Ponca Blackberry Zone Hardiness

Has anyone had success growing Ponca blackberries in zone 5 or 6? I live in zone 6b and have an interest in the variety but have seen conflicting info online about in which zones it truly grows best.

I can’t say I can just report my experience. Mine had about 60% dieback. In zone 6b and it was a mild winter. Even a covered fig made it through with leaves as protection. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem very hardy. Maybe with growth it will do better as it tries to adapt to this area.

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Thanks, Drew. If it didn’t grow well this past unseasonably warm winter than it probably isn’t a good choice long term for our area.

Probably not but I feel you have to give a plant three years. Maybe just lack of vigor from a shallow root system of a newly planted plant. I will get some berries.

Ponca dies to the ground when temps hit 2F. Caddo is a bit hardier down to -3F. You have a lot better choices that can handle your winter temps.

I planted two of them I think 3 years ago here in zone 6B. My other blackberries are starting to bloom, and I noticed that my Ponca floricanes had about 80% dieback. We had several nights in the single digits in January or February, so that probably did them in.

Of all my UArk varieties, Natchez seemed to have fared the best, Ouachita second.

Hope I get some ripe Ponca berries and see if they live up to the hype.

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This is my third year with Ponca in what is now 6b Illinois. -6 this past winter, no die back. Full of blooms now, nice tasty berries last year.

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I have a couple rows of Ponca planted in 2021. In Dec 2022, we had an unusual overnight cold snap down to mid-single digits.

That wasn’t enough for the Ponca bushes to suffer any harm. They didn’t even drop all of their leaves. But, of course, an overnight cold snap is not the same thing as sustained low temperatures, and we rarely have more than a couple days in a row with freezing temps .

Zone 6a, Sw Michigan got to -7 for a cpl night lows this year. No damage.

I got my plants from pense, and I’ve since learned they don’t always sell plants true to type, so who knows.

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Yeah, I hear you about buying varieties and not being completely sure it’s what you actually received.