by Shellie Elliott
Ever wish you could grow raspberries indoors? Raspberries are a popular fruit for use in cooking desserts, blending up smoothies, or just eating out of hand. The tiny, sweet berries make great snacks by themselves or with other yummy items, such as yogurt and dark chocolate. Having fresh berries on hand can make it easy to add fresh fruit to your diet, and that can become even easier if you grow your own.
If you don’t have an outdoor garden, great news—you don’t need one to tend to your raspberry plants. You do not even need a patio or balcony. You can grow beautiful, juicy raspberries completely indoors.
Growing and caring for raspberry plants indoors may seem difficult, but don’t let the idea overwhelm you. Raspberry plants are relatively low-maintenance, and growing them indoors is no more work than planting them in a garden. This project can be super simple if you follow the guidelines we’ve laid out here.
Types of Raspberries
Raspberries grow on a perennial bush plant that returns each year. Varieties of raspberries can be divided into two categories by what season they will bear fruit. Summer-bearing plants will produce berries throughout the summer. Everbearing raspberry plants will yield fruit through the summer and fall.
Raspberry varieties also produce fruit of different colors, from reds and deep purples to the surprising golden-yellow berries.
Growing Conditions for Indoor Raspberries
Raspberries need plenty of sunlight. The plants need to be placed in a window that receives six to eight hours of unobstructed sunlight a day. If your plants do not get enough sunlight due to where they’re placed, the may not grow properly and may not bear fruit.
Selecting and assembling the right container environment for your plant is the next step. You will need just a few things to start your raspberry plants off in the best environment.
First things first, though—start with the container. You want a vessel that holds at least five gallons and is at least 15 to 24 inches in diameter. A container that is too small will not allow enough room for your plants to grow.
Keep in mind that pots made out of porous materials, such as terra cotta, allow more airflow and will permit the soil to dry out faster than containers made out of less porous materials, such as plastic. The container also needs to have drainage holes so moisture has somewhere to escape instead of staying trapped in the soil.
How to Plant Indoor Raspberries
Fill the bottom two inches of the container with gravel. You will also want to place a drain tray under the pot. Doing these things allows for adequate water drainage without the moisture making a mess on your floor or tables. Proper drainage is important to keep your plant’s roots healthy and free of root rot.
Use a mixture of potting soil and compost to provide a good base for your plant. Fill the pot three quarters of the wayfull with the soil mixture, and then plant the raspberry plant in a hole in the center of your container. Make sure the hole is big enough to completely cover the root ball, and then tuck soil back around the plant. You can surround the plant with mulch to help the soil retain moisture, but that is not necessary.
Add structure to your indoor container by adding a wire plant cage around the raspberry plant. You can also make your own support using slender bamboo canes placed around the plant and then tied together at the top with string. You will want to make sure these structures are a few inches taller than your plant will grow. As your raspberry plants grow, continue to attach the new growth to the structures for support.
Care of Indoor Raspberries
Indoor raspberry plants will require more watering than outdoor plants. With the absence of rain and morning dew, it is important to make sure your plants are getting adequate hydration. Check the soil daily for moisture—it should always be damp to the touch. You may have to water more often during hotter periods. Fertilizing your plant monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer will also help it remain healthy and grow strong.
One of the most important ways to assist your indoor raspberry plant is to help pollinate it by hand. Being indoors, it will not have the benefit of pollinator insects, such as bees and butterflies, so you will need to give it a hand. Once the flowers of the raspberry blooms open, use a small paintbrush to move the pollen in the blooms to the center of the flower. You can do this a few times to ensure thorough pollination.
Once your plant has finished bearing fruit for the season, prune any dead canes in the plant that have no new growth down to soil level. Any green canes in the plant should be allowed to grow and produce fruit the next season.
In its dormant period, continue to water your plant enough keep it alive, and keep it away from indoor heaters as not to overdry the soil.
Garden Pests and Diseases of Indoor Raspberries
Aphids are a common raspberry pest. They thrive on taking juices from the leaves of plants and will cause the leaves and foliage to turn yellow and die. Their sweet secretions can also attract ants.
Beetles, such as the Japanese and raspberry beetles, can also make a home in your raspberry plants. Raspberry beetles feed on the blooms of the raspberry plant. Their larvae feed on and can be found in the berries themselves. Japanese beetles eat and destroy the leaves of the raspberry plants. They are usually found in groups and are known for their metallic green coloring. Their grub-like larvae feed off and damage the roots.
Other beetles known as cane borers lay their eggs in the cane of the raspberry plant. When the eggs hatch the baby beetles damage the canes, and then the larvae make their way down to the soil to feed on the roots. Their presence will be indicated by bulging and dying canes.
Raspberry plants are also susceptible to different viruses and fungi, such as orange rust and cane blight. These are usually spread by rainwater and wind, so a plant that remains indoors should be less likely to develop these issues.
Harvesting and Storing Indoor Raspberries
Raspberry plants will not fully fruit until their second year of growth. Once your raspberries reach a dark red color, they are ready to harvest. Raspberries of less common colors should look bright and plump. Pick them, wash the fruit, and enjoy. You can even freeze the berries to save and use later.
Raspberry Varieties to Grow in Your Home
Smaller raspberry plants do better in containers, so varieties such as Heritage Red, Autumn Bliss, Raspberry Shortcake, and Jewel Black are ideal to grow indoors. Jewel is one of the varieties with fruit that is black rather than the traditional red raspberry.
Videos about Growing Raspberries
Watch this growing guide by MIgardener
Want to Know More about Growing Raspberries?
SFGate Homeguides covers Grow Raspberries Indoors
Hunker covers How to Grow Raspberries Indoors
Raspberries.us covers Raspberry Varieties
Stark Bro’s covers Pest & Disease Control for Raspberry Plants
Trevor james says
This article is ridiculous. “Indoor” growing of fruit production isn’t putting something by a window, it’s the use of timers, HID bulbs, photoperiod manipulation, and the common pest that thrives on raspberry plants, would be spider mites.. some variations produce fruit on new growth (red River) some on old growth (Boyne)
This article doesn’t really help anyone do anything.. oh and add perlite, not gravel smh
There’s always one and you’re both of them. Away you go with your high-tech neckbeard nonsense.