Choose a country to see content specific to your location

A picture of a Blackcurrant


Ribes nigrum

Ribes nigrum, 2006-07-31 by Lithuanian Wikipedia (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








4 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

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.

More images

Zwarte bes (Ribes nigrum)


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.

Common problems

Gall Mite, Blackcurrant Leaf Curling Midge



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.


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.



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


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