Japanese grape

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Although the Japanese grape (Rubus phoenicolasius) has thrived well in our latitudes for many decades, it is still a real insider tip for gardeners. The elegant exotic with its fruity berries for the garden is a real asset both visually and in terms of taste. Their original home is the Asian region in Japan, Korea and western China. In North America and Europe, the plant has been known since the beginning of the 20th century.
The name may initially be a bit irritating, because the Japanese grape berry is more similar in appearance to the native raspberry than the grape berry or grapevine, therefore, their second name is Rotborstige raspberry. Its growth is typical of berry bushes of the genus Rubus: Long, slightly prickly rods go arcuately from the trunk and form a dense shrub. Unique in contrast to the Japanese grape berry is the bright red color of its bark, which makes the summer green shrub look very attractive even in winter. Her distinctive bristly dark red flower buds also catch the eye. The berries of Rubus phoenicolasius are orange-red aggregate stone fruits and look like red blackberries confusingly similar. However, they are a little smaller, softer and a bit sticky, about one centimeter long.

Location and ground

The Japanese grape berry thrives particularly well in neutral to calcareous soils (pH 6.5 to 7.5). The substrate should be fresh at planting and may contain a layer of gravel or loam. Like all berries, the Japanese grape berry needs a lot of sun, so that the fruits can mature well and form their sweetness. A full sun location is optimal for the bearded rods, however, should their base be shaded if possible.

Planting and care

Since you can educate the Japanese grape similar to blackberries on the trellis, it is well suited for greenery of screens, wooden fences or trellises. There, their shoots grow about one to three meters in height. Standing free, the Flachwurzler requires no support, but about three feet away from the next plant. The best planting time for the Japanese grape berry is a frost-free period between October and April. For a healthy growth a good water supply is essential, because the Japanese grape berry is thirsty. Especially in sunny locations in the summer, morning and evening watering must be done. In addition, you should mulch the soil under the shrubs with foliage and grass clippings to lower the evaporation of the soil and enrich it with humus.
In the spring, the plant is supplied with a phosphate and potassium berry fertilizer. In autumn, some compost should be added to the substrate. Young plants need frost protection from brushwood or straw in winter, while older berry bushes are completely frost hardy. The Japanese grape berry usually bears fruit only from the second year.

Education and editing

Like the blackberry, the Japanese grape berry is best grown on the trellis. The long rods are fan-shaped upwards and fixed. Also as a greening of screens or rose arches, the Japanese grape makes a good figure. The cut occurs in mild regions after the last harvest in late autumn, in winter cold areas better in early spring. The Japanese grape berry always bears on the previous year's wood, which dies after the fruit in the autumn. Cut the harvested shoots as close to the ground as possible. The young shoots, which were not yet fruits, should not be cut. They wear the following year. If more than ten rods grow per meter, remove the weakest and strongest ones in the fall. Very long, new rods should be shortened in the fall slightly above the rank aid.

Shoots of Japanese grape berry are cut

Cut the Japanese grape berry in autumn or spring


The flowering period of the Japanese grape berry lasts from May to June. Unlike many native berry bushes Rubus phoenicolasius is self-fertile, which means that it does not need a partner plant for pollination. Nevertheless, if you plant more than one plant, it will increase the crop's output disproportionately, which is also the rule rather than the exception when planting on the trellis. The light-pink flowers of the Japanese grape, which appear in dense clusters and always appear on the previous year's wood, attract many bees and other insects for pollination.


Between July and September, the orange-red berries of the Japanese grape berry ripen on the last year's shoots. The vitamin C-rich group stone fruits are not quite as big as raspberries or blackberries, but they have a very intense, reminiscent of grapes berry aroma, which differs significantly from the better known domestic berries. Not only her appearance but also the flesh is orange. A shrub can carry up to four kilograms of berries in a productive summer.

Storage and processing

The fruits of the Japanese grape berry are ideal fruits with a refreshing tart note. That is why they are also ideal for making jam or jelly. The fruits should be processed best fresh. A long storage or freezing the soft berries is not recommended. Freshly picked Japanese grape berries stay in the refrigerator for about three to five days.


The bow-shaped shoots of the Japanese grape immediately take root when they come in contact with the ground. New shrubs are formed around the mother plant, which can be separated from the mother plant and used again the following spring. If you want to avoid this effect, you should cut off the shoots on time, untie, or pull the plant on the trellis. Also underground forms the Japanese grape like the other kinds of the kind Rubus by foothold daughter plants. You can just cut them off the mother plant in autumn and put them in a new bed.

Diseases and pests

As a non-native garden plant, the Japanese grape berry fortunately hardly has to deal with pest infestation. It also secretes a sticky secretion that keeps most predators away. Only the Brombeergallmilbe was previously observed as a pest on the Japanese grape. An infestation with the tiny mite ensures that the fruits do not mature evenly and clearly lose their taste. A good clearing in autumn and the removal of all fruit mummies prevents infestation by the Brombeergallmilbe. As a precaution, spray spraying with rapeseed oil can take place in early spring. During the season lets you prevent a stronger infestation with net sulfur.

Video Board: ,977 Japanese Grapes.

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