How to Plant, Grow, and Care for ‘Heritage’ Raspberries

Are you looking for a new ever-bearing red raspberry variety to add to your garden this season? Transplant ‘Heritage’ bare roots and leafed-out plants in the spring, and they’ll produce berries for you in year one. Join organic farmer Jenna Rich as she shows us how to plant, grow, and care for ‘Heritage’ raspberries.

A vibrant cluster of 'Heritage' Raspberries reveals plump, ruby-red fruits glistening in the sunlight. Each succulent berry promises a burst of sweet and tart flavors. Surrounding the berries, lush green leaves add a touch of freshness and vitality.


‘Heritage’ is an amazing raspberry variety that offers abundant harvests of delicious red berries. It is fairly low-maintenance under the right growing conditions. After a heavy fall harvest, simply cut all the canes back in the fall, mulch, and put them to bed for the winter.

Raspberries are one of my favorite fruits, and when I learned just how easy they are to maintain, I opened up a new raised bed and added 30 plants to our farm plot. We chose this everbearing variety for our zone 5b farm because it is winter-hardy and highly productive.

Get your jam recipes ready! Let’s explore why everyone loves ‘Heritage’ and why you should too

‘Heritage’ Raspberry

‘Heritage’ raspberries:

  • produce fruit from July through September
  • have sweet, juicy berries perfect for fresh eating, canning, or freezing
  • are cold-hardy to -20 °F
  • grow well inground or in containers

buy at Epic Gardening Shop


The 'Heritage' Raspberry plant showcases its unique, red-like fruits, resembling rubies amidst the foliage. The small, intricate green leaves in the blurred background create a soft and harmonious canvas, emphasizing the plant's natural beauty.
This everbearing raspberry shrub requires minimal maintenance.
Botanical Name Rubus idaeus ‘Heritage’
Plant Type  Everbearing raspberry shrub
Family Rosaceae
Genus Rubus
Special Characteristics Plants provide two fruit flushes and attract pollinators and birds
Native Area  Most of Northwestern North America
Sun Exposure Full sun to partial shade 
Height  4 to 6 feet +
Watering Requirements  Moderate 
Soil Type  Well-draining sandy loam, slightly acidic
Pests  Cane and crown borers, spotted wing drosophila, Japanese beetle 
Diseases Anthracnose, botrytis, root rot
Maintenance Low 
Hardiness Zones USDA 4 to 8
Bloom Time July to October, zone dependent 

What Are ‘Heritage’ Raspberries? 

A vibrant cluster of 'Heritage' Raspberries glistens in the sunlight, showcasing plump, ruby-red berries. The delicate surface texture hints at their juicy sweetness, while lush green leaves, adorned with dewdrops, surround the enticing bounty.
This is a cherished raspberry known for hardiness and delicious berries.

‘Heritage’ is a popular commercial heirloom everbearing raspberry that has made its way to the list of favorites among home gardeners. It is beloved for its hardiness and high yields of high-quality, dark red, deliciously juicy medium-large berries, perfect for fresh eating and making jams and jellies. These plants are self-fertile, so no pollinators are necessary for them to produce fruits and you don’t need to plant more than one of this variety. 

This variety grows erect and doesn’t require support, even though it can grow to six feet at maturity. If maintained properly with sufficient water and sunlight, plants may live for ten years. Growers from zones 4 to 8 can enjoy this plant, which survives well even when winters are harsh, though it may need some protection.

The canes produce two flushes of fruit per season unless pruned otherwise.

Fun Fact: Raspberries are botanically not berries at all. Rather, they are round cone-shaped aggregates of drupelets that separate from the receptacle when they’re gently tugged off the stem. Each drupelet is like a bead clustered around a center core. The average raspberry is made up of 100 to 120 drupelets, each with its own seed.


An exquisite display of recently plucked 'Heritage' Raspberries captivates with their deep, crimson allure. Nestled in a small brown wooden box, these succulent berries beckon with promises of a delectable, just-picked flavor experience.
Clusters of tiny white or light pink flowers bloom on plants with lush foliage.

‘Heritage’ plants can grow six feet or more with lush, dense foliage. The deep green leaves are made up of alternately arranged leaflets. Tiny five-petaled flowers are white or light pink and appear in clusters. 

While raspberry plants are typically grown for their delicious berries, the stems of their deep green, textured foliage can be used to elevate a simple bouquet or be displayed alone in a vase as a seasonal statement piece. 

The fruits are bright, a saturated pinkish-red, and oh-so sweet!

How to Grow

Raspberry bushes will reward you with garden beauty and delicious, healthy fruits in exchange for ideal growing conditions and seasonal pruning. They are a garden favorite because they can produce fruit on new wood each year with minimal maintenance.


