15 Compact Berry Plants That Grow Well in Containers

If you’re a small space, patio, or urban grower, don’t count berries out! Join organic farmer Jenna Rich for 15 compact berry varieties that will perform well in containers.

compact berries. Close-up of a strawberry plant in a large terracotta pot showing trifoliate leaves with serrated edges and vibrant green coloration, while its fruit-bearing stems produce succulent red berries adorned with small seeds.


You may think that you need a lot of space to grow berries, but I’m here to tell you that thanks to the breeding of new cultivars, gardeners who prefer to grow in containers can add berries to their line-up! 

The quickest way to grow berries is by purchasing bare-root crowns or transplants, though patient gardeners may choose to start them from seed. Pay attention to cold hardiness and soil temperatures needed and add them to your garden accordingly after properly preparing your container or pot. 

Now, let’s get into a few different types of berries and 15 varieties of compact plants that grow well in containers. 


Most raspberries are naturally tall, thorny, and unruly, but in recent years, several compact hybrids have been released. They are more suitable for small space and patio growers who prefer using containers

‘Bushel and Berry® Raspberry Shortcake®’ 

The Raspberry Shortcake plant displays lush, serrated green leaves and produces small, plump, juicy red raspberries, creating a delightful combination of foliage and fruit in a compact form.
Elevate your container garden with easy, flavorful berry cultivation.
botanical-name botanical name Rubus idaeus ‘Bushel and Berry® Raspberry Shortcake®’
plant-type plant type Summer-bearing red raspberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 24 to 36 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 9

This thornless, self-pollinating, and compact revolution was created for container growers. It offers delicious, medium-sized berries with a unique hint of vanilla. 

Plants are low-maintenance and have a rounded growing habit that requires no staking. 

‘Raspberry Shortcake®’ grows to two to three feet and berries will be ready for harvest in the summer. Maintain well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.2.

‘Glencoe Purple’

Close-up of a ripe 'Glencoe Purple' raspberry with small, round berries in a deep purple hue hanging among deeply lobed leaves with finely serrated edges.
Indulge in late summer delights with vibrant, delicious raspberries.
botanical-name botanical name Rubus idaeus ‘Glencoe Purple’
plant-type plant type Ever-bearing purple raspberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 6 to 8 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 8

‘Glencoe Purple’ is a cross between a native black raspberry and a red raspberry, developed by the Scottish Crop Research Institute. It’s a non-spreading, bushy plant made for container growing. 

These gorgeous purple berries will be ready for harvest in late summer. They’re soft, juicy, and sweet, outrageously delicious in or on desserts. It’s a high-yielder with good freezing capabilities.

The plants do well in extreme heat, but keep your eye on the water levels. Remember, plants grown in containers can’t stretch their roots down to find water, so it’s up to you to keep them hydrated! Mulching can help to protect roots and keep the soil cool while maintaining moisture. 


Close-up of Rubus idaeus 'Heritage' which presents vigorous canes adorned with lush green foliage and yields abundant clusters of large, sweet, red raspberries.
Savor the rich, versatile flavor of these bountiful summer raspberries.
botanical-name botanical name Rubus idaeus ‘Heritage’ 
plant-type plant type Ever-bearing red raspberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 5 to 6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 8

‘Heritage’ berries are large, firm, and mild, with a little tartness. The color is dark red, and they’re perfect to eat fresh or process into jams and jellies. 

This bush raspberry will produce a flush of berries in the summer with a larger yield in August or September into the first frost, depending on your growing zone. Watch out for the thorns when harvesting. While planting a second variety is optional because ‘Heritage’ is self-pollinating, it may increase yields. 

Bonus: ‘Heritage’ performs well even in poor-quality soil. 


Strawberry varieties that stay compact and produce few runners will perform best in containers. 

