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Mulberry Bush in Florida Soil Growing Like Crazy

March 26th, 2009 by Matthew Steinhoff

9529 mulberry fruit bush 300x186 Mulberry Bush in Florida Soil Growing Like CrazyA friend of the family gave us some mulberry plants a year or so ago. They were less than 18 inches tall and haphazardly tossed in pots. We planted them along the fence and figured they would die soon enough.

Mulberry Bushes Turning into Mulberry Trees

The mulberries are now 20 feet tall and their bases are more than three inches in diameter. Best of all, they are covered in mulberries…

9534 mulberry fruit Mulberry Bush in Florida Soil Growing Like Crazy

Each time we go out in the backyard to check on the garden, we pick the black, ripe mulberries. This inevitably leads to a family with stained hands and full bellies. There are so many mulberries I keep thinking that we will try canning mulberries but they never make it to the kitchen without being consumed.

What Variety of Mulberry Do We Have?

I’m going to guess we have black mulberry trees. According to this web page about all things mulberry, the black mulberry only grows to about 30 feet tall. The red and white mulberry trees can grow to 80 feet tall. Given that ours are about full grown and just 20 feet tall, I think they are black mulberries.

The black mulberry, while smallest of the varieties, is the longest-lived. A black mulberry will produce fruit for hundreds of years while red mulberry rarely makes it 75 years.

Mulberry Wine?

Hmm… A few web sites recommend brewing mulberry wine. I hate wine but it might be fun to try making wine from my very own muberries. Anyone tried that?

—Farmer Matt

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84 responses so far ↓

  • What do they taste like? Can you buy them in stores?

    I have a 5 gallon fermenter you can borrow to make the wine. I’ve used it to make beer and mead, but I’m sure it would work fine for wine too.

    • They are sweet. I have never seen them in stores. They seem to delicate to package.

      You’re welcome to stop by the backyard and pick all you care to eat. There seems to be a never ending supply this season. Get them before the birds or the kid gets to them.

      I’ve got a long way to go before I attempt wine but I’ll remember you have the hardware. Thanks! My buddy in Orlando used to make his own beer. It was pretty good drinking but I enjoyed the smell while it was brewing even better.

      —Farmer Matt

      • Hello,

        You made a post a long time ago about having mullberries. Does your tree currently have berries and if so how much would you charge to allow me to pick some. As a child, I use to pick them on the way to school (trial and error approach. I had to eat some poisonous berries before I discovered and stuck with the mullberries lol). I live in St. Petersburg, but would drives quite a while to get some. Why can’t I like easier foods to find?

        • Mulberries, We have them, 9 trees. Other rare and unusual fruits as well. Check out the website or drop by for a visit, Thanks Rick

        • I too livein Saint Pete and I too use to pick mulberries as a child. There was a big tree on 48th Ave between 4th and 9th Street I am hoping to plant some mulberries in my edible garden.

      • where can i buy a Mulberry bush i want to grow them so bad.

        • Where are you? If in Broward or Dade Counties, there are several growers or you can take cuttings from one of my 2 trees. I am in central Broward. Please reply to my email.

          • Dear Jules,

            Thanks for your generosity. May I take an advantage of your offer? I’m in Hollywood (Griffin & 35th ave), and I’d like to grow some mulberry (either bush or tree). What kind do you have?

            Thanks again
            Arda

          • Jules…You seem very generous and knowledgeable about the mulberry. I live just north of Gulfport, Mississippi. We have a nice black mulberry tree in our horse pasture..(they keep the bottom pruned to the reach of a 16.1 HH horse with a giraffe neck!!) I’ve read much on this web site but haven’t found out how to propigate a tree from cuttings. We are renting our place so one day (hopefully soon) we’ll move and I must have a sapling! Otherwise, maybe I could get you to send me a few saplings from next yrs. sale. (of coarse I’d pay for them and shipping) But it would be fun to grow my own. Thanks,
            Ruthie

        • Go on Facebook and put on your status, “Does anybody have a Mulberry Tree”. I bet you get a lot of responses!

        • if you are near Orlando, I have several young trees in pots, they are the black variety, free to anyone wanting them. mtheuret@att.net

        • HELLO. I just drove to homestead looking for this plant and the nursery that sell it don’t have it. Can I come get a branch to see if it would grow in my backyard? I live close to you. I’m in cooper city. I can also buy it from you. Thanks!

