How To Grow Currants

Red, White and Black


Currants are deciduous fruiting shrubs with thornless canes and upright growth habits. They typically grow 4-6ft in height and about 2-3ft wide. These plants produce red, white or black, semi-transparant berries in clusters like small bunches of grapes. The berries are extremely attractive and eye-catching. Red and white currants are mild in flavour. Black currants are a completely distinct species and have a very strong unique taste. Like gooseberries, currants are often used in james, jellies, pastries and liquors.

Currant Botanical Names

Red Currants - Ribes rubrum
White Currants - Ribes spicatum
Black Currants - Ribes nigrum

Exposure / Light

Currants should be planted in full sun.

Soil / Moisture

Plant currants in moist, but well drained locations in moderately fertile soils. Acidic soil is preferred. Currants are fairly drought tolerant once established, but for best fruit production, water during warm dry spells


Currants do not normally require extra fertilizing unless you want to create very vigorous growth. If so, apply an all-purpose or rose food in early spring. Currants will also benefit from a yearly application of mulch, compostĀ or manure.

Currant Pollination

Currants will produce fruit on their own without additional plants nearyby. Pick currants in summer as they ripen, but before they shrivel. Currants are particularly attractive to birds so garden netting may be in order.

Pruning Currants

Pruning is generally not required, but the plants will produce more if a yearly pruning cycle is established. Remove 3-4 large canes each year to encourange the growth of new younger wood. Best fruit production occurs on wood that is 2-4 years of age. Black currants will produce berries on old and new wood.

For More Information

For more information about growing red, white or black currants, visit Arts Nursery or call us at 604.882.1201. We stock a good selection of currants each year.

Author: Arts Nursery Ltd. Source: Arts Nursery Ltd.

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Surrey, BC, Canada,
V4N 3W8

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