Raspberries (Rubus ideaus and Rubus occidentalis) generally grow well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 9. In fact, they are considered an invasive species in USDA zone 9 along the southern border of Arizona as well as other areas of the United States. They are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. Planting disease-resistant varieties will make caring for them much easier but, beyond that, the biggest considerations are whether to get ever-bearing or summer-bearing varieties and determining your preferred berry color.
1. Ever-bearing Raspberries
Ever-bearing raspberry plants produce berries twice each year, one crop in the fall and one in the spring. “Heritage” red raspberry (Rubus idaeus “Heritage”) is an ever-bearing, upright shrub that grows to a height of 4 to 5 feet. It produces medium-sized firm berries with a sweet flavor and has good disease resistance. “Redwing” (Rubus idaeus “Redwing”) is a cultivar that resulted from a cross between “Heritage” and “Fallred” (Rubus idaeus “Fallred”). The plant is similar to “Heritage” and produces the same type of berries but it produces the berries up to two weeks sooner.
2. Summer-bearing Raspberries
Summer-bearing raspberry plants produce berries only once each year, usually early in the summer. “Taylor” (Rubus idaeus “Taylor”) is a summer-bearing shrub with self-supporting canes. It grows to a height of 3 to 5 feet and produces high-quality red berries that have a pleasant flavor. “Killarney” (Rubus idaeus “Killarney”) is another summer-bearing variety. It produces firm, tasty red berries.
3. Yellow Raspberries
Raspberry plants that produce yellow berries can be grown with red raspberries for a colorful berry combination. “Fallgold” (Rubus idaeus “Fallgold”) is an ever-bearing cultivar that produces golden-yellow berries. The shrub grows to a height of 4 to 5 feet with an upright habit and is better suited to areas in USDA zone 9 where summer temperatures do not get extremely high. It produces berries that are soft and very sweet. “Kiwigold” is an ever-bearing cultivar that produces peachy-yellow berries that are excellent for eating. It grows to a height of 4 to 5 feet with an upright habit and has good disease resistance.
4. Purple Raspberries
Raspberry plants that produce purple berries can be grown with red and yellow raspberry-producing shrubs for an even more colorful fruit bowl. “Brandywine” (Rubus idaeus “Brandywine”) and “Royalty” (Rubus idaeus “Royalty”) are summer-bearing raspberry plants that grow tall, vigorous canes and produce large, purple berries. “Brandywine” berries are firm and have a tart flavor while “Royalty” berries are soft with a sweet flavor. Both of these cultivars are resistant to some diseases.
- University of Illinois Extension: Hortanswers: Small Fruit: Raspberry: Rubus Ideaus and R. Occidentalis
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Rubus Idaeus “Heritage”
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Rubus Idaeus “Taylor”
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Rubus Idaeus “Fallgold”
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Rubus Idaeus “Kiwigold”
- Cornell University: Raspberry Variety Review
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