Mad About Berries

Growing Marionberries in Pots and Containers

Marionberries can be grown in pots and containers easily, but managing their long canes can be challenging.

Nonetheless, if You wish to grow Marionberries in a pot or container in your own garden, give them a try. They are easy to grow, have a long harvesting season, and fruits are sweeter and less tart than the fruits of classic blackberries.

Published: February 1, 2023.

marionberries 2

Marionberry Growing Conditions

Marionberries are practically a cultivar (variety) of the Blackberry, and they require similar growing conditions, including:

  • Full sun position, protected from the wind,
  • Slightly acidic soil, down to 5.5 pH, although it prefers soils with a pH range of 6.0-6.5.
  • The soil should be well aerated and should drain well. Also, the soil should be rich in nutrients and organic matter and should retain moisture well.
  • Plants should be watered regularly, depending on the local conditions (sun, wind, clouds, rain, temperature). Marionberries, on average, require 1-2 inches (25-50 mm) of water per week.
  • Marionberries should be spaced some 5-7 feet apart (1.5-2m) in the row, with some 8-10 feet (2.5-3m) between the rows.
  • Marionberries require support in the form of stakes and wire trellises consisting of 2 wires, one 3.5 feet (1m) and the second 5 feet (1.5m) above the soil.

As one can see, Marionberries are not difficult to grow in the garden. The catch are Marionberries' canes which can grow up to 6 meters, with the fruiting branches growing along the canes.

Note: trellis system also depends on the gardener and his/her personal preferences. Generally, new canes are left to grow at ground level, while last year's canes (ones that will bear fruits this year) are kept on the trellis. After the harvest, preferably in the autumn, old canes are removed, and the new ones are trained around the trellis.

Some gardeners grow Marionberries using 4 wires - 2 wires are used for last year's canes that will bear fruits this year, and 2 wires are used for this year's canes that will bear fruits next year.

When growing Marionberries in pots and containers, either grow them using wire trellises and let the Marionberries spread a few meters left and right, or use strong tomato cages and train your Marionberries to grow in an upward spiral - this saves plenty of space, but it can be very difficult to remove old canes after the harvest while at the same time training the new canes to grow around the very same tomato cage.

In short, regardless of whether You grow Marionberries in pots or containers or in the garden, consider growing them on a wire trellis system.

marionberries trelisses 1

How to Prepare the Pot For Marionberries

Whenever growing the plants in pots and containers, note that the larger the pot, the better. Thus, consider growing Marionberries in pots that are at least 24 inches wide and 20 inches deep - such pots may contain up to 32-35 gallons (120-135 liters) of growing soil, which should be enough for a single Marionberry plant.

If You plan on growing Marionberries in containers, consider containers 24 inches wide and 20 inches tall and plant a single Marionberry every 4-5 feet.


The pots and containers should be filled with a mixture of good potting soil, mixed with plenty of organic fertilizers (organic compost, worm castings, dried manure pellets, etc.), and some balanced NPK fertilizer with the gradual release of nutrients.

As the plants grow, they need plenty of nutrients, it is recommended to add some organic fertilizer during or after the flowering period and once again in the autumn - when the plants are grown in pots and containers, they have to be fertilized more often with the smaller amounts of fertilizers.

It is recommended to obtain certified Marionberries from the garden centers, especially if You need just a few of them - plant them early in the spring after the danger of frost is gone.

Water the Marionberries and keep the soil moist during the growing season - during the summer heat, consider watering them every 1-3 days, or add a dripping watering system.


Marionberries are very resilient plants and rarely have issues with bugs (aphids, for example), animals, and birds. However, they may be susceptible to cane and leaf spots, which can be treated with a fungicide.

Marionberry Harvest

Marionberry harvest usually starts in mid-summer and lasts into the fall.

Marionberry fruits are not as deep black as fruits of blackberries - they tend to be more dark red-brownish, almost black.

marionberries vs blackberries

Fully ripe Marionberries should be picked on almost a daily basis and consumed fresh or used in making jams, pies, and similar - taste and fragrance are excellent, as they are sweeter and less tart than blackberries.

marionberry pie

Few Final Words

Marionberries can yield a great harvest, and they are not difficult to grow - just be sure to keep the soil moist and rich in organic matter.

To protect the soil in pots and containers, one can also add a layer of mulch that will protect the soil from sun and wind and will fight the weeds.

Also, as the mulch slowly decomposes, it refeeds the plants and keeps the soil slightly acidic.

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