13 of the Best Raspberry Varieties to Grow in Your Garden (Zones 3-9)

When I think of summertime, I imagine long-awaited outdoor music festivals, ice-cold cocktails on a sunny patio, and curling up in a hammock with a good book, while butterflies flit and flutter by on gentle breezes.

A man is reaching out towards a raspberry bush preparing to pick some of the bright red and ripe fruits. The plant is holding many of the berries ranging from green to yellow to a deep red. In the background is the tilled soil of a garden.

But my mind goes first to memories of my childhood – those seemingly endless summer days filled with the sound of flip-flops and jelly shoes slapping hot asphalt, blowing bubbles and running through the sprinkler, pumping your arms to fly as high as you could on the swing set.

That ozone smell through the screen door of a thunderstorm brewing in the distance, hunting for horseshoe crabs and building drip castles down the shore, splitting a grape two-stick popsicle with your best friend, and catching lightning bugs before bed.

A closeup of a golden colored raspberry that is being held up by a yellow stem surrounded by green leaves with a rough looking texture. In the blurred background, more of the fruit grows amongst the green plants.

If I had to condense all of this into a one-bite experience, here’s what it would be: the taste of a juicy, homegrown raspberry from my grandpop’s garden, just-picked and still warm from the sun.

Unless you live in the desert or the extreme frozen north, you can grow raspberries. Red, yellow, black, or purple, there’s something for just about everyone.

And whether you’re looking for an everbearing crop that will produce multiple harvests, or a big batch for canning that’s ready to pick all at once, there’s a cultivar for you.

Someone's hand is holding onto a small branch bearing several raspberries, with one in particular that is bright red and nearly ripe. The other five fruits are small and are colored light green to orange. The leaves of the plant are small, but get larger farther away from the berries.

If you’re gardening in a small space, some varieties make excellent container plantings, and self-pollinators will still produce fruit if you only have room for one plant. There are cultivars that require a lot of pruning and tending, while others can still thrive if you like to take a more hands-off approach to gardening.

Best of all, once established, most types of raspberry will continue to produce fruit for 10-15 years, if not longer.

Dive into our list, and find the best varieties for your yard – you’ll be eating fresh, delicious raspberries grown in your own garden before you know it.

Summer Bearing

These cultivars produce fruit once a year on primocanes (or first-year canes) only, typically in July.

Summer-bearing varieties generally produce long, relatively weak canes that will require trellises for support.

1. Boyne (Zones 3-8)

Known for its excellent flavor, this variety has bright red fruit with a sweet flavor, and it does well throughout most parts of the US. Cold hardy and known for its disease resistance, this summer-bearing cultivar will produce one harvest in early July. Canes will grow to be 3-4 feet tall at maturity, with an equal spread, and foliage turns orange and red in the fall.

A pile of bright red Boyne raspberries are resting on top of a green leaf from the same plant.

Rubus ‘Boyne’ in 5-Inch and #2 Containers, available from Nature Hills Nursery

Full sun is preferred, but ‘Boyne’ can also be grown in partial shade. Be sure to water it well, and expect fruit on canes that are one year old, then prune them back to the ground when they have finished producing.

2. Cascade Delight (Zones 6-9)

A newer cultivar released in 2003 from Washington State University, ‘Cascade Delight’ produces large, bright red fruit with good flavor that is ready to harvest in July. A very vigorous grower with medium to large yields, this variety is not cold hardy. It is, however, resistant to phytophthora root rot.

‘Cascade Delight’ Rootstock, available on Amazon

Rootstock will produce fruit the year after planting, on two-year-old canes.

3. Killarney (Zones 4-7)

A popular cultivar since its release in Canada 1961, ‘Killarney’ is known for being extremely cold tolerant.

This summer-bearing cultivar produces medium-sized, medium to dark red fruit with a sweet, delicious flavor. Berries will be ready to harvest in July the year following planting, about a week after fruit ripens on ‘Boyne’ plants.

‘Killarney’ Bare Root Plants, available on Amazon

Upright, sturdy canes grow moderately fast, and produce medium yields. For added interest, whereas most raspberries produce white flowers in the spring, this one puts on a show of pink blooms.

Like many other disease-resistant cultivars, it is immune to Raspberry Bushy Dwarf Virus (RBDV). Moderately resistant to root rot and self-pollinating, ‘Killarney’ should be planted in full sun, in well-draining soil.

4. Raspberry Shortcake (Zones 5-8)

This dwarf raspberry is perfect for small space gardeners, since it does well in containers. With a mounding habit, a mature height of 2-3 feet, and an equal spread, plant it in full sun.

Its compact form means it won’t require a trellis, and it is self-pollinating so you should still get a productive plant if you only have the space on your patio or balcony to grow one. Plus, it’s thornless!

A shortcake raspberry plant, with a ripe harvest, is growing in a large green flower pot. The berries range from yellow to red. The container is sitting in nicely mowed grass with a stone sidewalk and a garden covered in mulch in the background.

