Red Currant Growing Guide

Ribes rubrum

Red Currant

Crop Rotation Group



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


Red 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).


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.


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.


Powdery mildew can be a serious problem for red currants, so consider planting resistant varieties such as ‘Rovada’ or ‘Honey Queen’. In winter, prune out old branches close to the ground. Mature red currants bear best on two-year-old branches.


Harvest fruit when the fruits just begin to soften, and chill immediately. Red currants freeze very well.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Red Currant