Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Small Fruits & Berries
Currants and Gooseberries
by Paul Simon
Currants and Gooseberries are attractive shrubs known for their tasty, colorful fruit that can be eaten fresh off the plant or harvested for making jams, jellies and pies.
About This Plant
Red Lake - a vigorous red currant resistant to mildew, with small dark red berries.
White Imperial (Ribes rubrum) - a hardy, dense, spreading white currant, producing small berries.
Boskoop Giant - a vigorous, low-branching black currant with flavorful berries; requires a pollinator.
Buffalo Currant (Ribes aureum) - very hardy with a wide, weeping form, tolerant of a range of soil conditions, showy yellow and fragrant blooms, with ripe pea-sized, glossy, brown-purple berries.
Jostaberry (Ribes hirtellum) - a hybrid of black currant and American gooseberry, the mildew-resistant Jostaberry has a tall upright form with glossy foliage, and small, dark purplish fruit.
Annual pruning in the late winter will help increase the berry yield and aesthetic form of your shrub. Prune out broken or drooping branches. Intense sunlight may burn the leaf growth and a reduction in leaf size and quantity may indicate the plant is under water stress. Watch out for changing cooler temperatures that may cause your currants to contract powdery mildew, a white fungus that coats leaves and can develop on the fruits too. Cut off and remove infected portions of the plant. Consider purchasing certified disease-free varieties and plant them further apart to encourage plenty of air movement between bushes to encourage healthy growth.