A close-up captures the vibrant red raspberries, showcasing their plump, juicy texture. The thin branches intricately intertwined, supporting the cluster of fruits. In the blurred background, lush green leaves add a soft, natural contrast to the vivid red berries.
Ensure raspberry plants thrive by planting in full sun for maximum yield.

While raspberry plants may survive in partial sun areas, full sun will result in high productivity and the most fruit. If you live in a particularly dry area with harsh summer sunshine, provide ample water during drought-like conditions. 


A close-up of 'Heritage' Raspberries reveals their petite, crimson fruits, each bursting with sweetness. The green leaves of 'Heritage' Raspberries glisten with moisture, enhancing the allure of the delicate berries. The careful balance of red and green creates a visually appealing and appetizing composition.
Insufficient watering leads to small, seedy berries lacking juiciness and flavor.

Water newly planted bushes and bare roots at least two inches per week for proper root development and establishment. Increase to four inches per week when the plants are setting fruit. Set up drip irrigation lines at the plant base at the time of transplanting, so you’re prepared for any dry spells.

Fresh, thin roots dry out very easily. Use a rain gauge to determine the exact rainfall in your garden. Insufficient water leads to small, seedy berries lacking that juicy pop we all crave. Once established, plants have some drought tolerance, but it’s best to check them once weekly to ensure the soil is moist.

Keep a watering schedule until just before your first fall frost to ensure the plants are as healthy as possible going into winter dormancy. Once the ground is frozen, plants cannot uptake water or nutrients, so stop watering until spring. Plants receive water when it rains and snows. Too much water may lead to rot and disease. 


A close-up reveals sandy loam soil, characterized by its balanced texture of sand, silt, and clay. This fertile mix promotes optimal drainage, allowing roots to access water while retaining essential nutrients for flourishing plant growth. Its earthy hues signify a healthy and well-aerated substrate.
Enhance raspberry growth with well-draining soil that has a pH 5.5-6.5.

Soil preferred is well-draining sandy loam that is consistently watered and has a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. If your native soil isn’t conducive to growing raspberries, grab a large container. ‘Heritage’ raspberry plants perform well in pots and shouldn’t need any support. Check their water levels frequently. 

YouTube video

Before planting, fully rid the area of weeds that may compete with shallow-rooted raspberry roots. If there is grass or stubborn perennial weeds, cover the area with a tarp for about a month. You can also start fresh with a metal raised garden bed


A close-up of rich organic mulch unveils a dark, nutrient-packed layer teeming with decomposed matter. This gardener-approved concoction not only enriches soil but also fosters a thriving ecosystem of beneficial microorganisms. Adjacent, a gardener's rake lies nestled, providing a tactile connection between human cultivation and nature's organic bounty.
Create healthier soil by mulching with wood chips, compost, and lawn clippings.

Apply several inches of organic mulch around your plants to keep weed pressure down, retain moisture, and keep the soil warm and cozy. Wood chips, shavings, compost, bark, and lawn clippings are recommended. 

To make your own mulched leaves, mow over piled-up leaves a few times until they’re in smaller pieces. These will break down more quickly and add fertility to the soil, encouraging healthy fungi and microbes to flourish. Reapply mulch as materials break down.

If you live in colder climates, mulching is an important step for winter preparation. We layer several inches of aged compost to protect the crown and a thick layer of mulched leaves around the base. Add wood chips to the walking paths to increase insulation and reduce muddiness between rows. 

Climate and Temperature

A close-up captures the 'Heritage' Raspberries plant, showcasing luscious clusters of ripe, ruby-red fruits. The bountiful berries dangle enticingly, promising a burst of sweet juiciness. Surrounding them, the emerald-green leaves add a refreshing contrast to the fruitful display.
Protect the plant’s crown and roots when temperatures drop below 5°F.

The preferred daytime temperatures are between 65 and 80°F (18-27°C), but ‘Heritage’ raspberries can tolerate much warmer. While hardy down to USDA zone 4, take care when temperatures fall below 5°F (-15°C) to protect the crown and root system. 


A close-up of a farmer's hands, stained with dark soil, carefully holding golden slow release fertilizer. The granules glisten, offering a controlled nutrient release for optimal plant growth. As the hands work, the fertilizer becomes a crucial element in nurturing flourishing crops.
Avoid late summer or fall fertilization to prevent damage during winter dormancy.

I recommend soil testing before you start a new raspberry patch and starting each season so you know exactly what your soil and raspberries need. When opening up your gardens in the spring, feed established raspberry bushes before new growth begins. 

Use a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer like a 10-10-10 and follow the instructions on the packaging. Alternatively, select a fertilizer that’s higher in nitrogen for the first feed of the year to encourage healthy stem growth and foliage, then apply the 10-10-10 around June when new foliage begins. 

