Berry growing is consistently gaining in popularity, and it’s even more exciting in containers! Nonetheless, the available selection is impressive, making it difficult to choose. We came up with the list below to make things a little easier!
The ever-popular strawberry is a sure bet! In a planter on the deck or in a hanging basket, you’ll love these gem-sized fruits that are rich in antioxidants and contain more vitamin C than oranges.
- Compact variety
- Generous yield all summer
- Easy to grow
- Conical fruit
- Super-sweet flavour
- Pink-red flowers (most strawberry flowers are white)
Raspberries are tiny and delicate red fruits that contain vitamin E and several minerals including potassium. They are popular in coulis, syrups, jellies, jams and sorbets. Raspberries are easy to freeze for baking all year round.
- Compact (no staking required)
- Self-fertilizing (one plant is enough)
- No thorns
- Sweet, juicy berries with a hint of vanilla
The blackberry is the raspberry’s cousin. As its name suggests, it is generally black however it also comes in red and white. Raspberries are different from blackberries in that the latter retain their receptacle (extension of the peduncle) when picked, while the raspberry’s receptacle stays on the plant, leaving the fruit hollow. Filled with antioxidants, blackberries contain many minerals and oligo-elements (potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, etc.).
- “Baby Cake”
- Thorn-free dwarf variety
- Possibility of a second harvest on new branches
- Generous harvest in mid-July
Who doesn’t love blueberries? These tiny delicious fruits are starting to trend as “superfoods” because they are full of antioxidants and vitamins and are widely known for their many health benefits. Their flavours vary from very sweet to very tart, depending on the variety and ripeness. Most blueberry plants are self-fertilizing however we recommend that you choose different varieties and plant them in groups of three. This will help them to produce a larger yield of bigger fruits.
- “Jelly Bean”
- Compact variety (30 to 60 cm wide)
- Small white bell-shaped flowers that appear in late spring
- The leaves turn from dark green (in the summer) to bright red (in the fall)
- “Peach Sorbet” and “Pink Icing”
- Compact, productive plants
- Decorative leaves (light peach, to orange, to emerald green)
- Plump sweet fruits with a subtle peach flavour (peach sorbet)
Blackcurrants are less widely known berries that resemble tiny black marbles. They are filled with fibre, minerals and vitamins and hold more antioxidants than the same quantity of blueberries. Blackcurrants are popular for their tart flavour, mainly in jams and as a dried snack. Blackcurrant syrup is especially delicious in cocktails! The different varieties are not all self-fertilizing, so it is preferable to grow two types for a bigger yield. Blackcurrants prefer cool weather over extreme heat, so they are perfect in medium shade on the deck.
- “Ben Lomond”
- Compact, productive plants
- Plump berries with a distinct flavour
- Late bloomer
- Black, aromatic fruit
- Unique mild musk flavour
- Strong variety that is resistant to cold
Currant and gooseberry
Although they are sometimes referred to as “currants”, “gooseberries” are actually quite different. Both are rich in potassium, vitamin C and calcium. They tickle the taste buds and revive childhood memories.
Currant bushes produce tiny red or white berries that are milder, sweeter and less acidic than gooseberries. They grow in bunches and their plants have no thorns. The fruit forms in mid-summer. Although the currant is self-fertilizing, cross-pollination is not necessary. Of course, you’ll get more fruit if you plant two!
- “Red Lake” – the most popular variety
- Plump red berries
- Strong and productive
- Leaves turn yellow in the fall
- “White Pearl”
- Whitish/pink fruit
- Purple flowers
- Tart, but sweeter than the red ones
For the most part, gooseberries are thorny bushes with deliciously crunchy berries that grow individually. They are generally off-white and translucent but also come in red, yellow and green.
- “Pixwell” – Very popular variety
- Tiny, light green fruit that turns pinkish-red at maturity
- Excellent yield
- Virtually no thorns
- “Red Hinnonmaki”
- Productive, vigorous plants
- Plump translucent red berries
- Unique flavour: tart on the outside and sweet on the inside
Rich in antioxidants, the haskap berry contains more vitamin C and A than most other berry varieties. It is slightly longer than and similar in colour to the blueberry. Its flavour is a mixture of blueberry and raspberry with a hint of rhubarb. We love it fresh, in juice or in our favourite pastries. This low-maintenance plant can be grown in a container however it is important to note that it will grow to approximately 1.5 to 2 m in height and 1 m in diameter. Since the haskap is not self-fertilizing, two different varieties should be grown together to encourage fruit growth.
- Excellent pollinator
- Hearty and highly productive
- Picked too early, the berries are quite bitter; picked at maturity (late July-early August), they are sweet and acidic.
- Sweet acidic fruit with a delightful flavour
- Bigger fruit than other haskap varieties
- Early harvest: before or at the same time as strawberries
Now you’re all set to make your selection and start growing berries in containers. For instructions, refer to our Why not grow berries in containers? article. Follow us on social media for more tricks and tips.