Dying or dormant blackberry bush?

Hi! Looking for some expert help. I purchased an upright blackberry bush in the fall (no experience growing these), put it in a pot, and overwintered it. I live in zone 7. Now that it’s warming up, the plant has looked worse and worse over time. It’s not waking up. I see green when I do the scratch test but otherwise it looks dead. I added fertilizer about a month ago when the canes looked greener. Maybe I fertilized too early? Is it a pH issue? Infection? I can’t figure out what the problem is.

Normally ,It should be showing signs of growth by now.
How was this plant stored over winter ?
If out side above ground in a pot, the root may have froze.?
If inside in a heated space , it may not have got the winter chill to break dormancy.
At any rate all you can do now is keep it moist , and see if it sprouts,…patients …

What kind of Blackberry?That almost looks like a Blueberry.bb

Canes only last 2 years and die so one should expect to see new growth of new sprouting canes.


It was outside during the winter and I wrapped the pot with insulating material. I don’t know the variety but it’s thornless blackberry. I looked at the roots and most look good. I am hopeful that it will wake up when it gets warmer. I got a pH meter and the soil needs to be a bit more acidic so I’ll try that.

I would not worry so much about the ph.
I would cut the top growth back to a stubb 6inches or so.
Look for a shoot to come up at the base of the existing stem.
Looks like you need a little more soil in that pot.
Or ,… It would be better off in the ground than a pot.
If you have room ?
Good luck.
If no growth in a few weeks,PM . Me , for a replacement ,
If I have time ?
What kind of black berry is it ?

Oh , …and welcome to this site .!

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My Natchez is late to put up new canes each year. Your plant there could just be doing that. If so, you’ll get green popping up randomly later. Don’t worry about how bad the old cane looks, because it dying would be normal.

Do treat the pot like a live plant, of course, because those roots still need water, sun on top, etc, to push up the new canes. Pretend it’s a bulb, lol.

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Thanks for the ideas, everybody! I cut back the canes and the cadmium (?) layer was still green so I think there is still life instead this little bush. I like the idea of treating it like a bulb. Hopefully it will wake up once it gets warmer.