality of the raspberry seed depends on its color, size, and whether it is soft or hard. Some of these seeds are sold to raspberry growers and to those who need them to grow plants. The best starting material for raspberry propagation is the rootstock from the previous year. This rootstock has a soft, white, and fresh appearance in the end of winter.

Currently, there are two methods that are most commonly used by raspberry growers to increase their number of plants. One of them is taking root cuttings from the plants.

The other way is layering and transplanting the canes. Although these methods are effective, they are complicated. You, however, can grow your own raspberry by practicing a simple method of layering canes. The process is described below.


When planting creeping raspberries, keep in mind that they will take over your yard if you are not careful. Creeping raspberries are fast growers and will quickly creep over anything in their way. Rather than trying to mow over them, prune them so they grow as you want.

Root pruning is always a good idea. Simply remove 2 in of the soil around the base of the plant, shake off the excess dirt, and then refill the hole with compost. This will prevent the roots from growing too deeply, limit diseases, and allow the fruit to more easily reach the sun.


Creeping raspberry isn’t hard to grow. It is not a fussy plant. It isn’t picky about the soil conditions or light. It will grow in shade or sun. It will thrive in containers or in the ground. It is a graceful addition to the landscape. Use creeping raspberry vines to enhance the look of your landscape with their lush foliage and vivid summer-colored fruit. Creeping raspberry is easy to care for. This is an attractive, low maintenance plant that can get you a good crop with very little work on your part. If you plant it in spring, at the proper time of year, it will have a chance to grow.

The only real speed bump when it comes to growing creeping raspberry is the need to be aware that it can be invasive. It can take over a yard if not kept in check and it won’t stop at the fence line. It can blanket your yard and create a solid carpet of bright and beautiful raspberry vines.

Growing Problems

Raspberries aren’t difficult to grow, which is why they’re one of the most popular and prolific fruits grown in the home garden. They are easy to care for, produce wonderful fruit and are relatively pest and disease free. So why then, are some raspberries not growing? Raspberries are susceptible to a bacterial disease known as bacterial spot. This disease is caused by an organism called Pseudomonas tolaasii, and even the best of gardeners can fall prey to this growing problem.

In order to prevent this disease, take preventative steps such as:

Provide good air circulation above the canopy to maximize fruit maturity.

Do not plant raspberries in the same place each year. Rotating crops is the best way to counteract the disease.

Fertilize with a high phosphorus, low nitrogen fertilizer.

Water deeply and mulch well.

Remove and destroy any diseased leaves.


Raspberries are remarkably resistant to many pests. Plants seldom suffer damage from common problems such as spider mites and scale, but the fungal problems can make fruit eating unappealing. Raspberry fruit can have spots or become soft and slimy in storage. To keep pests under control, thoroughly spray the tops and bottoms of leaves when necessary, but not less than four times per growing season.

Diseases that can cause major damage are the most challenging to battle. Powdery mildew is common on raspberry plants that lack good air circulation. Raspberry fruit will vary greatly in size from season to season but when the fruit is especially small, powdery mildew is often the culprit. The fungal disease works like a virus and can persist in the soil for years. Rhizosphaera fuliginea spores overwinter on remnants of last season's canes. If necessary, spray the tops and bottoms of leaves with a copper system to help prevent future outbreaks.

Fungal growth on the bottom of leaves is also referred to as leaf mold. You may notice this fungal growth in the spring and summer when temperatures are warm and humidity is high. It generally is a problem when rain falls after a stretch of dry weather. Incorporate ground oyster shells into the garden bed or spray the leaves with a hydrogen peroxide solution (3% solution) to help prevent the problem.


A full-grown creeping raspberry plant may grow up to 2 feet tall, although most will reach about 1 foot. The tips of the branches may grow less than an inch a year, or they may be quite prolific. Dreams of harvesting basket after basket of the ruby-red fruit will come true if you treat your creeping raspberry well, protect it from insects and disease and be patient.

One of the most common diseases of creeping raspberry is a fungus called downy mildew. It will cause purplish-white patches to appear on the lower surface of the leaves. If the disease isn’t stopped, the leaves will die and the plant will die, too. Prevent this by planting only in a dry, well-drained place, where there is plenty of air circulation.

If the plant does become infected, spray the leaves and stems with neem oil to stop the spread of the infection. You can also use a fungicide containing 3-2-4 trichloroisophthalonitrile. Begin spraying when 14 days have passed since the appearance of the first sign of downy mildew.

Frequently Asked Questions

With bright red berries that last all summer and spread quickly, the creeping raspberry plant is a prime candidate for planting. You can buy creeping raspberry plants at nurseries and some hardware stores, but those are likely to be more challenging to grow in your garden than ones you plant yourself because the store-bought variety is more likely to be grown in a container than in the ground.

Creeping raspberry plants grow quickly, and you can harvest berries several times during the season. Not only are the berries good to eat, but they make a lovely addition to salads or as a garnish for vanilla ice cream. This fruit is especially valued by children due to its bright color.

You can start a creeping raspberry plant in either spring or in the fall. Plant them in full sun and nutrient-rich soil. If the plant is started in fall, you will want to plant it in an area of your garden where it can be protected from the cold of winter, such as by using your yard's landscape foliage or a large evergreen shrub.