          • Rhina,

            Sorry you had to go all the way to Homestead when the Broward Rare Fruit and Veg. Council had a fruit sale last weekend. I can give you a few cuttings if you contact me at the above email address.
            By the way The Rare Fruit Council has a meeting tonight (Monday May 5) at 7:30. It is at Tree Tops Park on Palm Av. if you would like to attend. If you would like, I could meet you there and give you the cuttings.
            Regards,
            Jules

      • If you are in Broward county would very like to stop an pick all we can eat. Haven’t had any since I was a kid.

  • George,

    If you don’t want to journey all the way to Farmer Matt’s, we have a row of mulberry bushes planted along our east wall.

    You’re welcome to come by and grab a sample. We have so many they’re falling off on the ground wasted.

  • I have a picture request. If Malcolm’s mouth, hands and feet get as purple as my fingers do when I pick mulberries, then I want a picture of his little face and everything below it. I have a vision of what he would look like. It makes me smile.

    By the way, I picked and ate a quart of mulberries on Monday (May not eat that many at one time again. ha!), and another pint this morning. I love harvesting!!

    I’m looking forward to my own garden in the fall.

  • The bushes in our back yard are equally prolific. I’m not crazy about them, but your mother has permanent purple hands from munching on them.

    We looked out the window the other day and saw we had help harvesting ours. There was a huge possum snurfling them up.

    The other day I hauled a ladder out so Malcolm could reach the higher branches. Just as he started to climb up, I noticed it shifting a little, so I said, “I’d better hold this for you.”

    He looked at me with those four-year-old’s eyes and said, solemnly, “Yes, it’s not stable.”

    I don’t know about the ladder, but you could have knocked me over at the way he said it

  • Does anyone know where I can buy a mulberry in Florida?

  • can anyone tell me where I should plant my mulberry bush, in my back yard. I heard it had tough roots. Do these roots destroy foundations or driveways, fences or walls?

    • That’s a good question, Suzanne. I haven’t heard anything about their roots causing problems.

      Our bushes/trees have only been in the ground a couple years and the trunk of the largest tree has a five-inch diameter. I haven’t noticed any roots at or near the surface nor do any seem to have run up against the foundation of a small shed nearby.

      Our mulberries are loaded with fruit. The rains we had earlier this week seem to have kick-started the trees. In another few days, we will have at least a gallon bucket worth of berries.

      Cheers,
      Matt

      • I tried to contact Springhill Nursery. So far, no response. Is there a local source in South Florida that might have them? Or even a internet store?

        • Eston3, if you’re local to northern Palm Beach county, you’re welcome to take some clippings from my trees. If you have a green thumb, they’ll probably do just fine. My trees were grown from clippings.

          Cheers,
          Farmer Matt

          • I planted my Mulberry bush three feet from my fence. But it seems to be slow in growth. It is in the sun with partial shade. Should I water it more often, because the heat here in SC has been extremely hot (90-114′)? Could the unusual temperatures be the problem?

          • Hi
            Can I get some cuttings from mulberry tree
            I’m in palm beach too
            Maytavee1@yahoo.com
            Thanks
            May

  • [...] on the ground.Other Mulberry linksMy foodie friend, Jan Norris, shares her mulberry experiences.Son Matt has equally prolific bushes behind his house.Some grow into huge trees, like the Hanging Tree in Jackson, MO.More info than I ever knew existed [...]

  • Can you root pieces of the mulberry tree? If so I would love to know how so I can get some going.

    • Neely, my trees were grown from clippings so I know it is possible. I actually gave some clippings from my tree to Mindy (above). I haven’t heard how they are doing lately. She was trying to root some in water and some in soil. The ones in soil died. The last I heard, the ones she was rooting in water looked fine but that was several months ago.

      If you’re local to northern Palm Beach county, you’re welcome to clippings off my tree. Send me email.

      Cheers,
      Matt

  • Has anyone tried Doyle’s Thornless Blackberry?

    • No I haven’t, but have you grown any? And are they sweet? We had wild blackberries growing in our field. The thorns could ripe through your skin faster than you could blink.

  • Mat, how can I get my mulberry bush to grow stronger and taller? It is taking it’s time (2 years) to get to three feet.

  • I noticed that Suzanne Joyce said she was in SC. Could she email me as to her location I am in SC also.

