HomeResourcesResourcesFoodHome grown berries – Red and White Currants

Home grown berries – Red and White Currants

Mike & Katrine Juleff

Red and White currants Ribes sativum

Red and white currants grow in cooler areas, needs sunshine and protection from winds. They grow as a multi stemmed bush 2m high by 1.5 wide. They are distinguished from black currants by their dark grey-brown bark, and prolific bud production at the junction between one year old and two year old wood. They lack the strong aroma of black currant plant.


Red currants are grown either on a short stem (“leg”) like a small plum tree, or as a multi-stemmed shrub. Provided that weed control is totally effective, the multi-stemmed plant develops more quickly and is to be preferred. Pruning simply consists of thinning out old, weakened branches once plants are 3 years old, and encouraging a steady rejuvenation of the plant by such thinning in succeeding years. The middle of the plant should be kept open by pruning out leaders which grow truly vertical. Addition of compost and a little organic fertiliser is suggested after pruning and before mulching.
Red currants are not subjected to serious disease problems; the most common pests likely to damage crops are birds so netting is essential.