‘Red and Yellow Wonder Blend’ Strawberry 

Close-up of freshly picked Fragaria vesca ‘Red and Yellow Wonder Blend’ berries, characterized by their small size, conical shape, and a blend of vibrant red and golden yellow hues.
Enjoy petite bursts of delightful sweetness from these compact wonders.
botanical-name botanical name Fragaria vesca ‘Red and Yellow Wonder Blend’
plant-type plant type Day-neutral alpine strawberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 8 to 10 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 to 9

‘Red and Yellow Wonder Blend’ berries produced are sized between wild and standard cultivated strawberries with excellent flavor and aroma, about the size of a thimble. It’s an alpine variety made for container growing. 

These plants remain under a foot tall and produce very few runners, making them perfect for containers. If you do spot runners, just snip them off, and the plant will send energy back into the main plant. 

‘Red and Yellow Wonder Blend’ is fairly easy to start from seed indoors 14 to 16 weeks before the last spring frost. The fruits will be ready to harvest in about 120 days. 


Close-up of three black pots of Fragaria x ananassa ‘Tristar’ plants which feature bright green trifoliate leaves and produces medium-sized, conical-shaped strawberries with a vibrant red coloration
Showcase beauty and flavor with ‘Tristar’ berries in any space.
botanical-name botanical name Fragaria x ananassa ‘Tristar’
plant-type plant type Day-neutral strawberry
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 9 to 12 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 9

‘Tristar’ is the perfect berry plant to put on display for its attractive flowers, notched leaves, and gorgeous deep red berries. It performs well in hanging baskets, large containers, or window boxes. 

Their exceptionally sweet berries are perfect for jams, jellies, and pies. Plants are cold-hardy and will produce from spring to frost, providing a heavy crop in the early and late seasons and slowing down during summer heat.

Ensure proper drainage to reduce the risk of disease.


Close-up of ripe and unripe 'Albion' strawberries on a large clay pot with white plastic mesh.
Blessed with resilience and abundant yields, this variety shines.
botanical-name botanical name Fragaria x ananassa ‘Albion’
plant-type plant type Ever-bearing strawberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height Up to 12 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 7

‘Albion’ produces large, firm berries with good flavor. Plants grow fast and perform well in extreme heat. 

This variety is known for its consistently high yields, hardiness, and excellent disease-resistance package including verticillium wilt, anthracnose, and crown rot. This tried-and-true variety was introduced in 2006 and has been popular among commercial and home growers ever since. 

Don’t overcrowd plants in containers, especially ‘Albion’. They’ll do best with proper spacing. 


Blueberries need a soil pH of 5.5 or below, which is easier to adjust and maintain in containers. 

‘Northsky’ Blueberry

Close-up of Vaccinium corymbosum x Vaccinium angustifolium 'Northsky', showcasing compact, bushy growth adorned with small, oval-shaped blueberries and vibrant green foliage, thriving in a large clay pot.
Enjoy sweet wild-like berries from this versatile, container-friendly variety.
botanical-name botanical name Vaccinium corymbosum x Vaccinium angustifolium ‘Northsky’
plant-type plant type Mid-season dwarf blueberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height Up to 24 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 8

‘Northsky’ is a lowbush dwarf variety that produces wild-like, sweet berries. Growing blueberries in containers makes it easy to move around throughout the year as weather and sun placement change. 

Its extreme cold hardiness makes it great for northern growers, but it performs well in the south, too. Plants will bear a small amount of fruit in their second year, reaching full maturity in about six years, when they can produce up to ten pounds per season. Harvest will be heaviest from June to August. 

A flush of white flowers will appear in the spring, and its beautiful foliage can be enjoyed all season long. Mulch to help the roots stay cool and retain moisture. 

