Redcurrant and whitecurrant

Known for their tart flavour, the redcurrant is commonly grown to make condiments such as redcurrant jelly. Redcurrants are a member of the gooseberry family.
Growing calendar
Plant out/transplant Oct - Feb
Harvest Jul - mid Sep

How to grow redcurrants and whitecurrants

Plant pot-grown bare root redcurrant and whitecurrant bushes with at least four evenly spaced branches. Space 100-150cm apart.

Choose well-drained, fertile soil in sunny or part-shaded, sheltered site.

Water and mulch your currant bushes. Reduce the length of the main stems by half in the second year. Cut side shoots to one bud and shorten the main shoots.

Harvesting and using redcurrants and whitecurrants

Pick currants when full coloured and ripe, but still firm. Remove whole trusses ('strigs') rather than individual fruit.

Tips on growing redcurrants and whitecurrants

  • You can grow red currants and white currants as 'fan' shape or 'cordon'.
  • Cover plants with netting to protect from birds.
Growing notes
Difficulty Moderate
Average time to harvest From 18 months
When to prune Winter or early spring
Equipment needed Mulch (eg compost)
Average plant size 150cm tall and wide
Family group to grow with Grossulariaceae, eg gooseberry
Key nutritional content Vitamin C and fibre