How to grow currants: species diversity and the basics of agricultural technology

Now it is difficult to imagine a garden in which there would be no currant bushes. Saplings of this culture, widespread in our country, are easy to acquire, and their cost is low. Therefore, currants can not only be planted on the site, but also create a collection of its varieties. Caring for any type of currant consists in following the basic rules of agricultural technology. At the same time, culture always generously presents a harvest of hosts.

From the history of culture

Currant is a moisture-loving plant, in natural conditions it chooses moist forests, river slopes, lakes and marshy areas. The habitat is Eurasia, North America.

The ancient Greeks and Romans did not know the type and taste of currants. Wild species grew at that time on the lands of Central and Northern Europe: the shrub tolerates the conditions of a temperate climate and even cold. He does not like heat, subtropics.

In the XV century, currants began to be massively cultivated in France, and then in Germany. The first species that Europeans met was redcurrant. They drew attention to the black variety somewhat later.

Currants diversified lean dishes of monks in Russia in the Middle Ages

The first written evidence of the existence of currants in Russia dates back to the Middle Ages. However, in Kiev monasteries, culture was cultivated in the 11th century. The monks moved currant bushes from the forests beyond the fence of the monastery.

In the gardens of Pskov, Novgorod and young at that time in Moscow, currants also met. Along with other berry plants, it was transferred from forests to princely lands.

The banks of the river on which Moscow stood were covered with currant thickets. In this regard, the river was nicknamed Smorodinovka (now the Moscow River).

By the XVIII century, currants (especially black - Ribes nigrum) won special honor among domestic fruit growers. And now, culture is losing its popularity. Currant plantations are replaced by other berry bushes.

Currant species diversity

The classification contains 190 different types of currants. Of greatest interest to gardeners are:

  • black currant. Distributed in central Russia and Siberia, in Europe, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and North America. In height, the bush grows to 1–2 m. The young branches are green, the old ones are brown. Currant leaves are elongated, with a smooth and dark green top, a lighter and pubescent bottom. The color brush collected up to 5-10 flowers. Blackcurrant blooms in May - early June. It gives fruits from July to August (determined by variety). The black berries of this type of currant reach large sizes (about 1 cm in diameter), have a tart sweet and sour taste and a characteristic currant aroma;
  • red currant (Ribes rubrum) is found in forests of Russia, Asia, Europe, where it grows in the form of dense thickets along the slopes of reservoirs. Shoots at a bush of sand or gray color. In mid-May there is a flowering phase of this type of currant, in mid-June - the fruiting phase. Juicy bright red fruits of 0.8–1.1 cm in diameter have a sour taste. They are gathered in long clusters;
  • white currant (Ribes niveum). The habitat is Europe and Asia. In structure, the white look is similar to red. The average height of the bush is 1.5 m. The phases of flowering and fruit delivery in terms of time are identical to red currants. Light yellow berries are located on a long bunch. They are sweeter than red, with a slight acidity;
  • golden currant (Ribes aureum). It is found in the wild in Canada, Mexico and Central America. Shrubs are bred in North America, Central Asia and Europe. In our country, it grows in the gardens of Altai, the European part of Russia, the Caucasus, the Far East. The height of the bush of this type of currant is 2–2.5 m. It is weakly branched, with bare or with a light fluff reddish branches. Leaf sizes: 5x6 cm. With the advent of autumn, the foliage becomes bright - orange-red, in September it turns red and retains a rich hue until winter. Blooms in late spring for 3 weeks. The flowers have a yellow or yellowish-green color - because of this, currant got its name. Berries (0.6–0.8 cm in diameter) ripen in early July, having a black or brown-red hue and a pleasant taste.

Photo gallery: main types of currants

Whitecurrant has sweet white berries

Red currants are less popular than black currants.

