Berries, specifically blackberries, are the herald of summer and great for using in smoothies, pies, jams, and fresh off the vine. A newer blackberry variety is in town: the silvanberry fruit or sylvan blackberry. So what are they and how do you grow silvanberries? Read on to learn more.
What are Silvanberries?
Hybridized in Australia, this berry is a cross between Marion berry and a seedling cross of Pacific and Boysenberries. Categorized in the blackberry family, silvanberry plants have a number of traits commonly found among other blackberry varieties. These plants are long-living (15 to 20 years) perennials, hardy and cold-tolerant, easy to grow, and prolific spreaders. As with any blackberry type, you will want to contain your silvanberry fruit plants in a pot or planter box with a trellis or up against a fence to restrain its enthusiastic spread.
Silvanberry fruits are very large, dark red, glossy blackberries that are extremely high in vitamin C borne off of thorny vines. Silvanberry plants are vociferous producers but don’t panic, all that surplus fruit freezes beautifully.
How to Grow Silvanberries
As mentioned above, you will want to have some type of support, such as a trellis or the like, when planting silvanberries as they have a trailing habit. Silvanberry plants are early producers (late June through August) that thrive in cooler climates.
Oh so unparticular about where it is planted, nonetheless, the ideal location for planting silvanberries is in full sun, out of the wind. The plant prefers slightly acidic, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter mixed in. Silvanberry plants need regular applications of liquid fertilizer during the growing season to a top dressing of mulch.
In the winter months when the plant is dormant, train the canes along the fence or trellis and prune out any weak or old canes or those that have already produced fruit. Keep the canes off the ground as much as possible so the berries don’t rot.
You may want to cover the plants with bird netting to deter the birds from eating your potential harvest. Apply copper spray during the winter to combat fungal diseases and when planting silvanberries; plant in an open area with lots of airflow to prevent any disease from taking hold.