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Creeping Raspberry - Rubus pentalobus

Posted by lilyfantn z6TN (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 19, 09 at 11:45

Hello everyone - I found this non invasive ground cover at my local Lowes this summer and fell in love with it the minute I saw it. It is just what I needed for a dry strip along my driveway that I have been planting with other drought tolerant perennials. I am wondering if anyone has any experiance growing this plant. I didn't check to see if it was rated for my zone since my Lowes had it for sale (silly me lol) but now I see that it is rated for zones 7-9. I live in zone 6. I am now concerned that I will lose it over the winter and I'm curious if anyone else in my zone grows this.

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RE: Creeping Raspberry - Rubus pentalobus

Since I live in zone 3 obviously I've never tried it. I have however nursed zone 4 plants through the winter by mulching. I use dry leaves or straw. Both trap air pockets that keep the plant warmer. I cover most of the plant--leaving only a few leaves, with a good layer of leaves after a frost so the mice and critters don't make a winters nest in there and munch on my plants all winter. In spring I move some of the leaves or straw, off of the leaves but leave the mulch over the roots until I'm sure we are not going to get hard frosts. I have lost more plants to spring and fall frosts with no snow cover or mulching than I ever did with bitterly cold winters.

That's how I do it for my climate. You may have to adjust it for yours, but mulch is the key to getting tender plants through the cold


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RE: Creeping Raspberry - Rubus pentalobus

Winter hardy here in zone 7a NC. You might get some die back in the winter but it has always returned for me. You might want to reconsider your description of it as noninvasive. It runs like crazy in my garden but it can be contained by pulling the vines up if they get where you don't want them to be.


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RE: Creeping Raspberry - Rubus pentalobus

Looks like the rubus that overwintered for me in my zone 6 garden in the hard winter we had last year, though the species name doesn't ring a bell.


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RE: Creeping Raspberry - Rubus pentalobus

Oh I'm so relieved to hear that it over winters in my zone. I am not too worried about it spreading as the strip where it is planted borders on my driveway on one side and my neighbor's lawn on the other. I edge that side at least twice a season so that should keep it under control. It is a pretty arid bed where I had trouble growing daylilies so hopefully these more drought tolerant plants will like it better.

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By the way, has anyone ever gotten any berries on this plant? The tag said it gets berries but I when I did a google search for info on it I saw other reports that it doesn't.


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RE: Creeping Raspberry - Rubus pentalobus

It also goes by the name of Rubus calycinoides. It is perhaps my favorite groundcover, being fully evergreen in my climate and adaptable to a host of planting situations. It is also the most effective groundcover I've encountered in smothering or keeping weeds under control. I've used it in numerous landscape designs I've prepared. I'd not ever consider it invasive although as Miguel notes, it can spread eagerly once established but can be rather easily removed from areas where not wanted. It turns an attractive, burnished coppery red in cold weather.

It does produce berries, very similar in appearance to small golden raspberry. I think they are quite tasty :-) I have no idea how reliably it would set fruit in colder climates or even how winter hardy it might be. Here, it is a tough-as-nails plant!


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RE: Creeping Raspberry - Rubus pentalobus

Never seen berries on it here in NC Pam. Wish it would produce them since you say that they are tasty!! ;)


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RE: Creeping Raspberry - Rubus pentalobus

It certainly doesn't produce them in abundance, Miguel - I wouldn't suggest growing it for that purpose! They are kind of a bonus offering and they do tend to be hidden under the foliage. I'd imagine that birds and other wildlife might beat you to them unless you are vigilant. 'Harvesting' them while still at the nursery, however, is pretty easy :-)


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RE: Creeping Raspberry - Rubus pentalobus

Well, we planted our (4) 2" pots two years ago behind our Azaleas, facing South..partially shaded by a 30' Oak Tree (in Tulsa, Oklahoma).
Anyway, it was the 2nd year that they really "tookoff"!
Just a few nights in January 2008 did the temp dip to 7-8 degrees F. No problem. But, this past year..the Temp. hovered for an entire month in the teens. Even with 4 inches of oak leaves covering the R. Pentalobus...I lost quite a bit of leaves. Leaves Only! The "vines" seem to be in good shape.
Today, 5/14/10...was my introduction to Rubus Rolfei...identical to Pentalobus...but with small white flowers.
Both Genus-Species are VERY difficult to find in the Tulsa area. If you keep a "headsup" during the Winter...it still will be very much worth the time.


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