Blackcurrant is the most common species in our gardens

Blackcurrant blooms in May - early June

Golden currant got its name due to the light yellow hue of flowers

It is easy to confuse golden currants at the time of fruiting with black

Black and red currants are recognized as demanded in fruit growing and more popular. Their differences:

  • thanks to the essential oils contained in blackcurrant, all the upper parts of the bush in this culture are fragrant and fragrant. Red hardly exudes aroma, has sour and with a high percentage of watery berries;
  • in black fruits, vitamin C is 4 times more than in red;
  • propagation of red currants is usually carried out by dividing the bush, while black currants are bred mainly by cuttings;
  • red is less whimsical to watering, tolerates dry days better;
  • red currant shows better resistance to many diseases and insects, but black is inferior in this respect;
  • in one place, red currants can last about 20 years. The development of black currant is limited to 6–7 years of life, after which the bush degrades its characteristics.

Agricultural technology currants

The best place on the site is an open area with maximum lighting throughout the day. The culture feels good on any light and moist soil, especially loves black earth loam.


Currants are planted in late autumn or with the advent of spring - before buds open. The main condition is to prepare the soil in advance. 1-2 weeks before planting, planting pits or trenches 40-50 cm deep are torn out and each is filled with fertilizers (6 kg of rotted manure or compost, 20 g of superphosphate and sulfate), which are thoroughly mixed with soil.

You can add 0.5 l of wood ash to the well.

On soils of medium mechanical composition, seedlings are planted with a root system deepened by 8-10 cm. On clay heavy soils, it is not necessary to deepen the roots of the seedling.

Before planting, the pits are moistened. Seedlings are pruned, keeping 3-5 buds on one branch. When planting, the plant should occupy a vertical position. The roots are straightened, covered with soil, watered. The settled soil is trampled, covered with a layer of mulch (straw or peat).

Seedlings of zoned varieties are selected as follows: for the first commercial grade - the presence of 2 or more stems with a length of 40 cm, five skeletal roots 20 cm long; for the 2nd commercial grade - the presence of 2 or more stems 30 cm long and three roots 15 cm long.

To preserve the seedlings until planting without damage, their roots are dipped in an earthen mash and then instilled for a while. Chatterbox is prepared from clay and mullein, diluted in water to a creamy state and thoroughly mixed. When storing seedlings, it is important to prevent drying of the roots.

Landing patterns

When breeding currants, either a single arrangement of bushes or a single row is used. At the same time, the optimal row spacing is 2.5–3 m, and between bushes in a row - 0.6 m.

Top dressing

Any kind of currant is responsive to the fertilizer applied. If the soil in the planting pit was thoroughly fertilized, then over the next 2-3 years of vegetation of the bush, top dressing is not applied. It is enough in the fall to close up the mulch in the basal region, which is laid out in the spring.

After 2-3 years, in the process of autumn digging, dry potash-phosphorus fertilizers (30 g per bush) begin to be added to the soil. Ammonium nitrate or urea is introduced early in the spring - in the form of a solution or scattered directly in the snow (25 g per plant).

In the flowering phase, organic top dressing is preferred for bushes: bird droppings (diluted 1:15 with water) or mullein (1:10). In the fruiting phase, immediately after flowering, currant bushes are sprayed with zinc sulfate dissolved in water or with Zavyaz.

In summer, under the currant bush you can put weed stalks of weeds from the ridges. They cross and become a good fertilizer.


Immediately after planting, the initial pruning of the bushes is performed. It is recommended to shorten all shoots, leaving 5 cm from the soil surface. In the first year of harvest, there will be no branches, but powerful young stems and a root system will develop. Low initial pruning should stimulate the development of 3-4 strong stems up to 0.5 m long.

In the process of rejuvenating the bush, currants remove shoots older than 4 years

Rejuvenating pruning bush

The goal of trimming rejuvenation is to stimulate the renewal of the bush, the growth of young shoots that will bear fruit in the next season. A simple way to rejuvenate pruning currants for novice growers: annually remove one fourth of the branches of the bush. To do this, mentally divide the bush into 4 parts, one of which will be removed. With this approach, there will be no shoots older than 4 years of age. Dried, stunted and affected branches are subject to mandatory removal.

A more complex procedure for rejuvenating the bush involves the removal of branches:

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  • lying on the ground;
  • directed inside the bush;
  • injured;
  • barren (the main crop of the currant matures on 2-3-year-old shoots);
  • weak growth of the current year.