Rubus ‘NR7’ in #2 Container, available from Nature Hills

Raspberry Shortcake’ requires regular pruning and upkeep, and may be more susceptible to disease than other varieties. Keep the soil moist, and do not allow it to dry out between waterings.

5. Royalty (Zones 4-7)

A hybrid of black and red varieties, this hardy and disease-resistant cultivar is what’s known as a “purple raspberry,” with very large fruit, and delicious flavor. This vigorous grower will provide one big harvest (and I mean big) on established vines in mid-July.

A handful of royalty raspberries are resting in a pile on a white surface. The fruit are purple colored throughout and shine in the bright lights. Some of the berries fade to a more maroon color.

Rubus ‘Royalty’ in 5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills Nursery

Royalty’ will reach 3-4 feet tall at maturity, with an equal spread. And it even does well at high elevations, with some winter protection and consistent watering in the summertime.

Everbearing

Everbearing types produce fruit on floricanes (or second-year canes) in the summer, typically in June or July. Then, they produce another harvest on primocanes in the fall.

These types tend to have a shorter stature, with sturdy canes that do not require support.

6. Anne (Zones 4-9)

This everbearing variety produces large golden-hued fruit, and the berries have a sweet flavor that’s described as almost tropical, with a hint of apricot. A disease resistant cultivar that grows vigorously, ‘Anne’ was awarded for having the best taste in a comparison of raspberry varieties by the Utah State University Cooperative Extension in 2013.

‘Anne’ Bare Root Canes, available on Amazon

Self-pollinating, you can expect harvests starting in July through the first frost, with improved flavor as the weather starts to cool off. As is the case for all patented varieties, propagation of this type is prohibited.

Cold hardy and heat tolerant as well, plant in full sun in well-draining soil. Keep in mind that this cultivar is susceptible to root rot.

7. Dorman Red (Zones 5-9)

An everbearing cultivar that produces sweet, red fruit in abundance on fast-growing, thornless canes, you can expect high yields on second-year canes from June through the first frost in September. Trellising is required, to keep them from trailing along the ground.

‘Dorman Red’ 2-Year-Old Organic Plants, available on Amazon

This self-pollinating variety does well in the heat and humidity of southern climates, where other cultivars might fail to thrive. Plant ‘Dorman Red‘ in full sun, in well-draining soil.

8. Fall Gold (Zones 4-9)

An everbearing variety with sweet and tart, golden fruit, this moderately vigorous cultivar will provide two harvests per season on biennial canes. With upright, thorn-covered canes that reach a height of 24-36 inches at maturity, this raspberry is more compact than other types, and grows well throughout most of the US if given full sun.

Actually a type of red raspberry with a mutation that prevents the production of the vibrant pigment that these berries typically have, yellow raspberries share many characteristics with red varieties in terms of care requirements.


A fall gold raspberry plant has produced a large number of berries. The fruit range from yellow to almost orange and are mixed amongst the shiny green leaves.

Rubus ‘Fall Gold’ in 5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills

Prune ‘Fall Gold’ and other everbearing types carefully, since the fall crop will be produced on the top 1/3 of canes, with the second crop developing on the bottom 2/3 of the same canes the following spring. This cultivar is known for being cold tolerant to -25°F – talk about a hardy plant!

9. Heritage (Zones 4-8)

Medium-sized, bright red fruit with a mild flavor, this everbearing type will produce a harvest in mid-July, and another in early September. Disease resistant and highly productive, you can expect fruit in the first year of growth (and these grow fast).

Canes reach a mature height of 3-4 feet, with an equal spread. And yellow and orange fall foliage adds interest to the garden.

A large number, near and far, of bright red heritage raspberries are growing at the ends of the branches. The berries farther away are blurred in a mix with the jagged green leaves of the plant.

Rubus idaeus var. strigosus ‘Heritage’ in 5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills Nursery

This variety was given the Outstanding Fruit Cultivar Award by the American Society of Horticultural Sciences in 2004. ‘Heritage’ does best in full sun, though this cultivar will produce fruit in partial shade as well, and it can be grown at high elevations.

Provide some protection during the winter, and be sure to water well during the growing season. You can expect lower yields and a shorter harvest season in cold climates.

10. Jewel (Zones 3-8)

Love black raspberries? Also known as ‘Jewel Black,’ this everbearing variety produces red fruit that darkens to black when ripe, in June through September. The berries are medium to large and sweet, with excellent flavor and few seeds, so they’re perfect for canning.

This self-pollinating and cold hardy plant grows quickly, with 24 to 36-inch canes at maturity if planted in well-draining soil in full sun. But ‘Jewel’ can have lower yields, so plant more for cross-pollination and better harvests.

A group of nearly one dozen jewel raspberries are growing at the end of a cane. The majority of the berries are large and black while a few of the others are bright red or purple and much smaller. The green leaves of the plant are jagged and the background is blurred.

