Pruning Raspberry Shortcake Dwarf Raspberry

Last year I bought and planted a ‘Raspberry Shortcake’ raspberry bush. It has some new leaves at the base of the plant now (early spring). Should I cut off the bare stems leftover from last year?

Answer: ‘Raspberry Shortcake’ is a wonderful dwarf, thornless red raspberry bush from the BrazelBerries Collection. With a charming rounded habit, dense, rich foliage and bundles of nutritious and sweet summer berries, these lovely shrubs are sure to add a little burst of brilliant color to any garden.

In early spring new sprouts will begin to develop from the soil; eventually new growth should also appear on pre-existing canes (stems). Make sure to leave all new growth—whether it’s growing from the ground or on existing stems—intact. The new canes that sprout from the ground will not fruit until next year. The old canes, on the other hand, should produce berries this summer. Removing these now would mean no fruit this year! You should cut off only any truly dead stems—those that show no signs of new growth after the rest of the bush has leafed out. Dead canes can be removed at ground level.

Here are a few additional growing guidelines for ‘Raspberry Shortcake’:

•    Raspberry Shortcakes grow successfully in average, well-drained soils.
•    Grow in full sun—supplying afternoon shade in areas with harshly hot summers.
•    Water regularly, making sure the plant has consistent moisture—usually 2 to 3 times a week when grown in the ground and daily in containers, depending on rainfall. However, do not waterlog the plants.
•    Fertilizing is not necessary; however if you desire, feed them with a balanced liquid fertilizer in early and late spring.
•    Let the bushes go dormant in winter.
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