Botanical Name: Rubus ‘Valentina’
Common Name: ‘Big Daddy’ Thornless Blackberry Bush
Description: This thornless blackberry bush adds a beautiful and lustrously rich deep color to any garden. ‘Big Daddy’ is a perennial shrub. As a self-fertile specimen one plant can produce 10 to 15 pounds of fruit each growing season. It produces stiff short canes that grow from the crown of the roots up and into a hedgerow. Plant it in sun/part sun and it’ll grow to 4-6′ tall and wide. Harvest time for delicious, sweet, very large blackberries is July through September. ‘Big Daddy’ is a newer variety and is bred to be pest and disease resistant. The blackberries are good for eating fresh, freezing, or made into jams. yum. Blackberries need at least 1″ of water per week. They are not considered drought tolerant.
From Texas A&M Extension Agency: Pruning is necessary to maintain an orderly planting and to control diseases. Long handled “loppers” are best for pruning blackberries. During the first year, growth is sprawling and does not need topping. Although blackberry roots are perennial, tops are biennial. Prima canes are produced the first year and produce rapid vegetative growth only. Cut prima canes back when they reach 36 to 48″ to encourage branching, as illustrated in Figure 1. Floricanes are the second year of the biennial cycle and bloom in March. The fruit ripens in May. After fruiting, the floricanes will die and should be cut to the ground. To make picking easier, some growers hedge the rows to a 4′ height and a 3′ width while others train the prima canes onto a vertical three wire trellis.
Fun Fact: Blackberries are biennials and begin bearing the year after planting.
This plant in 1-gallon containers is 1-2′ tall and wide.
This plant in 3-gallon containers is 2-4′ tall x 1-2′ wide.
Hardiness Zones 5 – 8