When to pick up raspberry leaves

Credit: istock/yukidaruma


Q: When should I pick raspberry leaves for drying without harming the canes for next year?

The best time to pick raspberry leaves would be just as the plant begins to flower, or now, in mid to late summer. It’ll help your raspberry canes grow if you prune them, so pick as many leaves as you like. Raspberries grow every two years, so if it’s your first year with the raspberry canes, they won’t produce any fruit. Remove blossoms to help plants establish and cut back any weak canes or dead tips. If you’ve already harvested fruit, cut the cane down as close to the ground as possible to allow it to grow back.

If you’re planning on using the leaves, make sure the plants haven’t been sprayed or treated with any pesticides, herbicides or chemicals. You can use the leaves freshly picked, or dry them in the shade for storage. Raspberry leaves have great health benefits: it’s a supportive herb for a woman’s reproductive system, and can be made into tea to relieve canker sores, wounds, sore throats and nausea.