At the end of the rejuvenation procedure, trim the tips of the stored shoots for fruiting (not “zeroing”) to the place where the wood is well ripened. This contributes to the growth of shoots and large-fruited.

The procedure for rejuvenating the bush, its main goal is the possibility of free (without interference) the growth of the so-called zero shoots, departing from underground roots.

Video: pruning and rejuvenating the currant bush

Treatment of currants from diseases and pests

Even compliance with all the rules of agricultural technology of currants does not guarantee protection of the bush from harmful insects and diseases. Currant bushes are often attacked by pests - gooseberry flint, aphid, currant glass-cutter, sawfly, bud mite. Powdery mildew, anthracnose diseases are not excluded. The fight against uninvited insects and ailments can be waged by all known methods - from folk to the use of popular chemicals. In addition, all damaged shoots are cut out on the plant. They must be burned. Do it early in the spring or late in the fall. After removing the leaves with a pallet, the soil under the bush is dug up.

Any disease of currant is easier to prevent than to eliminate its consequences. For this, various preventive measures are carried out. In particular, watering currants with boiling water is considered one of the effective measures for the prevention of diseases and harmful insects. The procedure is recommended to be performed before the snow cover completely disappears. The bushes are sprayed with boiling water from a watering can, treating not only parts of the plant, but also the soil. Boiling water, warming the soil, positively affects the awakening of the kidneys, increases the immunity of the plant.

Breeding methods

Currants are propagated in several ways.


Propagation by horizontally spread layering is a frequently used method. Any method involves the use of strong and healthy currant bushes as maternal. The advantages of this option are that the shoots take root easily with minimal efforts of the gardener, and the mother plant does not experience significant stresses.

To propagate currants by layering, one of the annual shoots is laid in a trench and pinned

Rooted layings are laid early in the spring or early fall.

  1. Furrows 10-15 cm deep are made near the bush.
  2. They lay a soft pillow of sand, peat, humus, compost.
  3. For the growth of layering, strong annual shoots or 2-3-year-olds with growths are selected. They are put in the grooves and pinned with studs.
  4. On the lay, branches from awakened buds will sprout up. When they reach a height of 10 cm they are spudded, keeping 1-2 sheets free.
  5. After 2-3 weeks in the spring, the earthing up of the processes is carried out again. If this happens in the fall, the shoots are disconnected from the uterine plant and moved to their permanent place of growth.


Cutting currants is suitable when there is already a successfully cultivated variety on the site that you want to propagate. It is more convenient to harvest cuttings in early spring in the process of spring pruning of the bush.

  1. Cuttings are harvested from fully ripened stems, the thickness of which is not less than 6 mm and a length of about 15–20 cm. They are cut obliquely at the bottom and the upper cut is performed directly, departing 1 cm from the upper bud.
  2. Before planting the stem, it, together with the preserved leaves, is soaked in a biologically active solution with Epin, Novosil, Kornevin, aloe juice.
  3. Cuttings are planted at an angle, lowering the tip 3-4 cm into the ground, with a distance of 15-20 cm between the seedlings.
  4. A part of the handle with 2 buds is left free, the bottom should be in close proximity above the soil surface.
  5. In order for root formation to proceed efficiently, the moisture balance in the soil must be constantly maintained. For this, the earth is mulched with a 3 cm compost layer.

For better root formation, the tip of the handle is dusted with a root growth stimulator.

Dividing the bush

Reproduction of the bush by division is usually used in cases of emergency transplantation of a valuable variety to another place or with a lack of planting material. The main advantage of this method is the quick survival of the newly planted bush without much difficulty.

By dividing the bush, valuable varieties of currants are bred

Technique of the method:

  1. At the end of September and before the beginning of October or early spring, the necessary part of the bush or bush is carefully removed from the soil without damaging the roots.
  2. By means of secateurs or garden saws, all old shoots are removed, and young ones are shortened to 30 cm.
  3. With a sharp hatchet, the bush is divided into 3-4 parts. An important requirement is the presence on that part of the plant that is intended for planting, well-visible buds and an extensive system of healthy roots.
  4. In the pit (50x60 cm), fertilized with a rotted mullein, lower the bush. Its roots are covered with earth, which is densely tamped and watered abundantly (1.5 buckets of water under the plant).