  • I live in Arcadia (near Sarasota), and have had great success with an Everbearing Black Asian Mulberry that I bought years ago from Zone Ten Nursery in Homestead, FL. It fruits five times a year, with the best crops produced in the warm weather. It does not do well in shady areas, only in open sunny ones. They are deeeelicious!!! I can share cuttings for free to anyone that calls first and visits… 863-993-3228. 80%+ of the hardwood cuttings root well in potting soil, put in pots into the shade. Almost anytime of the year seems alright. I have given about 600 away so far! I also have a Giant Black Mulberry available which does very well here (2″ fruits). When you harvest this giant one, it has a o.5″ stem that should be bitten off before eating, so it is kind of a pain in the butt, but I still like it. The everbearing variety tastes better. Our more cold tender Pakistani Mulberry as well as our “Tice” died in last years extra cold winter. I have seen mulberry trees for sale from Crowley Nursery in Sarasota as well as Hopkins Rare Fruit Nursery in Immokalee. Peace, Andy :)

    • Hi Andy,
      Tried to reach you over the holidays while I was up visiting in Tampa. Any chance I could talk you into mailing a couple, pretty please? I’m in Ft Lauderdale. Also thanks for supporting SFFB.

      • Eston3, call me anytime and I’ll gladly get some to you. Peace, Andy, 863-993-3228 and please leave your number if I’m not in, so that I can call you back :)

      • Eston 3
        Why don’t you join the Rare Fruit Council of Broward County. Sale next Sat. and Sun. @ 218 Av off Griffin Road. Will have mulberries and all kinds of tropical fruit for sale to public.

  • I was reading your site could I get some clipings from your tree I live in north Plam beach a co worker brought some mulberries and I love them yes I dohave the blue fingers..lol. Can I try to grow this in pots?? I guess just keep prunning. Please let me know I will like to make jam.

    • Lorena, you’re more than welcome to have some clippings from our trees. Ours were grown from clippings but they were in pots when they were delivered to us.

      I’ll email you my contact information and you can come over, grab some clippings and berries.

      Cheers,
      Matt

      • matt, are the seeds of a mullberry tree in the berries ?

        • Brent, according to a European web site, mulberry trees can grow from seeds in the fruit. It does, however, say that getting the seeds out of the berries is required and difficult:

          If fresh fruit is the source, cleaning the flesh from seeds is tedious – but needs to be done to prevent moulds forming.

          Check out that web site if you are interested in propagating mulberry trees.

          Cheers,
          Matt

          • Dear Matt,

            I’ve been looking for mulberry trees/shrubs/clippings to generate enough fruit for my wife to re-live her childhood memories. However it is next to impossible to find any in our south Florida nurseries. Although I’ve read that mulberry is almost a “native” to our climate. After some research, I’ve come up to this forum, and your posts.

            Is it possible to have some clippings from your inventory? I’ll be more than happy to provide a payment for your troubles and shipping expanses. I’m in FL 33312 (Fort Lauderdale).

            Looking forward to hear from you
            Best regards

          • Hi Arda,

            I have a Tais Black Mulberry and another kind which I think is a Pakistani black Mulberry. I have never seen a bush by the way. Most of the Mulberry trees I’ve seen get big very quickly. Unless you have a large property, where you can just let your tree grow, you will need to invest in a pruner to keep cutting it back. You also want to keep it from growing too tall to keep the roots in check. You can contact me on my cel: 954 600-7249 and we can arrange for you to come over and get some cuttings.

            Jules

  • I have a mature black mulberry tree,produces beautiful berries,butttttttttttt. Not everyone is aware,one really has to look,with a mag. glass,there are minut worms,crawling within. I’m certain that they are not harmful,good protein even,however I have been investigating on how to make them vamoose before eating.Trust me washing under running water or soaking in water,does not work but only takes away from the great taste.I heard to soak in salt water will draw them out,but again the taste go’s not to mention a salty after taste. If you don’t believe the worms,lay the berry washed or not on a white paper towel and watch.Any good ideas ?

  • We had 2 black mulberry trees on on PA property when I was a girl. They were a nuisance, all over the place and the birds ate them and pooed all over the place – especially our vehicles. Purple poo and mushy berries everywhere! I wasn’t allowed in the house unless I had taken of my mulberry soiled shoes when the dreaded mulberries were in season. I know I sound terrible, talking about, poor defenseless trees, so I’ll end this on a good note – I remember the taste of the berries being pretty good! I’m glad there are people around who appreciate the mulberry.

  • Two things occur to me regarding the last two posts…but mainly the last one.

    Nature intended for the fruit to be the food for the seed, so just plant the whole berry, but not too deep, and see what happens.

    Second, just drop the berries into a dehydrator to prevent the mold.

    THERE MUST BE A WAY! ;)

  • I guess no one has an answer for the tiny worms,guess there being eaten,yummy

    • There are worms in the Surinam Cherries as well. We never knew it while growing up and when I heard about it, sure enough, I could see them. Now, I just eat them without looking. They taste so good. (the cherries)

  • My mulberry is growing straight up! It hasn’t been in the ground 6 months and it went from 24″ to at least 8′. God bless cow poop, lol. But it has only two branches, also over 3′ tall. Do I trim this young plant or give it atleast a year to set before pruning. And how much is too much?
    You can call me ‘Chainsaw’ LoL

    • Still looking for advise on pruning

      • Hi Eston3,

        I’m not an expert but in my experience the mulberry tree is pretty hardy. You can cut it back without problems once it is established. Make sure you have a clean cut. I hatracked my tree as it was getting out of hand and it came back strong as ever.

