How to Grow Salmonberries Shrub


The Salmonberry is a member of the rose family with scientific name Rubus spectabilis. The shrub is perennial and native to Northern Parts of America.

Common locations they grow are thickets, open spaces, along streams, woodland margins and coastal forests. They are edible and good food source for wildlife. The berries have many culinary and medicinal applications.

Top Producers

It is cultivated in Faroe Island, Ireland, Europe and Great Britain. Found in British Columbia, West Central Alaska, Idaho and California.

  • Faroe Island
  • Ireland
  • Europe
  • Great Britain
  • British Columbia
  • West Central Alaska
  • Idaho
  • California


The shrub grows 3m or 5-6 feet tall have trifoliate toothed leaves 3 to 7 inches long. The three leaflet shrub has a larger terminal leaf with two smaller side leaflets. It has green foliage each flower has 70 to 100 stamens.

The flowers emerge in early summer and produce 5 purple-pink petals 1 inch in diameter. The pacific northwestern species fruit ripen between May and July.

The fruit has a glossy orange-red to yellow raspberry appearance and measures 2cm long. The fruit has many drupelets and should ripen onsite. The fruit is edible processed or eaten raw.

Facts about Salmonberries

The stem have thorns is woody with light brown in color. The leaves are in groups of 3, jagged edges, teardrop shape and triangular. Flowers have 5 petals blossom in May are pinkish in color. The fruit berries look similar to raspberries in appearance orange-pink and edible.


Salmonberries are edible raw or processed into different products. Popular products are candy, jam, wine and jelly. It is an important indigenous food, good ornamental plant used to flavor vodka.

Uses of Salmonberries

  • Edible raw
  • Candy
  • jam
  • Wine
  • Jelly
  • Important indigenous food
  • Good ornamental plant
  • Used to flavor vodka.


There are a few tools you need for your garden. Buy pruning shears, pots, spade wheelbarrow and compost/fertilizer. You need lime, sulfur to adjust PH of soil and soil testing kit. Others include garden hose, mulch, tiller, rake and containers.

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Gardening Tools

  • Pruning shears
  • Pot
  • Spade
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Compost/fertilizer
  • Lime, sulfur to adjust PH of soil
  • Soil testing kit
  • Garden hose
  • Mulch material
  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Container

How to Grow Salmonberries

The shrub requires ether partial or full sun to grow. The soil should be moist, slightly acidic with 6 to 7 PH level. Purchase the salmonberry seedlings from a nursery and prepare the pot.

Dig a hole to accommodate the seedlings roots and add a little compost. Then adjust the PH level with sulfur or limestone as appropriate. Sow the seedling, backfill and tamp soil around the base.

Use 3 inch layer of mulch such as pine needles or woodchips. The mulch will help adjust the soil temperature while keeping the soil moist. Wet the shrub once a week anytime the soil is dry.

The healthy stems are green, thorny while the old stems to cut are orange. Don’t forget to use an equal measure of 10-10-10 compost. Work the fertilizer 2-3 inches in top soil. Introduce plant companions like ferns and weed regularly.

Steps to Grow Salmonberries

  • Buy Seedling
  • Potted Soil 6-7 P H level
  • Dig hole to accommodate roots
  • Mulch
  • Water once a week
  • add companion plants
  • Harvest


As the plant gets dormant take 6 inch cuttings that contain 6 buds per piece. Bury an end in moist potting soil with at least two buds beneath the surface. Keep soil moist to encourage root development.

Layer Technique

Another way is the layer technique which involves bending a healthy plants branch into the soil then securing in-place. After a while the branch in the soil will produce roots.

Once roots are formed cut of the rooting section and replant in a pot. They require partial shade or near wetland areas and prune to encourage new growth

Wild Life Propagation

It is possible to grow salmonberries from seeds but it is very challenging and difficult. The seeds are primary distributed by birds, deer, elk and insects. Propagation is via insects, hummingbirds, bees, rabbits and man.


When harvesting the berries wear safety gloves to avoid thorns, cuts and bruises.  Collect the berries when reddish orange.

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