Black Currant Growing Guide

Black Currant

Crop Rotation Group

Miscellaneous 

Soil

Rich soil with compost dug in. pH of 6 to 6.5 preferred.

Position

Black currants grow best in locations that receive morning sun and afternoon shade, or dappled shade part of the day.

Frost tolerant

Many cultivars are hardy to -40F (-40C). These cold-natured plants seldom produce well in warmer climates where temperature often top 90F (32C).

Feeding

Fertilize in late fall by spreading a 1-inch (2.5 cm) layer of composted manure over the root zones of the plants. Slow-growing plants can be fed again in early summer.

Companions

Marigold.

Spacing

Single Plants: 2' 11" (90cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 2' 11" (90cm) with 2' 11" (90cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Plant in spring, just as the plants are emerging from dormancy. Set plants slightly deeper than they grew in their nursery pots. Mulch after planting to keep the soil cool and moist.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Older varieties of black currants can host a disease called white pine blister rust that is devastating to white pine trees in North America. Plant only resistant varieties including ‘Consort’, ‘Coronet’, ‘Crusader’ or ‘Titania’. In winter, prune out old branches close to the ground. Mature black currants bear best on one and two-year-old branches.

Harvesting

Harvest fruit when they are dark and ripe, and chill immediately. Black currants freeze very well.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Black Currant