Black currants varieties, diseases, photos | How to plant a bush and care

Black currant (lat. Ribes nigrum l., Grossulariceae), a small perennial shrub comes from Central Europe and North Asia, cultivated around the world. Its flowers attract pollinators and grow well both in pots and in the ground. As soon as your black currant bush takes root, it will delight you with abundant fruits for many years.

Varieties of black currant

Gardeners have a great opportunity to try a variety of varieties of beautiful berries at different times of the year, mainly in the spring and summer. This is due to the fact that each variety gives a crop in a certain season. The best varieties of blackcurrant are the following:

Ben Contain. Usually this variety is the most productive of all varieties of blackcurrant, but even in this case the plants are compact and do not grow. Berries are larger than usual, and resistance to diseases is excellent.

Ben Contain

Ben Hope. This variety has firstclass resistance to a large kidney tick (gall fiber), which affects many other varieties. Sustainability is due to the fact that the plant was obtained as a result of crossing several other varieties of blackcurrant with gooseberries! Ben Hope is resistant to a wide variety of soil conditions. Keep the roots of this variety wellmuffled and you will get an impenetrable seedling. The bushes grow larger than average, their height and scope reach 2 m / 6 feet, so it is necessary a little more space compared to other varieties.

Ben Hope

As for pests and diseases, Ben Hope is also resistant to milde and sheet spotting. This makes him an ideal choice for those who do not like to spray their fruits with pesticides and other chemicals. Mediumsized fruits, the yield is high, the taste is highly appreciated for pies, jams and other types of use, tasty when sprinkled for breakfast. The plant grows vertically, making the collection of berries with a pleasant occupation.

Ben Lomond. The main advantage of the Ben Lomond variety is that it blooms relatively late in the spring, which reduces the influence of late frosts. He also feels well in cooler areas, benefiting from the harsh winter. When Ben Lomond was first bred, he had good resistance to Milde, but over the years this stability has significantly decreased. Good pruning largely reduces the risk of Mildu’s defeat.

Ben Lomond

Ben Sarek. Has very large berries, which are sweeter than most other varieties. Large berries can sometimes be a problem, as they can weight branches that may require easy support so that they do not break. Flowering occurs at the end of the year (although not as late as that of Ben Lomond), so Ben Sarek is unlikely to suffer from late frosts. It grows well in almost all regions, although in the warmer southern regions, perhaps, it is worthwhile to choose another variety.

Ben Sarek

Ben Tyrran. This variety is usually the latest of all varieties of blackcurrant and over almost all years avoids damage by frosts. The berries are slightly smaller than the average size, but the total productivity is high.

Ben Tyrran

Big Ben. This variety has appeared recently and is unlikely to ever appear in your supermarket, since it has been bred exclusively for the Pick Your Own market and home gardens. Berries have an average weight of about 2.3 g and are delicious in fresh form.

Big Ben

Eboni. The sweetest of all varieties of blackcurrant. Eat right from the bush like raspberries. This variety is best consumed only in fresh form, as it loses its aroma in prepared form. If you use it to cook or jam, add less sugar than usual. Fruits have an average of 13. Berries are larger than usual, and are ready to use since the beginning of July, which makes this variety the earliest of all varieties of blackcurrant. The plant itself is not particularly energetic, slightly more sprawling, but quickly fruit in a year or two. Resistance to diseases is average, especially for milde, but the variety is susceptible to the botritis.


Titania. Titania bred in Sweden is an energetic plant that reaches maturity in only three years. Due to its rapid growth, it grows perfectly on light soils and soils with a low nutrient content. The yield is high. Resistant to mildew, the variety can grow up to 2 m in height, if not carried out regular pruning.


Beneficial features

The beneficial properties of black currants are due to the biochemical components contained in it. Some of them include anthocyans, flavonoids, phenolic acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Small dark purple berries are also rich in vitamin C.