Rubus idaeus ‘Jewel’ in 5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills

Don’t let these plants dry out in the summer, and aim to keep moisture levels steady. Pruning is crucial – remember to cut back dead wood and all two-year-old canes to the ground in the spring, but leave the last year’s growth standing.

Experts note that black raspberries should not be planted within 75 feet of cultivars of other colors, since they may be more susceptible to diseases transmitted between plants by aphids.

11. Joan J (Zones 4-8)

This thornless, everbearing variety produces small to medium, sweet, firm, dark red fruit in July, August, and mid-September for medium-sized harvests.

With a mature height of 4-5 feet and spread of 2 feet, this vigorous grower should be planted in full sun. Also be sure to plant in well-draining soil, as ‘Joan J’ is susceptible to root rot.

Eight ripe raspberries are growing in a cluster together. They are all large and bright red. The smaller immature berries are white. The green leaves of the plant have saw-like edges and are thickly packed behind the berries

Rubus x ‘Joan J’ in 3.5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills Nursery

Self-pollinating and very cold hardy, you’ll get even bigger harvests if you plant it with another cultivar, such as ‘Polka.’

12. Polka (Zones 4-8)

A hardy cultivar with few thorns, ‘Polka’ reaches a mature height of 4-6 feet with a spread of 1-2 feet, and abundant yields. Juicy and sweet with a mild flavor, the berries have a pale to dark red color when they’re ready to pick.

13 polka raspberries are growing in tight proximity with one another. 11 of the berries are nearly ripe as shown by their bright red color. The other two fruits are almost a white and much smaller. The jagged green leaves of the plant are surrounding the raspberries on all sides

Rubus ‘Polka’ in 3.5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills

These everbearing plants will produce fruit from July through the first frost in September, and they’re known for ripening first at the beginning of the season as well, in comparison to other varieties. Self-pollinating and cold hardy, growing multiple plants isn’t necessary, though it will help to ensure larger harvests.

Another added benefit – it’s not very susceptible to root rot. Try companion planting with the ‘Joan J’ cultivar.

13. September (Zones 4-8)

Everbearing with an upright growth habit, ‘September’ reaches 4-6 feet at maturity, with an equal spread. Sweet red or yellow berries will reach maturity on second year canes in the summer, and again on first year canes in the fall.

A closeup shot of two bright red September raspberries. The fruit have a powder coating them as they ripen to perfection. The berries are attached to an orange stem near the crown and are resting on one of the plants jagged green leaves.

Rubus idaeus ‘September’ in 5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills Nursery

Dealing with less than ideal conditions, but you’re still eager to grow raspberries? This cultivar can grow in a variety of soil types, in full sun as well as partial sun, and it’s cold hardy as well. ‘September’ canes do have quite a few thorns, so keep that in mind, and new canes are produced via suckers.

A Classic Garden Favorite

Alright, raspberry lovers – I know at least one (if not several) of the cultivars on this list must have stood out to you above the rest. Match up the items on your short list with your growing zone and available planting space and conditions, and you’re golden. Or red. Or purple…

So, pick out your favorites and get planting, or bookmark this list for when garden planning season arrives in your area.

Two ripe red raspberries are held at the end of a small cane. The shiny fruit is partially hidden by the green and yellow leaves with prominent veins throughout.

Whether you’re reminiscing about reliving the memory of making homemade jam with your grandma, or you’re eager to share the joys of sun-ripened raspberries with your own kids, this is a project that the whole family can enjoy, and the rewards are sweet.

For more information on growing and caring for raspberries, please visit our growing guide. Growing your own perennial fruit at home doesn’t have to be difficult. Seriously!

To share your victories, as well as any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out in the comments below. We love hearing from you!


Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different types and varieties of raspberries.

Product photos via Nature Hills Nursery, zry_ai, June Seed, Boston Road Farm Quality Raspberries, and Jack’s Back 40. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

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About Allison Sidhu

Allison M. Sidhu grew up with her hands in the dirt in southeastern Pennsylvania, and she is now based in sunny LA. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College as well as an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen making a fresh green juice or whipping up something tasty for dinner, Allison enjoys perusing the latest seed catalogs, tending her patio garden, and reading up on the latest in food and agriculture policy.

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Jewel is Rubus occidentalis (eastern / Midwestern black raspberry), not R.ideaus (red raspberry). It is also a floricane bearer, with one large crop on 2nd year canes (around July 4 in Chicago). To my knowledge, “Niwot” is the only commercially available primocane/everbearing black raspberry. Black raspberries have (like most or all tasty red ones) disappointing floral displays and fall color (green–> wilted green/brown after frost), but have very nice, purple-red winter stem color. Dormanred is not R. ideaus but rather a hybrid of that species with a low chill, heat and humidity tolerant species from southern China. Fortunately it got… Read more »