  • Hi Andy, I was just looking up on the web where to buy a mulberry tree in FL. I was born and raised in South Africa and I remember as a little girl having silk worms and watching them trun to cacoons and then a moth.They only eat mulberry leaves. I want to do the same for my kids. I found a sight that will send you the silkworms and am looking into getting a mulberry tree. I see you have offerd some people a clipping from your tree. I live in West Palm and would love if clipping if your offer stands.

  • Matt.

    I will like tothank you I did get some clipins maybe a month ago with some mulberries. I did plant some in a pot and some in water tolet the roots grow well I must tell you the ones in the water they stilll some green in them as the ones in the dirt so they still alive. But one is growing leaves , I’m so excited. Thank you so much.

  • I have a mulberry tree in Gulfport, MS. I’d never heard of them before so last year was the first time I had the privilege to harvest one. My Our horses keep the bottom our Mulberry tree pruned and we trimmed the top of the tree so that I could reach all the fruit on our ladder. I harvest almost 1 gal. per day and last year I made great syrup for pancakes and ice cream. I will make jam and fruit butter this year. They freeze well. I wish there was an easy way to get rid of the stems, but they are a small price for having such flavorful food. We are just renting so I will try planting and rooting some branches for when we must move. As for the deep rich color of the juice I wear rubber gloves when harvesting and working with the berries. I was thinking of trying to dye some fabric or yarn

  • To anybody interested in tropical fruit in the Broward,Dade or Palm Beach areas. The Rare Fruit and Veg. Council of Broward Co. will have its annual sale on Sat. and Sun. May 14 – 15. Sat. 9:30 – 4:00, Sun. 10:00- 3:00. 5105 SW 208th, in SW Ranches. Its all the way out West on Griffin Road just East of State Rd. 27.

    • I’m going to the Rare Fruit and Veg Sale Saturday! Last time I was there, I picked up the following trees; Pomegranate, Cashew, Macadamia, Starfruit! Also I picked up some homemade Mullberry jelly and passion fruit jelly. Prices were very reasonable! And no I’m not a member, lol

  • I went there myself and picked up some blueberries. I hope you got what you wanted, Eston3. They will continue with the sale tomorrow starting at 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM for anyone interested. By the way the Broward Rare Fruit & Veg Council is a non-profit org. All the people at the sale are volunteers, membership is $25 a year and their monthly meetings are interesting as is their monthly journal. Sometimes they offer classes. Well worth $25.

  • Ruth,

    I have probagated mulberries by sticking cuttings directly in the ground. Some take, some don’t. Professionals use rutetone and grow the cuttings in pots, keeping them adequately watered. Try cuttings from different sections of the tree. If you see new growth, try to get a cutting as it should be full of the growth hormones needed for the plant to prosper. If all else fails, my advise would be to find a local grower (I’m sorry but I’m not familiar with your area) by looking on the internet and either pick up the plants that you want or have them shipped. I am familiar with nurseries here in Florida and I’m sure they would be happy to sell you the plants but you really want to find someone who is as close to where you live as possible. This way you can be assured that the young plants will survive in your climate.

    Good luck,
    Jules

  • Anyone in Miami with mulberry cuttings? I live in the Caribbean and I would love to get some cuttings to try.

  • I have someone coming in a a week or so and I am very eager.

    • I live in Cooper City in central Broward County. I can give you cuttings but I don’t know if they will allow you to take them through immigration. There are restrictions on bringing plants and fruit in and out of the country. You might go to the website under my name which is really not mine but the Rare Fruit and Veg. Council of Broward County and ask them how its done. They have many members from the Islands who are very knowledgeable about importing and exporting plants etc. They might even be able to send or bring you some.

  • I have about 15 Mullberry trees about 18″ tall that I would lke to share. I live close to downtown Orlando. These are the black ones, my tree is 4 years old and 20′ tall – produced many more berries than I could use this spring

    • Hi, I live in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. I go t lake land in February or March and in June. Are the fruits blooming then? I would love to pick some. As a child there use to be a huge one. We use to climb it and sit up there.

  • I van give you cuttings but you may not be able to take them on a plane. There are restrictions about bringing plants in and out of the country.
    Go to the website below my name which is not really mine but the Rare Fruit and Veg. Council of Broward County. They have many members who are from the Islands and could advise you how to get your cuttings out of the country. They might even be able to send or bring you some.