Modern studies have confirmed a powerful antiinflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial effect of blackcurrant components on a huge number of diseases.

The harm of blackcurrant

Juice, leaves and flowers of blackcurrant are safe for eating. Fruits are also considered safe if you use berries or seed oil as a medicine. Dried leaves should be used only under the supervision of a doctor.

Side effects

Gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, contained in black currant seeds, can sometimes cause side effects, such as:

  • Headache;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Bloating and flatulence.
  • A rare complication is an allergy.

    Black currants can slow down blood coagulation. Therefore, avoid its use, if you have circulatory disorders or you take drugs for liquefaction of blood.

    Also stop taking black currants at least two weeks before surgery to:

  • Reduce the risk of bleeding;
  • Avoid interaction with anesthetics.
  • It is also better to refrain from consumption in large quantities during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

    Be careful with the simultaneous use of black currants with herbs and additives that can slow down blood coagulation, such as:

  • Angelica;
  • Carnation;
  • Ginger;
  • Ginseng.
  • Also avoid a combination of blackcurrant with antipsychotic drugs, in particular, phenotiazins. In some people, such a combination can increase the risk of seizures.

    Application in cooking

    Despite the sharp taste, you can eat juicy berries or add to pies, jams and drinks. Eat for a few days after collecting. In addition, blackcurrant can be frozen, coarse, jam or jelly.

    Planting in containers

    In containers, black currants can be planted all year round. If you plant plants in spring or summer, in hot dry periods, water them well.

    Black currants usually do not grow very well in containers for a long time due to its size and growth rate. But if you have little space, then for several years the plants will feel good, especially more compact varieties, such as ‘bin Sarek’ and ‘bin Gearn’. If they begin to lag behind in growth, transfer them to the ground.

    Select a suitable container in size width and depth of about 45 cm. Use compost, then add 20-30% by the volume of multi-purpose compost and 10% perlite. As an alternative, use a multipurpose compost without peat, mixed with about 20% perlite, acute sand or garden gravel.

    Plants planted in containers need regular watering throughout the entire period during which a separate plant is in active growth. This period depends on the local climate and the level of illumination and may differ for different plants, although in general it lasts from spring to autumn.

    In the summer months, mix slowly released fertilizers or add liquid top dressing. Also make top dressing annually in the spring. Start by accurate removal of the upper 5 cm of the soil. The best solution is a garden compost.

    Garden compost is a fertilizer for soil made of decayed plant waste, usually in a compost bunker or heap. It is added to the soil to improve its fertility, structure and moisture retention. For growing seedlings or plants in containers, composts for seeds or potted composts are used. There is a wide range of industrial composts made from a mixture of various ingredients, such as loam, coconut coyra, peat, sand and fertilizers. However, you can cook compost yourself.

    Plant black currants grown in containers every two to three years at the end of winter. Cut several roots on the outside of the root ball and remove part of the old compost, replacing it with fresh. Transplant the same container or slightly larger.

    Flower protection from frosts

    In the night, when frosts are predicted, protect the flowering bushes, covering them with a fleece or fabric.

    Planting in the soil

    Where and when to plant

    Black currant prefers welldrained, but moisture soil, although it can grow in most other soil conditions. The berry grows well in the sun, but it can tolerate light shadow. Avoid areas subject to cold winds or late frosts that can damage flowers and reduce the crop. Modern varieties are of better cold resistance.

    The best time for planting is from late October to March, but it is better to avoid planting in the middle of winter, if the soil is very wet or frozen.

    How to plant

    Clean the plot of perennial weeds and dig a generous amount of wellrotten manure or garden land.

    Dig a hole with a diameter of at least twice the rhizome and straighten the roots. Plant both grown in containers and rooted bushes 5 cm deeper than they grew earlier pay attention to the ground mark at the base. This will contribute to the development of strong shoots from the foundation. Plant standard accustomed plants at the same soil depth as before. Strengthen the plants well, then carefully pour. Plant black currant plants at a distance of 1.5-1.8 m from each other using wider distances.