Do not fertilize in late summer or fall. This encourages new growth that may be damaged during frost and winter dormancy. 


A vibrant 'Heritage' Raspberries plant garden showcases plump, crimson berries glistening in sunlight. The lush green leaves provide a rich backdrop, framing the succulent fruits. A dedicated gardener carefully harvests the bounty, placing them in a wooden basket.
Dormancy ensures berries thrive in their first-year harvest.

‘Heritage’ raspberries can be harvested in the first year. The light summer crop comes from the canes they came out of dormancy with, and the heavy fall crop comes from the new canes that have popped up this season.

Berries release fairly easily from the receptacle, and fruits hold up very well in travel and storage, making it a great option if you bring your berries to a farmers’ market or sell them at a farm stand. 

Be careful, ‘Heritage’ is thorny! Wear gloves to protect your fingers. 


'Heritage' Raspberry bushes reveal intricate branches and healthy green leaves. A diligent gardener, adorned in red gloves, expertly wields pruning shears to shape and prune the bushes. Each precise cut ensures the optimal growth and vitality of the raspberry plants.
Prune everbearing raspberries for two fruit flushes.

Everbearing or fall-bearing raspberries are referred to as primocane varieties, which means they fruit on fresh wood. For two flushes of fruit, prune similar to floricane varieties, scheduling pruning sessions directly after each fruit flush. Note that the second flush may come very late in the season in northern climates, but it will be larger. 

Alternatively, cut back plants to two inches during dormancy in early to mid-March. This encourages one large fall crop and makes pruning a cinch, just once per season. New growth will produce the fruits. Remove suckers regularly and discard or share them with gardening friends to control the spread. 


Raspberry plants are sold as bare roots or small plants in containers. How you plant them depends on the type of plant you receive. Starting a plant from seed is possible, but it’s a time-consuming and tedious process. While I love starting plants from seeds as much as the next gardener, I advise you to leave the hard work to the experts on this one. 


A bundle of 'Heritage' Raspberry bare roots, ready for planting. These roots hold the potential for future growth, serving as the foundation for a flourishing raspberry plant. When nestled into the rich, dark soil, they embark on a journey of transformation.
Protect bare-root plants during transit for healthy arrival.

If you receive bare roots that do not feature any leaves yet, they will be frost-tolerant. They should be wrapped in plastic with some sort of packing medium like torn newspaper. Unwrap them when they arrive in the mail and ensure they’re moist, alive, and healthy. If you can’t plant them immediately, lightly mist the roots, loosely wrap them back up, and store them at 32-40°F (0-4°C). 


Delicate hands carefully placing a 'Heritage' Raspberry seedling into a prepared hole in the fertile, dark soil. The young plant exhibits tender green leaves and promises the bounty of succulent raspberries in the seasons to come. Nestled in its earthy bed, it begins its journey towards maturity.
Nurture plants indoors, confirming moist roots upon arrival.

Transplants will not be shipped to you until the risk of frost has passed, as they will not survive frosty conditions. When they arrive, confirm the roots are moist, alive, and healthy. These plants should not be stored in a refrigerated area but rather in a sunny spot indoors or in a greenhouse until you’re ready to plant outside. 


Plant your bare roots or transplants out in early spring. Select a location that receives full sun to enjoy the highest production of fruit. Avoid overly windy areas and anywhere the soil remains soggy. 


A meticulous arrangement of 'Heritage' Raspberry plant stems is evident, spaced perfectly in garden beds adorned with white stones. These long, slender stems exhibit the plant's delicate yet resilient nature, promising a bountiful harvest.
Optimal air circulation promotes healthy ‘Heritage’ growth.

‘Heritage’ likes its space. Leave two to three feet between plants so they can spread out and air circulation remains healthy. If suckers pop up in places you don’t want them, cut them as far down as you can and remove them. This variety performs well when planted in a line due to its upright growing habit. 

YouTube video


Delicate hands adorned in vibrant yellow gloves carefully plant 'Heritage' Raspberry seedlings into the rich, dark soil. The intricate process captures the dedication and precision involved in fostering the growth of these exquisite raspberry plants.
Improve plant growth by planting bare-root raspberries correctly.

Planting methodology depends on the propagation material you start with.

To plant bare-root raspberry plants: 

As soon as your soil can be worked, dig a shallow trench or hole, depending on how many roots you’re transplanting. Lay the roots out horizontally and allow the main stem to stick out of the soil vertically. Bury the roots with about an inch of native soil and tamp it down all around the stem. Trim the stem down to a few inches; this step is very important, so don’t skip it! Cutting the stem back encourages new, fresh growth. Water them in right away.

