Blackcurrant

Ribes nigrum

European Black Currant, Cultivated Black Currant

profile iconRibes nigrum, 2006-07-31
by Lithuanian Wikipedia (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
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A close up of the balckcurrent
profile iconRibes nigrum, 2006-07-31
by Lithuanian Wikipedia (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
1 of 3
The Blackcurrant is a deciduous shrub that is grown for its small, edible, black berries which are high in Vitamin C as well as containing other vital minerals. Though the berries are quite tart to eat raw they are a common occurrence in jams, cordials and desserts. They are thought to have some medicinal properties that help people with adrenal problems as well as fatigue. Growing Blackcurrants can be a commitment as they usually have to be 4 years old before they start to fruiting. and need regular pruning to keep the shrub in a productive shape.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Spring

Fruiting time

Summer

Harvesting

The wild variety of Blackcurrants need the berries to be harvested individually as they do not ripen at the same rate, however, there are some cultivars that are designed for easy harvesting. The berries do not store well for very long and so should be eaten as soon as possible. They can, however, be frozen or cooked to make them last longer.

Propagation

Seed

Seeds need to be soaked for 24 hours (Removing the floating ones) and stratified in the fridge for 3 months. After stratification, plant the seeds individually into small pots and put them into a cold frame. Once the seedlings have a set of true leaves then move them to a sunny area of the garden.

Cuttings

Blackcurrants take well to hardwood cuttings. These should be taken during the dormant stage of the plant. Cut approximately 30cm off of the tip of a healthy Blackcurrant branch and place it into a tall plant pot. The branch should be at least 1 year old and have many leaf buds on it.

Special features

Wet sites

Attractive fruits

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Flowers range from pale pinks to deep pinky reds.

Special features

Origin

Temperate parts of northern Europe and Asia

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Neutral, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Edible

The fruits can be eaten raw or made into jams, cordials, as well as desserts.

Medicinal

The berries can be eaten raw or Ribes nigrum extract can be purchased and taken as a homoeopathic medicine

Personality

Family

Grossulariaceae

Flower colour

Pink, Red

Scent

Mild

Problems

Gall Mite, Blackcurrant Leaf Curling Midge
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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