Triple Crown BlackberryRubus hybrid ‘Triple Crown'
View more from Blackberry Bushes
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Rubus hybrid ‘Triple Crown'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Triple Crown Blackberry is a compact, semi-erect type of blackberry that can be grown as a free-standing bush right in your garden. Trellis or wires are optional, so you just plant it, and get ready to harvest. The berries are large, and of the highest quality, with a perfect balance between sweet and tart, and a delicious flavor. This prolific bush yields up to 30 pounds of fruit once established, under good conditions, and it is vigorous, producing an abundance of new canes each spring to ensure lots of future berries.
Full sun and well-drained soil are all it takes to grow the Triple Crown Blackberry. Richer soil and regular watering will give the biggest crop. Remove stems that have flowered once you harvest the berries, and take off the tip of new shoots to keep the bush compact for next year’s berries. Generally free of pests or diseases and easy to grow in many parts of the country.
Blackberries are among the easiest of berry fruits to grow, especially now that they have no thorns – so much easier to pick and be around. Many need trellis or wires to support them, but there is one group that can be grown as free-standing bushes. Known as ‘semi-erect’, an outstanding variety for cool to warm zones is the Triple Crown Blackberry. Three crowns for its three most important qualities – flavor, productivity and vigor. When choosing fruit varieties for home, flavor is paramount, and the biggest source of disappointment. This variety has a wonderful aromatic flavor, and a perfect balance between luscious sweetness and sparkling acidity. You can even control the flavor by timing when you pick – the longer you wait, they sweeter they become. As for the harvest, just one bush, once established, will give you up to 30 pounds of berries every year – more than enough for eating fresh, baking into delicious muffins, or turning into jam, perhaps mixed with some apples from your tree. Then there is vigor, and this bush has plenty of that. The sturdy canes shoot up in abundance, ensuring the annual renewal that is central to blackberry production. All it all, that triple crown is well-deserved, for a bush that is sure to please.
The Triple Crown Blackberry is a semi-erect type of blackberry bush, producing each year many stems from the ground, rising 3 to 5 feet above the ground. These can be trimmed back a little to create a free-standing bush, or left at their full length and attached to a trellis or wire support. The stems produced in the current year do not flower. The following spring they sprout many short side branches, each one carrying flowers followed by fruit. The stems have no significant thorns on them, and the leaves are a glossy mid-green, each one divided into 5 leaflets which are about 3 inches long. The simple but attractive flowers are an open bowl of white petals surrounding a cluster of yellow stamens, and they open shortly after the new leaves in spring, typically in May, but depending on your growing zone. The flowers are in clusters of between 5 and 10, and quickly each one turns into a blackberry.
This variety is fully self-fertile, and produces a full crop even when you have just a single bush. The blackberries are green at first, then turning glossy red to black. In most areas they ripen in early August, over several weeks, but in the hottest areas they may be ripe by the end of June. The large berries run 4 to an ounce – substantial for eating fresh, or for baking. The best flavor happens when the berries turn from glossy to mat, and when they come off the stem easily. Fully-ripe berries have the best flavor and the highest sugar content, so be patient. You will see berries in the second season of growth, and within a few more years you could be harvesting up to 30 pounds of fruit from just one bush.
Because it doesn’t need support, the Triple Crown Blackberry can be grown among your shrubs – you don’t need a dedicated area for it. Free-standing or with a simple trellis behind it, in bloom, and when dripping in berries, it is a lovely thing to see in your flower beds, and creates the charming ‘cottage garden’ look. Of course you can also grow it on a fence or two wires stretched between posts, along with other varieties of blackberry, in a special area, or perhaps to separate a vegetable garden from your flowers.
The Triple Crown Blackberry is recommended for cool to warm zones. It is hardy in zone 5, and grows well into zone 8.
Full sun is always best for the Triple Crown Blackberry, although in zone 8 some afternoon sun during summer will slow-down ripening slightly, allowing you to harvest less often. It grows well in almost all well-drained soils, but avoid wet areas. Unlike some other berry crops it grows just as well in acid or alkaline soils, preferring richer, moist soil.
Mulch in spring, and if your soil is poor, fertilize at that time too. Pruning is important for good production and to keep your bushes from becoming overgrown and too large. When the new stems have grown, trim them back to no more than 4 feet tall, to keep them free-standing. Even if it is just a few inches, it is important to remove the tip of the canes. After harvest, or in the following spring, remove at ground level all canes that have carried fruit. In spring, trim back the side-shoots that sprout to keep them no more than 18 inches long.
There are many species of blackberry, Rubus, in Europe and America. Our modern bushes are complex hybrids, created by breeding many different species and varieties together. The variety called Triple Crown was bred by G.J. Galletta, a scientist with the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland. It was selected in 1983 from seedlings created by extensive hybridization in 1980. It was tested at Beltsville and also at the USDA station in Corvallis, Oregon, until 1995, and then officially named and released in 1998..
With all their complex genetics, plants like the Triple Crown Blackberry are never grown from seed. They must be reproduced carefully from stem pieces to preserve their exact genetic makeup. That is exactly what our growers have done, so you know that you are getting exactly this outstanding plant, identical to the original. Order now, because quality bushes like this are always in high demand from experienced growers.