To plant transplants featuring leaves: 

To transplant, dig a hole just large enough to fit the root ball with an extra inch on top. Loosen the soil around the roots and place it into the hole. Fill the hole with native soil and tamp it down all the way around. Water plants right away.

Common Problems

Raspberry pests can wreak havoc on production. Scouting and early detection are key to their success. Most can be controlled with organic and cultural practices. 


A vibrant 'Heritage' Raspberry, showcasing its deep red hue, glistens in the sunlight. A Spotted Wing Drosophila delicately perches on a ripe berry. Notice a discreet hole in the fruit, evidence of its shared existence with the tiny visitor.
Harvest regularly to prevent sap beetles from being attracted to rotting fruit.

Young plants are particularly susceptible to some heavy-hitting critters, which I’ll discuss here. 

Spotted-Wing Drosophila (SWD)

The dreaded and invasive spotted-wing drosophila (SWD) is native to Asia and can destroy a raspberry patch quickly. It has been feeding on and destroying fruit patches since its arrival in the United States in 2012. It’s often too late for the fruit once you realize you have an infestation.

Adult females lay their eggs inside immature fruits by making a small, inconspicuous slit in the fruits. Larva hatch out inside and begin feeding on the fruit innards. Gardeners don’t know of their presence until maturing fruits begin to soften and rot. Their life cycle is short, and several generations can hatch in one season. Some studies have shown success when using SWD traps.


Leafhoppers will suck the sap out, potentially causing a decrease in photosynthesis and leaving ugly marks on the leaves.

Raspberry Beetle/Raspberry Fruit Worm

These pesky raspberry beetles have been around since the 1800s, hibernating as adults in soil across the United States and Canada. They emerge in the spring just in time for tender new growth and work their way up young, vulnerable plants.

Eggs are laid in late spring, and the larval stage is just over a month long. Larva are tiny brown worm-like beetles. Fruit worms eventually pupate and become adults, just in time for winter hibernation. Scouting, early detection, spinosad, weed, and debris control are acceptable organic treatments.

Raspberry Cane Borers

It’s easy to identify if these are present in your raspberry patch. If the tips of shoots are suddenly wilting, look down a little way down on the stem for two cut rings. If they are present, then cane borers are the culprit! The space between these cuts made by the female adult is where she lays her eggs.

Larva hatch in June, moving up to the tips and feeding on the tender tips of primocanes. Remove the stem below the cut lines and throw it away, and in doing so, remove the larva present. Further control is not typically necessary.

Raspberry Crown Borers

Raspberry crown borers are moths that resemble yellow jackets. Check for the long antennae and yellow legs to confirm the borer’s identification. In the larval stage, they will tunnel through and consume roots, canes, and crowns, disrupting the plant’s access to water and nutrients, a serious threat to your raspberry patch.

Scout for eggs in the summer on all plant surfaces and take note if your plant is suddenly in bad health overall. Besides destroying any eggs found, the best control against these is to remove infected plants and rid your garden of alternative feeding hosts. Studies show decreased numbers of larvae when entomopathogenic nematodes were applied in the summer.

Spider Mites

You may see spider mites in dry years or when fruits are grown in a high tunnel. Safer soap and neem oil are acceptable organic treatments.

Sap Beetles

Harvest on a regular schedule to avoid sap beetles feeding on overly ripened fruit. They’re attracted to the smell of rotting fruit and may bring disease with it.

Protect against deer and rabbits by fencing your plants, putting human or pet hair around your plot, applying coyote urine, keeping a radio turned on in the garden, or using a motion-activated light to ward off potential nighttime activity. 

Pro tip: Plant garlic, lavender, marigolds, or chives near your raspberry patch. The strong fragrances may help deter raspberry pests. 


The 'Heritage' Raspberry plant stem bears the unfortunate scars of cane blight, exhibiting a withered and diseased appearance. In the background, lush green leaves of unaffected 'Heritage' Raspberries contrast the struggle for survival.
Ensure disease resistance through proper care and sanitation measures.

By nature, ‘Heritage’ is resistant to most major raspberry diseases, including powdery mildew, anthracnose, botrytis, raspberry cane blight, rust, spur blight, and other various viruses. However, you should practice good sanitation and proper care for the best results.

Cultural management for most diseases includes:

  • Keeping your garden tidy and clear of debris
  • Removing dead or questionably diseased canes right away
  • Keeping weed pressure down and soil fertility up
  • Avoiding overhead watering
  • Providing plants with ample space and airflow
  • Using clean, sanitized, sharp tools only 

Final Thoughts

‘Heritage’ raspberry is a widely adored variety of red raspberries that are adaptable to many regions and naturally disease resistant

With their ability to stand up on their own, perform well in many different growing zones, and produce high yields of delicious, juicy berries, I highly recommend adding this variety to your lineup. 

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