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Shrubs Used in Landscaping With Blackberries

Blackberries (Rubus fruticosus) belong to the rose family members and grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10 in full sun. This fruiting tree prefers sandy, well-draining dirt and is easy to grow, producing a wild look to the landscape. Many diverse types of bushes grow alongside blackberry shrubs, providing different decorative purposes.

Attracting Bees

Some bushes attract honeybees into the landscape, which helps ensure a great pollination of their blackberry flowers and a hefty berry harvest. One bee-attracting tree is that the butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii), a sun-loving plant in USDA zones 6 through 9. Clusters of small aromatic flowers appear from midsummer till the first autumn frost in colors ranging from white to dark purple. This 6- to 10-foot-tall bush creates a sweet honey scent. Shiny xylosma (Xylosma congestum) attracts bees to its miniature flowers concealed amid its evergreen leaves. In USDA zones 8 through 11, this tree reaches 10 to 12 feet wide and tall.

Evergreen Leaves

Planting evergreen shrubs around the blackberries fills in the landscape while the berry bushes are without leaves in the winter. “Green Velvet” boxwood (Buxus “Green Velvet”) rises well in USDA zones 4 through 9, creating a dense, round shrub 3 to 4 feet tall and wide with small evergreen leaves. The formal compact look of this tree contrasts the wild look of the blackberry bushes. Scallywag holly (Ilex x meservae “MonNieves”) rises upright to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide, with dark-green prickly leaves tinted with purplish-red colors in the autumn and winter. In USDA zones 5 through 9, white spring flowers cover this holly bush.

Fruiting Shrubs

Other berry and fruiting shrubs grow nicely alongside blackberry bushes. The identical soil and growing conditions that generate a great crop of blackberries will produce additional fruit. One berry bush that takes advantage of the very same pollinators as blackberries is the “Pixwell” gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum “Pixwell”), which rises 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide in USDA zones 3 through 8. The bush is nearly thornless, with white flowers followed by masses of leafy greens that are creamy. Pomegranate shrubs (Punica granatum), in USDA zones 8 through 11, hit up to 20 feet tall, spreading 15 feet wide. This multistemmed deciduous tree creates orange-red flowers followed by red edible fruit.

Ground Cover

Training the arching branches of the blackberry bushes to grow up a trellis or fence opens up growing room under the plant. One low-growing ground cover tree is the evergreen candytuft (Iberis sempervirens), growing in USDA zone 5 through 9 with shiny dark evergreen leaves and flattened clusters of snow-white flowers. This summer-flowering tree attains 6 to 12 inches tall. “Wood’s Compact” kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi “Wood’s Compacta”) creates low-growing branches reaching just two to three inches tall, while spreading 3 to 4 feet wide, in USDA zones 2 through 8. The pink hanging blossoms attract birds and hummingbirds into the area.

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