Raspberries for the south

Yep, makes perfect sense to grow raspberries out of the intense sunlight, just as they grow in nature. I find it interesting that science can explain why they succeed where they are found in nature, on the forest edge where the light is less intense and the temperature is cooler.


‘Nantahala’, a red everbearer, is supposed to be a good rasp for the NC area. It ripens later than most other varieties, though.




For those living in the warmer parts of NC, I wouldn’t get my hopes up just yet. Here’s some info I found on Nantahala: Southeast Farm Press.

Nantahala will play its biggest role on farms in the higher elevation areas of North Carolina and adjacent states.

But it is not well adapted to heat.

Here’s a article from HortScience written by the folks at NC State that released Nantahala.

‘Nantahala’ is recommended for the
mountain regions of North Carolina and
adjacent states.

On the other hand I planted a few bare root Niwot black raspberries last spring next to my blackberries in near full sun. I neglected to tip them last summer so I don’t expect a large amount of fruit. They seem to be doing well, are ripening now with new canes growing. Hopefully I’ll remember to tip them and get a good fall crop.

Next year will be the year that I can get a better feel for how they do here in north central North Carolina (7b). They produced great at my prior (5b) location before moving here a few years ago.


I thought about getting Nantahala, but it’s a very late season berry, so it may not do well here. I had read about it doing better in the higher elevation locations.

I only have one red everbearer, Caroline, and two yellows, Anne and Fall Gold. All the rest are technically summer bearers (4 reds, 2 blacks). This ought to be our first substantial rasp (and blackberry) harvest this year. Are you growing blackberries?

Where were you before? Going from 5b to 7b is quite a change.

Yes, I have Von, Osage, Oauchita, and Natchez - now all loaded with fruit in their third season. Even after losing about half of the canes to borers I am amazed how much fruit I’ll have - if the Japanese Beetles don’t destroy them! I put down beneficial nematodes and Milky Spore last year, though I’m somewhat doubtful that it will help. I have some row cover to use if needed, so there will be berries to pick soon.

I was in the Chicago area before heading south 3 years ago. Yes, it was quite a change. The growing season here is about 2 months longer and the winters (if you can call them that) are very mild. January and February are great months for doing outdoor work. Up north - forget about it!



How would you rate them? I have the middle two, along with Freedom, Traveler and Triple Crown. Late freezes fried some of the early blooms, but more are coming. TC is just now starting to push some blooms.

JB are awful here when they strike, they hit my three pluots hard, and also get after my Romeo and Juliet cherries and a few apples. They don’t really mess with the blackberries.

We moved from the Dallas area (zone 8a) to here 6 years ago, so I have to deal with real winters now, but at least we don’t get 100+ degree days for weeks at a time. Although it gets plenty humid, like today.

They’re only in their third season, but my observations/recollections are:
Natchez - large cylindrical berries with small seeds, taste great. Didn’t push up very many canes, so cane losses to borers hurt. It’s a trailing variety, so the canes that do survive grow very long and produce lots of fruit.

Osage: Lots and lots of fruit! First to flower and develop fruit. good berries

Ouachita: Similar to Osage, but maybe fewer fruit and a bit later.

Von: The last to flower and ripen fruit. Haven’t had a good harvest yet as last year very few flowers developed fruit. I posted about that here last year. Von Blackberry This year they have an abundance of fruit, though not as much as the others.

I feel your pain with the JBs. They sure do have their preferred foods. Here roses are their favorite, then Romeo and Juliet, then blackberries, then grapes. I’m tempted to plant more roses a distance from my fruit with the hope that the JBs will feed there instead. With my luck that idea will backfire and it’ll just attract more JBs which will make even more for next year. :fearful:


Wineberries (folks around here calls them “wild red raspberries”) are everywhere. They can be rather invasive, kind of like the “native” wild blackberries (Rubus armeniacus). The wild blackberries have a decent fresh eating taste, although the hybrid named varieties I tend to like better. Red raspberries though, perhaps I’ve just not tried a good one. Haven’t seen one yet that holds a candle to the intense taste of a wild wineberry. Similar for black raspberries, all I’ve tasted (not many varieties) are just about identical to the native wild ones.

So is this typical or have others found the hybrid named varieties of red/black raspberries to be superior to wild ones? Or I suppose I could ask how prevalent they are for everyone else… Tons of them everywhere you turn or not so much?

1 Like

I don’t have any experience with wild red raspberries, but have picked loads of black ones. To me they taste similar to reds, but a little sweeter.

Several years ago I planted Niwot black raspberry and was pleasantly surprised with my first taste. Totally different than both reds and wild blacks. They have that unique black (or maybe blue) raspberry flavor that I remember from some candy, drink or popsicle from my childhood. At least for me the Niwot black raspberry is nothing like red raspberry or black raspberry. Not better or worse, but pleasantly different.

