How To Grow Raspberries From Seeds | Raspberry Seed Stratification and Germination

Know the step by step procedure to grow raspberry from seed. Raspberries (Rubus idaeus) can be grown successfully using fresh seeds from store bought fruit at home. The seed grown raspberry plant will produce fruits in less than 2 years but the quality may be different from the parent raspberry plant.

However, growing raspberries from seed is a simple and effective way of growing a new raspberry plant quickly. The process I followed in Sydney, Australia, is not difficult as given in the following paragraphs.

The procedure to grow raspberries of different types including American red raspberry, Australian native raspberry, European red raspberry, black raspberry, Asian raspberry etc. is the same.

Grow Raspberries From Seeds

Growing Raspberries From Store Bought Fruit

The raspberry plants can be grown from seeds from store bought fruit in any season from the fresh seeds. However, seeds from frozen raspberries may not grow because the cells in embryo can get damaged as they thaw. But you may try.

1. Raspberry Seeds For Germination

  1. The first step is to buy fully ripe raspberries from store.
  2. Raspberries have several tiny seeds in the pulp. Taking out raspberry seeds from the fruit is not straight forward. Put a ripe raspberry in water in a cup and crush it with your fingers for a few minutes. Alternatively you can use a mesh colander.
  3. Leave it in water for a few hours, that will separate many of the seeds that will settle down in the cup.
  4. Pick out the tiny seeds and spread on a paper towel.

2. Raspberry Seed Germination

The most common question is whether raspberry seeds need cold stratification or not. The raspberry seeds usually need to undergo cold stratification of up to 3 months time to germinate them successfully. 

If the raspberry fruit in your store has come from cold storage, then the seeds may not need stratification. But I stratify the seeds to ensure success.

If you do not cold stratify the seeds, then only a few seeds may germinate and they may take more time to germinate, up to 3 times longer.

Raspberry Seeds. To take out seeds, put a ripe raspberry in water in a cup and smash with your fingers.
Raspberry Seeds Ready For Stratification

How To Stratify Raspberry Seeds

  1. Spread the raspberry seeds on a paper towel.
  2. Fold the paper towel and spray some water on it. Enclose in a zip lock bag or wrap in a polythene sheet. to create high humidity. and put in the fridge (not freezer) to stratify the seeds.
  3. Open the bag after every week after 4 weeks of stratification to see if the seeds have started to sprout. It may take from 4 weeks to 3 months to sprout the seeds. The sprouted seeds can be planted in the soil even if they have not sprouted even in 3 months as mentioned in the following steps.
  4. The stratified seeds will germinate and grow seedlings in 2 to 5 weeks depending on the temperature.

Planting The Raspberry Seeds in Soil

  1. Take a small pot having many holes to drain excess water, otherwise standing water in the pot will rot the seed. 
  2. Fill the pot with seed-raising soil. You can make your own soil mix by mixing garden soil and river sand in equal amount. Sand will make the soil free-draining. 
  3. Spray water on the soil to moist it evenly.
  4. Spread the seeds about 1 inch apart on the soil, and press the seeds firmly onto the surface of the soil with your palm. Then cover the seeds with a thin layer of same soil mixture and spray water.
  5. Place the pot in shade at a bright place. Spray water daily on the soil or wrap the pot with a polythene sheet to keep the soil moist.
  6. Keep the pot indoors if the daytime temperature is below 15°C (60°F). You can place the pot on a heat pad indoors to ensure steady temperature.
  7. The raspberry seedlings will grow in about 2 to 5 weeks depending on the temperature.

Germinated raspberry seed
Raspberry Seed Germinated

Transplanting Raspberry Seedlings

Transplant the seedlings to larger pot in garden bed when they grow 4-5 sets of leaves. Keep the young raspberry plants under dappled shade during their first summer.

Raspberry Plant Grown From a Seed
Raspberry Plant Grown From a Seed

When the raspberry plant grown from seeds will produce fruit. The seed grown raspberry plants take up to 18 months to produce fruit, depending on its variety.

The raspberry plant bush does not produce fruits in the first year. The plant grows the canes with leaves during the first year and produce fruit in the second year. Each cane produce fruit only once, so cut second-year canes to the ground level after harvesting.