    Black currants are best fruit on the strong young shoots of the previous year, so it is usually grown as a multibarrel bush, with stems germining from the base. To stimulate the appearance of new stems, it is necessary to conduct winter pruning annually.

    Cutting black currant during landing

    When planting in autumn and early spring, cut all shoots up to 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the soil level to stimulate fresh strong growth from the base. Although this seems extreme, and the fruits of the first year will be lost, in the long run it will benefit. On welldeveloped plants, you can leave half the shoots, which will give a small harvest.

    Do not carry out strong trimming of container plants when planting if they are placed in the soil later in the season when they are actively growing.

    Pruning of young blackcurrant bushes

    During the first three years after planting in the autumn or winter, if the growth is strong, carry out a light pruning, removing all the weak or lowlocated shoots. If the growth is weak, carry out a strong pruning, cutting at least half of the shoots almost to the ground level.

    Pruning of rooted blackcurrant bushes

    Some types of pruning can be carried out during harvesting. Cut overgrown branches with fruits for the convenience of gathering, shortening them to strong vertical growth, but postpone the main pruning until winter. Cut from a quarter to a third of the branches annually, trying to remove the old unproductive wood, weak shoots and lowlocated branches. If possible, make cuts low to stimulate strong growth from the base or next to it, remove weak shoots and any dead wood.

    Restoration of old launched bushes

    If old bushes are healthy, they can be rejuvenated by cutting all the branches for the winter, except the most powerful and young, to a level of 2.5 cm from the ground. The subsequent new growth will require thinning to 12 strong young shoots.

    The rooted plants have been in their place for two to three years and therefore have a well-developed root system that can maintain strong growth with healthy foliage and flowers.

    In rooted plants, cut about a quarter of the oldest shoots to the spine to stimulate the growth of new shoots. Also remove any shoots that germinate below the main stem as soon as they appear.

    Top dressing and watering

    Black currants usually need watering only in arid periods, ideally at the ground level. But avoid abundant watering during ripening to avoid cracking the skin.

    At the end of winter (February), feed with a common fertilizer with a high potassium content. Use blood, fish and bone flour as an alternative.

    Weak plants can benefit from additional top dressing with a high nitrogen content, for example, ammonium sulfate, at the rate of 25 g. per square meter/yard.

    Weeding and mulching

    After top dressing at the end of winter (February), apply a 5-centimeter layer of mulch.

    Mulch is a layer of material at least 5 cm thick, which is applied to the soil surface in late autumn and late winter (November-February). It is used to protect against frost, improve plant growth by adding nutrients or increasing the content of organic matter, reduce water loss from the soil, for decorative purposes and to suppress the activity of weeds. An example is a welldecomposed garden compost and manure, crushed bark, gravel, gravel and slate crumb.

    Leave the gap around the base of the stem to prevent rotting. Avoid the hoe close to the stems so as not to damage new shoots.


    Black currants can be propagated as follows:

  • Propagate blackcurrant bushes at the end of winter. Wait until the bush becomes sleeping and drops the leaves. Before collecting cuttings, prepare a container for rooting;
  • Fill a 8-inch greenhouse pot with a medium. Use standard garden loam or a mixture of compost and half of coarse sand. Add water until the soil is carefully moistened;
  • Take a stalk of 1 foot long and 1/4 inches from the top of a healthy black currant branch. Take the stalk from the oneyearold branch with a large number of sheet nodes along the entire length;
  • Cut the stalk with sharp scissors. Process the lower third of the cuttings of the root of the hormone rooting. Using a brush, apply the powder with a very thin, uniform layer. Tap the cuttings to remove excess hormone;
  • Dig a 3-4-inch to a moisturized environment in a moisturized environment. Insert the end of the black currant cuttings into the hole covered with the hormone. Press the environment slightly to the stem. Spray water around the base;
  • Place the stalk in the pot in a slightly shaded, protected place in the open air. Maintain moderate soil moisture. Water black currants every two days to maintain the stem in a moisturized state;
  • After two to four weeks, check the presence of the roots by pulling the stem slightly; If he resists the movement of sipping, then he is rooted. Grow black currants in conditions of light shading with weekly watering until autumn, then transfer it to a wet garden with partial shade.
  • Pests