‘Sunshine Blue’ 

Vaccinium 'Sunshine Blue' displays compact, evergreen foliage tinged with shades of bronze, and produces small, blue blueberries.
Enjoy late-season, rich, and sweet blueberries from this vibrant variety.
botanical-name botanical name Vaccinium ‘Sunshine Blue’ 
plant-type plant type Southern highbush blueberry
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 to 4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6 to 10 

‘Sunshine Blue’ berries are medium-sized, rich, and sweet and arrive late in the season. The flowers are a cheerful bright pink, and the plants are self-pollinating. 

This semi-evergreen blueberry bush only requires 150 hours of cold dormancy and loves the heat and sun of summer, making it a great choice for growers across zones. 

The blue-green foliage transitions to maroon in the fall. When the berries have faded, move around your pot to complement other autumnal shades in your garden. 

‘Pink Lemonade’

A close-up reveals 'Pink Lemonade' blueberries nestled amidst green leaves on a bush, the delicate pink hue of the berries contrasting beautifully with the foliage. The lush foliage and ripe pink blueberries evoke a sense of freshness and tranquility.
Savor early-season, versatile berries from this cold-hardy blueberry cultivar.
botanical-name botanical name Vaccinium ‘Pink Lemonade’
plant-type plant type Compact blueberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 to 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 to 9

‘Pink Lemonade’ is a delightful, compact berry plant with pretty, blush-pink berries. They turn nearly red when ready to harvest. The fruits are small but very sweet, with a tasty citrus hint to their flavor.

Choose a large container big enough to accommodate your plant’s root ball. Maintain evenly moist soil, and enjoy the show! The foliage will transition to red and purple shades in the fall, offering visual appeal even after the harvest season. 

While this cultivar is self-pollinating, you will see larger yields if you plant two or more nearby.


Blackberry bushes may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning a container garden, but some cultivars were bred just for that. Trellis and pruning may still be necessary. 


Close-up of Rubus fruticosus 'Chester' bearing large blackberries with a glossy, deep purple-black hue.
Enjoy transport-resistant, heat-tolerant blackberries from this self-pollinating cultivar.
botanical-name botanical name Rubus fruticosus ‘Chester’ 
plant-type plant type Summer-bearing floricane blackberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 3 to 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 to 8

The firm, huge berries of ‘Chester’ won’t soften during transport or lose color in the heat. Plants are thornless, semi-erect, and self-pollinating. 

Berries will be ready to harvest in the late summer. Plants can tolerate more heat than others and don’t mind dry weather. However, don’t allow the shallow roots of new transplants to dry out as they establish. 

Mix the mild berries of ‘Chester’ with sweeter varieties and types for a delicious and sweet mixed berry jam or pie filling.

‘Black Magic™’ 

Close-up of Rubus fruticosus 'Black Magic', producing large, succulent blackberries with a rich, glossy, and dark purple-black hue.
Experience a season-long bounty of succulent, sizable blackberries.
botanical-name botanical name Rubus fruticosus ‘Black Magic’ PPAF
plant-type plant type Primocane blackberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height Up to 4 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones USDA 5 to 9

Huge berry alert! ‘Black Magic™’ produces a double crop of quarter-sized blackberries beginning in May, a little at a time, then again in late summer or early fall. The flavor is a balance of sweet and tart. 

Glossy berries are deep purple, almost black and plants have a medium growth rate. The foliage is deep green. Canes support themselves and grow upright, perfect for patio containers. 

‘Black Magic™’ is only lightly thorned, is self-pollinating, and has excellent heat tolerance. 

‘Baby Cakes®’

Close-up of the spooled fruits of Rubus fruticosus ‘Baby Cakes’ characterized by oval, juicy, dark purple to black berries, each composed of numerous drupelets.
Delight in the sweet, classic flavor of these thornless blackberries!
botanical-name botanical name Rubus fruticosus ‘Baby Cakes®’
plant-type plant type Dwarf floricane blackberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 3 to 4 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 8

This is your classic large, sweet blackberry with great flavor. The hardest part will be not picking them too early when they’ll be too tart and mild for eating. 