Interesting, thanks… Will have to check those out.

Here wild blackberries are too sour and small for my tastes, plus they are thorny, so not an attractive resource for me, although my wife likes them. I prefer our thornless domesticated varieties.

We also have wild black rasps, they are sweeter and just taste better, but they are outnumbered by the blackberries by prob 5 to 1. We have two tame varieties, Bristol and MacBlack which should produce their first crop this year.

wild reds are weeds here. you clearcut a forest and you have a field of raspberries until the trees start to shade them out. taste is excellent but berries are very small. my family used to pick them when i was young. i just recently found the 1st wild blackberry here. didn’t think they grew this far north. berry taste is very good on a nearly thornless cane but like rasps. is small. about the size of a medium rasp. still i dug some roots and planted a patch in the yard. hopefully under better conditions the berry size improves some. they should produce a crop this summer. i like the taste of both rasps and blackberry but a nice big autumn britten red rasp is probably my fave off the cane. berries the size of a average blackberry. perfect balance of sweet/ tart.

Hello in Spain (center) all the raspberries are dying.
This year I have tried two varieties “Paris” and “Versailles” and it seems that they go a little better.
What if they go well with heat are the Tayberry style hybrids


It’s unfortunate that Raspberries don’t do well in the south except at higher elevations.

Dorman red is called a raspberry but is has a dewberry parent and taste like a pineapple to me. I believe was developed in Mississippi.

The best advice I got from the experts when we were trying to grow raspberries is “when the weather gets very hot, backberries thrive and raspberries dive.”


Hi, I’m from Spain, so I’m also hot. The same thing happens to me with raspberries, this year I have tried two new varieties: paris and versailles and it seems that something else holds up.
Have you tried hybrids?
tayberry, boysonberry … they suit me very well

Couldn’t agree more! I moved here from the Peoria area in 2014 to the Piedmont area. Also have some Nachez blackberries doing well but need to transfer to our farm down the road. Am going to try some Nantahala and Fall Gold raspberries in 2021 - on a hill with part/most shade and usually a good breeze to mitigate the extra heat!

1 Like

Houston, here, zone 9 a/b
Forget raspberries.
Planted varieties for the deep south
All died
This is what happened to me

1 Like

Dorman Red is not an actual raspberry but a cultivar of Wineberry Rubus phoenicolasius. That is why it grows in the heat and has a bland flavored, raspberry-like fruit. Possibly it is a hybrid between the two.

I know this is late, but the only raspberry I’ve had success with in my steamy zone 8a is Prelude. It has no problems with our winters and gets its fruiting out of the way early. Then you could cut it back and sacrifice the late crop and let it put on fresh growth for the next spring. I give mine morning sun and afternoon dappled shade. Edited to add: I got mine from Pense Berry Farm.


I am in southern middle Tennessee zone 7a and have had Illini Blackberries since 2003… I have a 30 ft long bed of them and they produce quite well. Big BlackBerries with true wild blackberry flavor (as the catalog said)… except they are 2-3 x as big as the wild blackberries on my place.

4 or 5 years ago I started noticing a problem they were having (thru research, double blossom, rosette ?) but I have kept working with them, taking good care of them, pruning off infected parts, and even though they still have that, and it does affect production some… I still got a HUGE harvest of great berries last year.

But also just in case… last year, far across my property and upwind… I started a 30 ft bed of Ouachita… and they grew like crazy last year. I topped them at 4 ft, and they branched out like crazy. Expecting a good crop of those this year.

In the same location I started a bed of Raspberries too… Heritage Red, and Fall Gold… and they grew like crazy last year too. I topped them at 4 ft and they branched out nicely too. And last fall we got lots of raspberries off the top 1/3 of the canes. They were both excellent. I like the Red Heritage best, and my wife preferred the Gold… the kids loved them all.

I also have a loganberry that I planted spring 2019 (2 plants)… and that thing covered a 8x12 trellis and ran off the ends. We got so many berries off it last year (2020)… we ate all the fresh berries we wanted for a couple months and still froze lots of pints of berries, that we are still eating this winter.

It is a big purple berry and for me has been a super producer so far.

They have excellent flavor, but are more tart than sweet. I like to eat them mixed with other berries, like blueberries or grapes.

Here in Zone 7a, TN, my first loganberries were getting ripe May 22… which is a full month ahead of my Ilinni blackberries (which is nice).

So far I have had no problems with raspberries, or loganberries… have had issue with doubleblossom on the illinni blackberries but with some care they are still producing LOTS of great berries.

I have only had the raspberries and loganberry for a short time though…

Below is what the Loganberry looks like.

PS… I think I am going to add some black raspberries this spring. A variety called Jewel is what I am considering.

Best of luck to you.