If you've been searching for the perfect ground cover for your flowerbeds, garden, or even to use as a replacement for your lawn, look no further than the Creeping Raspberry plant. Originally from Taiwan, it's is a hearty, low-maintenance ground cover that grows into a dense carpet of three-lobed leaves.
In addition to being beautiful, Creeping Raspberry grows in various difficult terrains, produces brightly colored, edible fruit, and even acts as a natural mulch for bulbs and other plants in your beds.
Overview of the Creeping Raspberry
Once known as Rubus Calycinoides and now designated Rubus Hayata-Koizumi, Creeping Raspberry belongs to the Rosaceae family. An evergreen with cane-like stems and three-lobed green leaves that turn stunning reds and purples in autumn and stay that way all winter, this groundcover remains attractive year round.
While perfect for flowerbeds, gardens, and lawns, it can also be grown in containers or even hanging baskets. Mature plants will grow to between six and twelve inches tall, spreading out at a rate of about twenty-four inches per year. Let the growth spill out for beautiful hanging baskets and container gardens!
Though hearty, this groundcover should not be walked on. For one thing, it would ruin the fruit; also, this variety has thorns which, while relatively soft, would likely prove uncomfortable in bare feet.
Planting and Care
Creeping Raspberry grows well in a variety of different soil types and can withstand mild alkalinity or acidity. It's tough enough to withstand winter conditions and grows best in zones six through nine.
Plant seeds or cuttings four to six feet apart as the plants need plenty of room to spread out. Though virtually drought-resistant once mature, young plants must be watered consistently. Make sure the soil doesn't get soggy; keeping it moist is recommended.
Experts suggest fertilizing the ground before planting instead of after. Sprinkle 10-10-10 granular, slow-release fertilizer on the soil. If you've got an established bed that needs fertilization, use one or two inches of compost in early spring.
The only pruning you'll ever need to do on this groundcover is to keep it from overgrowing the boundaries of your garden or flowerbeds. Use a pair of sterile snippers to trim unwanted excess. As you prune, remove any dead stems.
When used as a replacement for your lawn, an edge-trimmer works very well to keep your plants within bounds.
Sometimes leaves will suffer damage over the winter. You can prune these, but letting them fall on their own creates a natural mulch.
Propagation is best done in early summer. To propagate your plant:
Finding live plants is easier than finding seeds for this variety, but you can harvest your own seeds if you like. To harvest seeds from your plant:
Harvested seeds should be planted as quickly as possible.
Generally, pests are an uncommon problem for Creeping Raspberry. There are a few insects you may find on your groundcover, though:
Caterpillars sometimes eat the leaves of this plant. If you find any, or if you find holes in your plant's leaves, use a bacillus thurigenisis treatment to kill any larvae.
Scale insects such as mealybugs are sometimes a problem for Creeping Raspberry, eating its leaves, or clustering around its stems. To rid your plant of scale insects, use neem oil or dormant horticulture oil.
Small and green, leafhoppers can be hard to spot on leaves. If you find these insects on your plants, treat them with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Orange Rust is a common problem for this groundcover. There is no cure for the orange rust fungus. The only way to stop the spread of this disease is to remove and destroy any and all infected plants.
Botrytis, commonly referred to as Grey Mold, should be treated with a copper-based fungicide or a bio fungicide.
Powedery Mildew is more likely to affect plants in humid environments. The white powder on the leaves are spores, which spread the mildew to other plants. Neem oil should be used to eliminate powdery mildew.
Hearty, attractive, and resistant to drought, Creeping Raspberry makes an ideal, low-maintenance groundcover that stays beautiful all year long. Imagine how it would add to the beauty of your beds and gardens!