When to plant raspberry canes – the time window to establish roots for a healthy plant is running out

Set your raspberry cane up for a healthy, fruiting bush

Raspberry fruit growing on a raspberry plant
(Image credit: Getty Images/Arseniy Bobrov)

The idea of growing your own raspberries and having a consistent supply of the deliciously sweet berries is certainly a tempting one. But if you are taking the plunge and are set to grow raspberries from canes, then you need to consider when to plant raspberry canes to give them the best chance for success.

Whether you’re growing raspberry canes in pots or in the ground, getting the timing right is very important to ensure your raspberry bushes will develop a strong root system and grow into a big, bushy plant with an abundance of fruit to give come summertime.

But if you’re not 100% sure what the best time to plant raspberry canes is, then read on to see what our gardening experts recommend for a triumphant outcome.

Raspberry fruit growing on a raspberry plant

(Image credit: Getty Images/TorriPhoto)

When to plant raspberry canes

Unlike the best time when to prune raspberries being dependent on whether your raspberries are summer-fruiting or autumn-bearing, the best time for planting raspberry canes is the same across the board. And it’s just around the corner.

‘I recommend planting raspberry canes during their dormant season, which is generally any time between November and March/April,’ says Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench. ‘It's important to make sure that the soil isn't frozen when you plant them, so I recommend planting in either November or March/April to ensure that this isn't a problem.’

The reason why this time frame is best is because it gives the plant enough time to establish a root system before the start of its growing season, which maximises its chance of success and survival.

‘I’d generally say the earlier you plant them will be the best thing and even though the colder seasons aren’t the most pleasant ones to perform planting during, it’s the most reliable time of the year to guarantee that the raspberry canes will set and establish,’ adds Petar Ivanov, Fantastic Gardeners' gardening expert.

Raspberry canes growing in the garden

(Image credit: Getty Images/mtreasure)
Steve Chilton portrait
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field. As the director of LeisureBench, an industry-leading garden furniture company, Steve has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. 


Do raspberries grow better in pots or ground?

‘Raspberry canes generally thrive best when they’re planted directly in the ground rather than in pots because the ground provides more space for their roots to expand and get better access to nutrients and water, which promotes healthier growth and higher fruit production,’ Petar says.

Steve continues, ‘Only smaller, more compact varieties of raspberries can be planted in pots/containers, and this is because they don't need as much room.’

Petar Ivanov portrait
Petar Ivanov

Petar Ivanov is one of the company's top-performing experts and manages over six teams of gardeners, delivering stunning landscape results and fostering a deep connection with nature through his work.

Raspberry fruit growing on a raspberry plant

(Image credit: Getty Images/Jose Luis Raota)

How do you prepare the ground for raspberries?

Similarly to how to prune raspberries, there are a few things to keep in mind when preparing the ground for your raspberry canes. First and foremost step is to choose the right spot and clear it of weeds.

‘Choose a spot that’s both sunny and sheltered to give your canes the best chance of surviving windy weather and producing lots of fruit,’ starts Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk.

And while you’re at choosing the right spot, it’s also important to make sure your soil is the right type for growing raspberries. 

‘Raspberries prefer slightly acidic soil. I recommend purchasing a soil pH test kit in order to check whether your soil needs to be more or less acidic,’ Steve explains.

Fiona continues, ‘Raspberries like the ground to be moist and well-draining. So, if you live in a chalk or clay soil area, you might find it’s best to create some raised beds with compost-enriched top soil. Avoid alkaline compost as raspberries like the ground to be slightly acidic. A multi-purpose compost should be fine but aim for one with a good level of potassium to support the development of the fruit and boost the resilience of your plants.’

And you should be good to get raspberry cane planting.

Sara Hesikova
News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.