Raspberry, blueberry: get them to survive winter outdoors

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:15 pm

In order for raspberries, blueberries & Co. to survive the icy winter temperatures well, they need warming protection. It makes a difference whether your berry bushes grow outdoors or in a tub.

Robust berries

On the subject of “overwintering plants outside”, we have already written an article whose focus is on the fig, kiwi and grapevine. These can also overwinter outside, but while they are only conditionally hardy and are assigned to winter hardiness zone 7, raspberries & co. are tougher. Strawberries, red currants, goji berries and blackberries can tolerate about -20 degrees, raspberries and gooseberries and also the mini kiwi almost -30 degrees and blueberries and black currants can even easily cope with temperatures beyond -30 degrees.

Raspberry, blueberry: get them to survive winter outdoors

But even if a plant is hardy and frost does not affect it much, it still has a weak point: its roots. These are more sensitive than the above-ground part of the plant, but are crucial for its survival. Some plants can freeze completely above ground and still resprout in the spring if their roots have survived the winter well.

Potted plants: The main thing is warm feet

In the tub, the roots are at the mercy of the cold temperatures if no measures are taken. Frost reaches them effortlessly through the pot and soil. It is therefore essential to pack the planters sufficiently thick to protect the roots. In the procedure, you can follow our instructions for the fig. This is more sensitive to frost, but in terms of protecting the roots, they are no different from berry bushes in the container.

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Note that your plants must also be provided with sufficient moisture in winter, otherwise they may dry out. If it hardly rains or if the containers are protected against a house wall so that rainwater cannot reach them, you must water them regularly, especially if the air is very dry. It is best to choose frost-free days and water in the morning or at noon, as it usually gets colder at night and there is a greater risk of frozen soil. However, if you have the tubs sufficiently well protected, this danger should be rather small.

Raspberry, blueberry: get them to survive winter outdoors
Berry bushes in tubs are just as happy about a well-padded winter shelter as this fig

Brave the winter weather outdoors

Unlike vines and planted figs or kiwis, berry bushes do not need as much protection from frost outdoors. Their roots are much better protected than in containers. However, some of their roots run shallowly under the soil and are happy to have a protective layer of mulch at very low temperatures. Since this is useful all year round, you may have already laid it out around the plant anyway. Now in winter you can renew it again and spread the material thicker. Branches of conifers, for example, are also suitable. These also have the advantage that they protect lighter mulch material such as leaves, straw or lawn clippings from being blown away during autumn and winter storms.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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