    The most common enemies of black currants include:

    Currant sawdock, goosecutting sawfly or currant wormer (latch. NEMATUS RIBESII, NEMATUS LEUCOTROCHUS and PRISTIPHORA appendiculata). There is more than one species, although n. Ribesii is the most widespread and most destructive. During the season there are two or three generations of this sawdust, in early summer, when the leaves are opened (usually the most malicious generation) and, possibly, the third at the end of summer.

    Currant sawmill

    Larvae look like caterpillars (and indeed, they are often called false caterpillars), but these are larvae of a small fly, not moths. Therefore, funds against caterpillars do not affect them.

    Currant worms, small with a black head, first green, later with black spots, gather in groups and feed on leaves. With full growth, their size is about 20 mm. They quickly eat and, with a significant number, can beheading the plant in just a few days. Then they fall to the ground, spin a silk cocoon and pupate.

    Currant worms

    An adult sawdler, yellowish with dark marks, it is rarely possible to see. She lays her white eggs under the leaves of currants, usually at the base of the bush. Often damage first remains unnoticed, t. to. Power begins on the lower, inside of the bush, where currant worms can work unnoticed.

    The best treatment is a manual collection, knocking them down with a stream of water or spraying with insecticidal soap, nim or pyrethrum.

    Since the sawdress winters in the form of a doll in the ground at the base of the plant, raking the soil in the fall can lead to the appearance of enemies. Chickens cope well with them at this stage.

    Currant fruit flies, currant leaflet or gooseberry leaflet (lat. Epochra Canadensis). Adult individuals, small yellow flies with dark stripes on wings, appear during flowering currants and lay their eggs in fruits as they are formed. Larvae-small yellowish-white-feed inside the berries, devastating them.

    Currant leaflet

    The affected fruits are covered with spots on the one hand, ripen prematurely and many fall to Earth ahead of time of harvesting. The insect leaves the berry and conducts the rest of the summer and winter in the soil. Damage is usually visible in late July. There is only one generation per year.

    Set the yellow sticky trap when the flowers are bloated: they will not catch pollinators, but they will catch at least a few female fruit flurry. You can successfully cover the bush by floating aisle just at the time of falling petals. However, do not put it too early: you need to wait until the bees finish pollination. If you are late, collect and destroy all infected fruits daily or spread a tarp under the bush under the bush in the midJune to prevent larvae from pushing out in the ground under the bush.

    Spraying can help if you do it in a timely manner. Of course, do not spray the plant during flowering to protect pollinators, but you can carry out several processing immediately after when the petals fall out. For example, you can try to spray the newly formed berries with kaolin clay. Clay annoys the fly and prevents her from laying eggs. Or spray with insecticidal soap, nim or pyrethrum.

    Other pests

    There are other pests of blackcurrant: aphids, scales of insects, stem burrows, leaf ticks and spider mites, as well as the latest pest spotted outlaw (latch. Drosophila Suzukii), originally from South-Western Asia, currently invading the plantation of currants and gooseberries in Europe and North America.


    Yes, and of course, there are also plant diseases, such as the spotting of leaves, rust, anthracnosis, powdery mildew, etc.


    Black currant ripens in different periods, depending on the variety.

    The easiest way to collect the crop of modern varieties, such as “Ben Sarek”, “Ben Hope”, “Ben Lomond” and “Ben Contain”, is to cut the whole inflorescences (the socalled twigs) as soon as the currant turns black.

    More old varieties ripen less evenly, and currants in the upper part of the inflorescence ripen earlier. In this case, collect ripe berries separately.

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