How to grow currants from seeds

Currants can be grown from seeds. However, you should not count on an early harvest in this case. For the first time, a bush grown from seeds will begin to produce berries only in the 4th – 5th year of life. But even here a catch can wait - the berries are likely to differ from those from which the seeds were taken. The technique is simple. Ripe fruits are cut, kneading, gently washed, slightly dried.

It is permissible to initially dry the berries in a special vegetable dryer, after which it is already possible to get seeds from them.

Further, it is desirable to stratify the seeds. Under natural conditions, this process resembles a situation when berries that have fallen from branches spend the winter under snow.

Stratification - keeping seeds of different cultures at low temperatures up to 70 ° C to improve their germination. To do this, the seeds are placed in moistened tissue or soil.

Currant seeds are used in different ways: they are sown in spring (the method resembles growing vegetable seedlings) to obtain sprouts, placed in a cool cellar for storage until spring, or sown immediately in winter in a prepared trench.

Growing currants on the stem

The standard cultivation of currants in our gardens is not very widespread. However, this method of breeding culture has many advantages:

  • fruiting branches with berry tassels do not touch the ground, which significantly improves the quality of the crop;
  • each branch receives a sufficient amount of light, which also favorably affects fruiting;
  • the bush is less susceptible to attack by harmful insects;
  • berry picking is easier, as well as bush care;
  • compact plantings make it possible to save the site;
  • care for the near-trunk circle is greatly facilitated;
  • the standard bush surpasses the ordinary bush in decorative qualities.

To create a standardized form of a bush, two methods can be used:

  • engraftment of a stock on a scion;
  • creation of a root strain.

The first method is suitable for those fruit growers who are well versed in garden "surgery", the second can be mastered even by beginner gardeners.

Whole alleys can be created from the standard currant

Gardeners reviews

What can I say for currants: I have five bushes. I collect somewhere two buckets. Rubbed tired for a long time, I put wine out of it and freeze 3-4 kilograms. I cut bushes mercilessly, leaving only biennial branches. Several times during the summer, we normalize the growth, leaving 3-4 shoots each. A large area of ​​trunk circles is always under the mulch. I don’t bother too much - in the fall I plant with cut tops, in the summer with grass and weeds, in the spring I fall asleep with dried potato husks. I water during and after flowering very abundantly and one more time during pouring berries. Varieties of old, some incomprehensible, remained from the previous owners, but I am very pleased with the harvest. Ognevki is very small, torment only in wet summers. I didn’t see the glass case for about five years. The tick of the kidney is also dumb.


Buy Black Magic Carbon. And annually 3 buckets of manure as mulch. In late autumn or early spring, sprinkle urea with 500 g per 10 liters. The berry is gorgeous. And there is a Gulliver variety. The variety is fully resistant to powdery mildew, anthracnose, rust, and kidney mites.


Classic. We plant it obliquely, cut it to 3 buds, by autumn 3 branches grow up to 70 cm high. Next year, early spring, these branches are cut to zero. Basically there are no fruit buds on annual shoots, leaving them will interfere with young growth. In late May, young shoots appear from the underground part of the bush, there are a lot of them, up to 30 pcs. We must form correctly. Ideally, figuratively should represent the shape of a bush. This is a square, on each side there are 3 shoots. Right 3, left 3, forward 2, back 2, total 10 pieces. Between the shoots 7-10 cm. In early August, cut off the tip on the shoots, growth slows down, fruit buds form on the shoots. For 3 years, young ones in the nettle phase are removed. From the age of 4, we leave 2-3 of the young, well located, to be replaced by a broken one, with glass. From 6–7 years old, the problem is to get one-year-olds. To stimulate the shoots of renewal in the fall, we cut 3-4 old branches. It is easy to recognize them - they are black.


Typically, currants are grown by amateur gardeners for personal needs. However, in the market the demand for this berry has always been, is and will be in the season. Given that the harvest, even with minimal agricultural technology, currants are at the proper level, it does not exclude the appearance of interest among some gardeners in the commercial cultivation of crops.


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