Blackberry flavors

Prime Ark (I think they sent me the wrong plants, they don’t look or act like PAF)
Sweetie Pie

I planted these 11 different types of hybrids and blackberries February 2021 and have had a chance to taste all of them. I’ve have them on a drip irrigation watering every other day. The adult leaf-footed bugs have swarmed the berries taking about half of the berries, they don’t seem as bad today, maybe they already mated, laid eggs and the adults are dying? For some reason most of the berries seem to not fully ripen on some blackberries, I don’t know if that’s because of the bugs or they don’t like the temps and humidity.

I’ve actually decided to remove last years canes with the fruit still on since they don’t taste good for the following: Sweetie pie, Kiowa, Caddo, Ponca and Osage. I’ve lost 2 out of the 5 Ponca plants that died so I’m cutting down the other 3 before really getting to taste a ripe one but they just don’t seem to want to rippen?

The Marionberry was awesome but the bugs destroyed the soft flesh berries and they seemed to only fruit on the tips of the canes? I let them grow to 10’ long last year so I’m cutting the new growth this year to 6’ and hoping for more canes. I will plant sunflowers next year to see if they will attract the bugs away from the Marionberry or I might remove them next year if the bugs eat them all.

Other than the Marionberry the only other blackberry I seem to like is the Ouachita which is the most vigorous plant I have and the berries are so much sweeter then the others. They seem to be the last berries to ripen out of the 11 I have and I still have a lot more to come. I wonder if they taste the best to me because the bugs are not as bad now and they are able to fully ripen? Even with a little red they are still sweeter then the others?

I don’t know if I should give the other varieties another year to see what they taste like. That will only work I think If I can control the insect problem. Or should I just replace them all with Ouachita since they are a later ripening berry which the bugs might be dying off before they ripen and I love the taste? I just hope they sent me the correct plant and not mixed up the order like the PAF.

I really don’t know what these berries are supposed to taste like? In your opinion is the Ouachita one of the best tasting blackberries from the list above?

The picture below are my Ouachita frozen:


watering every other day…lessens the taste. Just my opinion. I prefer taste over a good blackberry selfie with a ruler or quarter.

And from my personal experience and lots of social media reviews… Ouachita is way low on the flavor preference. Good for commerical growing though.

Not sure of your climate etc… but try a few plants with more mulch and less water. The leaves will tell you when they need water…and when they dont.

As for the bugs… not sure if its possible where u are but i encourage predators. I got some eastern kingbird families that thrive on my rows…making more babies each year. They are voracious. Love seeing them on my wires sniping out the bugs.

I have lots of bats too.


I see u live in FL now. I am friends with a grower in MS which kinda has your heat and humidity. He loads his rows with rotten leaves and woodchips and doesnt irrigate at all. He does well with Triple Crown and Osage. But battles with SWD. Cant win them all. Galaxy is a good choice but very hard to find. Its a TC that ripens early. He controls his bugs with hummingbirds he says. Has over 100 hummingbird feeders and says they eat tons of bugs and alot of his SWD.


I put up 4 bluebird house last year and a large bat house (more than 70 bats) so I have some birds. I would like to taste a later ripening berry if I can find a pick a patch.

I planted so many varieties just so I could taste them and figure out 1 or 2 to replace the others if they don’t taste as good. I might be watering to much.

I gave up on my 11 different raspberries I planted, the bugs suck them dry. I’m thinking about spraying the whole area and letting the grass grow back. I have a couple humming bird feeders as well, maybe I will increase the feeders.

Red Raspberries dont really like heat… if i lived in FL i would grow some Mysore blacks. they are from Burma/India and should do well for you.

Take a look at Prime Ark Horizon as well. It should give you a long harvest date from June til October its low chill at around 300hrs.

I bet you have some nice lizards down there as well… i have a couple of varieties here that are bug machines.

Yes bluebirds are also bug machines.

Another thing to consider is that i dont like to judge a blackberry plant until the 3rd year. After year 3 is when the roots and crown are mature and shows how it behaves.

Pick a few plants and dont water them at all… and notice when the leaves start curling. That will give u an idea of how often you should water…if at all.

Do u grow mulberry? Jan Doolin from FL has a nice youtube channel and she has some nice hedge style mulberries that will blow the doors off of production of blackberries. Jans Best is one and she has some tropical ones. If you have the space… worth a try. Better than mowing grass.


I have 1000’s of frog and lizards but when you look through my grass it’s like Jurassic Park of bugs.

I have an Illinois Everbearing, Dwarf and Weeping mulberry but no berries this year. The hand full of berries I have seen so far no birds or bugs have eaten any “knock on wood”.

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Florida seems hot for Illinois Everbearing. When I think mulberries that will do well in Florida that are good I think of mulberry like the Pakistan mulberry. My Ponca I got from Indiana berry have still not come out of dormancy. My prime Arch Freedom are doing good but I am way colder than you. You will battle bugs no matter what. If you live somewhere like Florida where bugs never die it is even worse. No matter which crop you choose bugs or some other pest can be a issue.

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I learned over the last year to go with hard flesh fruit. The blackberries have been eaten on but I still will eat them if it’s not to bad but the soft flesh raspberries are sucked dry. I might replace the raspberries with more razzmatazz muscadines, the 2 I planted are monster producing tons of little fruit their second year and so far no bugs other than aphids are messing with them but I see once they turn ripe.

Looks like Univ of Florida is working on a variety for your state.

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I’m in deep South Louisiana and we have been unseasonably hot. Don’t get me wrong it’s always hot here but it’s cranked up high here now. When the heat got intense my blackberries stopped ripening. Prime ark freedom did great this year but it’s extremely early for me and was done before the heat. Kiowa did not do well. It would have been my first year getting that variety. I’m giving it another year for sure. Ponca and sweetie pie are not ripening with the heat.

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I’m upset that they sent me the wrong blackberry and not the PAF. I planted 11 types so this year I can determine which ones to keep and I really don’t wont to waste another year trying other blackberries.

My Kiowa growing really good and they are the largest berries I have but the adult leaf-footed bugs love them. I haven’t even had a chance to try one because as soon as they get close to ripen the bugs get them. With these bugs I think I have to go with the later ripening berries but I’ll see how my Ouachita do the next 2 weeks.

I like the Ouachita because with the bugs I’m been forced to pick berries a little early which is fine for my pies and smoothies but my Ouachita seems to be more sweet when pick a little early.

My Ponca has died maybe from disease? My sweetie pie had tons of berries that looked black but they were really tart so I guess they were effected by the heat as well?

pyganic will kill leaf foot bugs and has less than 24 hours residual activity. Use it carefully, but it is one of the very few organically accepted products that kills a wide range of insect pests.

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Awesome, I’ve looked like crazy and have not found anything but hand picking them off or planting sunflowers around the plants to attract them.

Other than extremely weak insects like aphid larvae, many quickly develop resistance to Pyganic and pyrethrins in general.

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You could try spinosad too. It is a bacteria like Bt. Works well for chewing insects, larva and beetles. I’m very impressed with bacterial insecticide products. At least three strains have been developed from Bacillus thuringiensis. Over 130 products. Spinosad is a different bacteria, both work well in my experience. Captain Jacks Dead Bug Brew by Bonide contains spinosad.

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