  • Mulberries taste wonderful, and in Afghanistan they are eaten fresh but are gathered and sun dried,
    they call the dried fruit tooth (toot). It is a very high nutrient fruit and if you have birds you will have to cover to allow them to sun dry or you will have none left.

  • HELLO there ,

    I have this mulberry tree planted nearly 10 feet tall now , a year old and it blossoms well each time when i prune its branches . i attempted to clone its young branches and it works alright . i dip its tips to a clean bottle about a quarter inch of rain water , stems without its leaves ,just the sticks for 15 or 20 days ( of coarse you have to change the water every 5 or a week days ) or watch out cloudy residue to avoid bacterial growth . then plant it to your polybag just enough moisture and good temp. to with stands from dehydration . 45 days old can be planted to your grounds . i’m in the Southern Philippines

  • I live in St. Pete, FL and my husband is always telling our Daughter about the mulberry tree that he used to play in. I can’t seem to find a Mulberry tree in my area. Does anyone have any clipping that I could buy from them? I love your websit.

    Thank you so much!!

  • can i buy one have it shipped i pay
    craig

  • I remember eating mulberries from my neighbor’e tree as a kid ( I used to sneak over there) Would love to to have a tree , but where can I find one here in Lakeland? anyone know? thanks so much!

    • Hi Linda,

      Look on the internet and see if there are any local plant nurseries near you that sell fruit trees. Also see if there is a rare fuit council in your county. If there is, they should have regular sales which probably include mulberries. The Chestnut Hill Tree Farm has them. Good Luck.

      Jules

      • I had a mulberry many years ago and I loved the fruit. I would like to get another tree and would like to know which variety fruits best in South Florida (Davie). Andy (above) mentioned an everbearing variety that has 5 crops a year in Central Fla. Does anyone know of a variety that would multi-crop in So. Fl.?

        • Most of the mulberry varieties grow here, I have a Theis and a pakistani but the everbearing also grows here. The fruit is smaller though. It might be avaiable at Bobs Nursery on University between Sheridan and Stirling or one of the nurseries on Griffin west of the Turnpike (on the south side.)

  • What time of year do they bloom?

    • Its hard to say Mary. It depends on the type of Mulberry tree and the weather. There is an everbearing variety that fruits up to 5 times a year. I have 2 trees which are Tice or Thice that bear fruit in May or June. When they were younger they had a longer fruiting season. Also I have to keep cutting them back of they will grow huge so that may affect the bearing of fruit and I live in South Florida. What you might do is contact your local extention service or rare fruit council. They could give you more information about Mulberries. Also you can do some research on-line and get a wealth of info. I’m not familiar with the Lakeland area but you might try to contact the county rare fruit council or club. Good hunting. Jules

  • Someone gave me a mulberry a couple of years back, and while I have many mulberries, they aren’t all ripe at the same time. My question is this – There are many low branches coming from the trunk, about a few inches from the bottom. Should I cut them off? I would like to have a more tree-like look to it than an actual bush.

    • That they don’t ripen at the same time is a good thing isn’t it? It means that you will have a longer season. As far as cutting branches, Mulberry trees are very hardy. You can pretty much cut what you want. To keep the tree healthy you want to cut branches as close to the trunk as possible. That being said, these trees are pretty hardy and hard to kill. My trees grow so much that I have to keep cutting them back. You might also want to cut the weak branches and suckers (new thin growth).

  • Gosh I’ve been looking to grow black mulberries for a long time now! Anyone keen on selling and sending them to me here in Singapore? Email me: uberred86 (at) gmail (d0t) c0m

  • this fall my daughter brought me some mulberrys and grapes that I mixed and made into jam everyone that has tried it loves it. We are from Michigan and had mulberry trees there but didn’t do much with the berrys but eat them right off the tree. We also cursed the birds that flocked to the trees and than spread the staining juice from their bird fall out. She just brought me a cutting from her bush and I would like to know where in my yard to plant it, full sun or in shade

  • Hi Guys
    I live in the UK and am after a mulberry bush because I have heard that chickens are very fond of them. Would they grow over here as we don’t have the sun that you are lucky enough to benefit from.

  • I’m here because I bought a bottle of wine in Chiang Mai Thailand where I retired. I wanted to know what is mulberry. Looking at internet pictures I realize that I know this wild fruit. I harvested them in Québec when I was a kid. We called it “mûres” in French. The wine is excellent!

  • I am in Jamaica. I understand the mulberry bush is very good for rabbits but I just cant get the plant and would like to get some seeds.

    Bentley