Thornless Blackberries Versus Traditional Blackberries

Do you know the differences between thornless and traditional blackberry plants?

It probably didn’t take you long to guess that the biggest difference between Doyle’s Thornless Blackberry™ plants and traditional blackberry varieties is that the former lacks the long, sharp thorns present on the latter. While that is the most obvious distinction, it certainly isn’t the only one. Read on to learn more about each type of blackberry bush.

Difference #1: Canes

When it comes to blackberry canes, the traditional thorned varieties come in two types: trailing and erect. Erect blackberry plants have straight, stiff canes that require light trellising. The trailing types, however, need heavy supports to manage their long, twisted canes. Trailing types also require extra pruning to keep the canes in check. Doyle’s Thornless Blackberry™ plants are the Goldilocks of the bunch. They require some support to help them thrive. We recommend either developing a grape-type or fan-type trellis for best results.

Difference #2: Size and Yield

When it comes to getting the most berries for your buck, choose the thornless blackberry plants. These varieties often produce more berries than their thorned counterparts. If size matters more, trailing thorned or thornless cultivars are best. Doyle’s Thornless Blackberry™ will be easiest to harvest from, as traditional bushes require gardening gloves to ward off unwanted pricks. They also produce high-sugar berries that fall into your hand when perfectly ripe. The sweet flavor is very appealing to most people.

Difference #3: Hardiness

Blackberry plants love to sunbathe. All the varieties grow best in sunny spots, and our thornless blackberry bushes need a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. Some blackberry plants prefer mild winter conditions, but the hardiness of each type of blackberry bush varies quite a bit. Most blackberries do require about 250 cold hours. Doyle’s Thornless Blackberry™ bushes can easily live through single-digit and zero temperatures, and they have been known to survive in temps as low as -25 degrees without incurring damage.