What is everyones favorite red primocaine raspberry with root rot resistance?

I’ve been growing joan j raspberries and we had lots of rain this year, nearly all fell victim to root rot. Does anyone have an suggestions on the best red primocaine raspberry that has at least some resistance to Phytophthora root rot?

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Among red raspberry cultivars, none are immune to the disease, but cultivars do differ greatly in their level of susceptibility. Among varieties grown in the Midwest and Northeast, ‘Titan’ and ‘Hilton’ are extremely susceptible, with ‘Festival,’ ‘Heritage,’ ‘Reveille,’ and ‘Taylor’ moderately to highly susceptible. ‘Newburgh’ is somewhat resistant, and ‘Latham,’ ‘Boyne,’ ‘Killarney,’ and ‘Nordic’ are considered to be fairly resistant.

Found that online… Ohio State article.

Ps… it also mentions that root rot can be avoided by planting site modification… improving drainage.

I have heritage reds since 2020… and no problem with root rot at all… but i make borderless raised beds for everything i plant here. No doubt that has helped.


Best to plant these in raised areas, then you can have more more cultivars to choose from.

‘Meeker’ has been excellent here in a raised planter.

This is the conclusion that I am beginning to come to.

I’ve been growing seedlings of the dwarf “Raspberry Shortcake” with pots sitting in shallow trays of water year round and they haven’t suffered any rot issues so I suspect that “Raspberry Shortcake” must have some genetic resistance to root rot.

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I purchased a few Meeker plants from OGW they are in a 4" pot and the growth habit looks like trailing very similar to squash vines. Is yours have the same growing behavior? what is the best trellising option for this variety?

Innoculate the plants with Trichoderma Harzianum when planting (dip the roots or sprinkle the spores). For established plants root drench with TH spores mixed in water. Provides excellent control of Pythopora.

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I’ll 2nd Heritage. It’s a fantastic performer for me and I’m up in zone 4. I’m starting to harvest them right now and they’ll continue to ripen till the end of September. Large, flavourful berries and good disease resistance (at least as a primocane). They don’t do that well as a floricane so I generally just prune them to the ground in spring.

I also have Festival but it ripens too late for me here, 50% of the time it doesn’t make it to first frost in early October. It also doesn’t produce nearly as much as Heritage.

Caneberry growth habit cannot be determined from tiny plants in 4" pots.

The growth habit of my ‘Meeker’ canes is typical of red raspberry: completely erect for several feet before arching over. A small percentage of the canes are spindly and not erect, or develop a spontaneous diversion, perhaps because of growing directly against another cane or the trellis itself.

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Agree with @TNHunter, raised beds are the way to go to minimize Phytophthora headaches and once it is in the soil, the spores can hang around for years (unless you are going to use anti-fungals). New bare root plants can even come contaminated with PRR spores and you wont know it.

In our heavy clay soil, if I didn’t have raised beds, they would all die

I use 1% hydrogen peroxide when things have been really wet on my raised beds (once they dry out), and I think it helps but it is totally anecdotal.

The most resistant cultivars are floricanes: Latham

Cascade Bounty (one of its novelties in the patent is how tolerant it is of PRR)

and a new one from Scotland Glen Mor

Prelude is also considered resistant to PRR (per OSU) but we have had a very wet summer and PRR will kill a handful of canes but for the most part, it has done well (with record rainfall)

Tayberries, if you can grow them (we are z5 and cant), are apparently immune to PRR

to your specific question of primocane reds, I have Himbo Top and it is good (aka “tolerant”) with PRR (it is weaker on grey mold, Botrytis, though); it is so productive, PRR doesnt seem to slow it down (but does to Joan J, another one we grow); Autumn Bliss, Josephine, Jaclyn also have some tolerance per OSU (I don’t grow those - did grow Jaclyn but it was never really productive for me)

so Himbo Top is definitely worth looking at if you want a red primocane that doesn’t get destroyed by PRR; early-ish, huge berries and super productive; this and Joan J are our workhorses on the primocane side

per OSU Extension

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For primocane raspberries, I started with Heritage and later added some Fallgold and Amity. None of these lasted very long, but then I bought a single Caroline plant which was much more vigorous, larger fruited, and better tasting. It produced plenty of root suckers that I transplanted to eventually replace all of the earlier primocane plants.

The table above says that Caroline is susceptible to root rot, but my plants have resisted disease for at least 15 years, growing in the exact same places where previous primocane raspberries died. I spread them over about 70 ft of row along two fencelines, alternating with floricane plants and spaced 1 meter (about 3 ft) between plant clumps. The only pest that I’ve noticed on the plants is the occasional raspberry crown borer larva, which can kill the whole cane.


Agree with @vitog and think Caroline is another option

Per CA extension


Nourse says Caroline has better tolerance for PRR than Heritage (it is all relative)

When we grew it, I dont remember it having trouble with PRR