The blackberry primocanes are the first-year canes. With traditional blackberries, they are the canes that grow very long and do not fruit the first year. Primocanes do not grow any longer after the first year of growth. The primocanes on the variety that I own grow to about two twenty-feet long the first year. The variety that I have does not fruit on the primocanes.
There are varieties on the market that do fruit on primocanes. They will generally fruit on these canes closer to the fall. These variety of blackberries are referred to as “primocanes”. They fruit in the spring on the floricanes, go a month or so without fruiting, and then fruit again that same year on the primocanes.
The blackberry floricanes are the lateral growth that grows on last year’s primocanes. The floricanes generally only grow about three to twelve inches long in the spring and quickly get buds on them in the spring that will provide you with the spring fruit.
Spent canes are the blackberry canes that are three years old. Generally, they will not even leaf out the third year and will turn a brownish grey color with the bark starting to peel. These canes are done and should be cut out to make room for more primocanes.
Perennial vs Biennial
Blackberries have perennial roots. They will survive the winters and come back year after year. The canes are considered biennial, in that they only live two years, first primocane, then floricane, and then they are done.
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