No trellis is needed for ‘Baby Cakes®’, and there are no thorns! Water consistently when newly transplanted, but allow some time between waterings to allow the top three inches to dry out once plants are established. 

Warmer region growers may receive a decent-sized second flush in the fall. This variety is hardy and will overwinter down to zone 4.


Though gooseberries aren’t a popular berry choice for home gardeners, they require little to no maintenance for big rewards.


Close-up of Ribes uva-crispa 'Pixwell' with hanging clusters of small to medium-sized, pale green to pinkish berries on a branch adorned with lobed, green leaves.
Savor the delight of nearly thornless gooseberries in various recipes.
botanical-name botanical name Ribes uva-crispa ‘Pixwell’
plant-type plant type Gooseberry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height Up to 4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2 to 6

A nearly thornless gooseberry sounds like a dream after years of scratched arms and finger pricks in exchange for the tart berries. ‘Pixwell’ plants bloom with white flowers in the spring. Green, medium-sized berries will appear that will transition to a blush rose pink when ready to harvest in the summer. Gooseberries resemble purple grapes and sometimes feature light white striping. 

The flavor is excellent in jams and jellies, simple syrup, and pie filling. Boil them with water and sugar, smash them, and strain out the pulp. Alternatively, though more labor-intensive, you can peel the skins off after boiling for a smoother-textured finished product. 

Pro tip: When cooked, gooseberries are very gelatinous, so there’s no need to add gelatin when making jams and jellies. 

Haskap Berries

A lesser-known superfood from Japan, meaning “berry of long life and good vision”. 


Lonicera caerulea ‘Tundra’ showcases elongated, blue-green leaves and produces clusters of oval, oblong, bluish-purple berries with a powdery bloom.
Delight in the distinctive taste of Haskap berries this season.
botanical-name botanical name Lonicera caerulea ‘Tundra’
plant-type plant type Haskap berry 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height Up to 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2 to 7

Haskap berries taste like a mix of blueberries and raspberries. They’re firm and rich in antioxidants. Their shape is unique: long and slender with a slight bulge around the center. The exterior skin is a dusty dark blue, similar to blueberries. 

Fruits will ripen in mid-summer to early fall. Foliage is medium to dark grayish green, and leaves are slender. Spring-blooming flowers are white and funnel-shaped. Haskap berries are also called Blue Honeysuckle and Honeyberry. 

Plants are moderately drought-resistant once established. Pollination is required. 

Red Currants

Currants are easy to grow and highly nutritious, full of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. 


Ribes rubrum ‘Perfection’ displays bright green, lobed leaves and bears large clusters of translucent, bright red berries with a glossy sheen.
Savor the perfection of tart red currants in summer recipes.
botanical-name botanical name Ribes rubrum ‘Perfection’
plant-type plant type Red currant 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 to 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 7

After growing this red currant variety, you’ll see why the name was chosen. It was introduced in New York in 1887 by Charles G. Hooker. It’s vigorous and low maintenance, producing high-quality and delicious tart red berries. Balance the tartness by blending them with red onions for a unique summer salsa or raspberries baked into a cobbler. 

‘Perfection’ will produce more fruit when grown in full sun and be ready to harvest in July on the second or third year since planting. The plants are self-pollinating and prefer soil pH between 6.2 and 6.5.

While black currants are very susceptible to rust, red currants make poor disease hosts, so this shouldn’t be a concern. Look out for symptoms of fusarium, verticillium wilt, and stem blight.

Final Thoughts

Lots of delicious compact berry plants are perfect for small space and container gardens, so don’t shy away from growing berries. The most important thing is selecting a container conducive to the variety and berry type you’re growing so it has ample space to spread its roots, retain enough moisture, and produce all the berries! 

A close-up of blueberry bushes in large pots, soil rich and brown. Young stems reach skyward, branches sprouting with vigor. Green leaves dance in the sunlight, backdrop of blurred grasses in the garden.


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