Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Plant Profile: Rubus odoratus - Flowering Raspberry

Choices for mass plantings can be daunting. However, if you need drought tolerant, disease resistant, full and easy to maintain shrubs; choose Rubus odoratus.

 Having learned about this plant in school, I had my doubts.

It had been given a bad rap for being aggressive in my learning years.

However, in the right spot - it shines. Large pink flowers which fade in coloration as they unfurl. Fuzzy flower buds which look so interesting, cover the entire plant. This shrub flowers from mid June to August. Their fruit are considered to be edible, but not palatable as its raspberry cousins.

Thornless stems and palmated, maple like leaves are tough as nails. Never have disease and cover large areas - keeping weeds at bay.

The plant is so versatile in various light conditions. I have had good success with both full shade and full sunny locations.

One trick. DO NOT prune back hard in the spring. Wait until the plant responds by showing bud break and growth in late spring. Only cut out dead wood. Do not shape or do not manipulate. Leave it be.

If you prune it back too hard it will begin to naturalize and run.

Here you can see a baby plant emerging close by:

This came from a running root. In this case, I left it to fill in a gap.  Like other rubus plants, they have running roots that can spread. If it does spread, it's easy enough to remove and control in spring.

Bees love their simple, open flowers.

I am convinced now of its benefits. Great choice in a sprawling area which needs coverage.

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