Redcurrants: A guide to the planting, care, and harvesting of this easy to grow fruit

My redcurrant bushed covered in ripe fruit.

A red currant is a small, round red berry that is a member of the gooseberry family, and is closely related to black currants and white currants. Red currants are native to Europe, but are now grown in many parts of the world.

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Red currants have a tart flavour, and are often used in jams, jellies, and sauces. They can also be eaten fresh or raw, but their tartness can be off-putting to some people. Red currants are a good source of vitamin C, and they also contain antioxidants.

Here are some of the health benefits of red currants:

  • High in vitamin C: Red currants are a good source of vitamin C, which is an important nutrient for the immune system.
  • Antioxidants: Red currants contain antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals.
  • The redcurrant has a lower glycemic index value than many foods.
  • Source of dietary fibre: Can help with digestive health.
  • Redcurrants are a good source of iron: Iron is essential for forming red blood cells.
  • Redcurrants are a good source of vitamin K: This can help with bone health and calcium control in the body.

Here is a complete care guide for red currants:


  • Red currants can be planted in the fall or spring, but avoid planting during frosty weather.
  • Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil.
  • Prepare the soil by digging in some compost or manure.
  • Space the plants 1.5-2 meters apart.


  • Red currants need regular watering, especially during dry periods.
  • Water deeply, so that the water reaches the roots but not waterlogged, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot.
  • Mulch around the plants to help retain moisture.


  • Red currants benefit from a light application of fertiliser in the spring.
  • Use a balanced fertiliser, such as a 10-10-10.
  • Do not over fertilise, as this can lead to weak growth and poor fruit production.


  • Red currants need to be pruned regularly to keep them productive and healthy.
  • Prune in the winter, after the plant has gone dormant.
  • Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches.
  • Thin out the plant to allow for good air circulation.
  • Cut back the remaining branches to two or three buds.


  • Red currants are ripe when they are a deep red color.
  • Harvest the berries by gently pulling them off the stem.
  • Do not over-pick the berries, as this can damage the plant.

Pests and Diseases

  • Red currants are susceptible to a few pests and diseases, including:
    • Aphids
    • Red spider mites
    • Powdery mildew
    • Botrytis
  • If you see any signs of pests or diseases, take action immediately to control them.


  • Red currants are a relatively easy plant to care for.
  • With a little care, they will produce delicious berries for many years to come.
  • Here are a few additional tips for growing red currants:
    • Plant red currants in a sheltered spot, as they are susceptible to wind damage.
    • Mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
    • Water the plants regularly, especially during dry periods.
    • Fertilise the plants in the spring with a balanced fertiliser.
    • Prune the plants in the winter to keep them productive and healthy.
    • Harvest the berries when they are ripe.

The Redcurrant varieties:

Jonkheer van TetsAn early-ripening varietyA productive and popular variety that is known for its sweet berries. It is also resistant to mildew.
Red LakeMid-season varietyA late-ripening variety that is known for its high yields. The berries are small but sweet.
Perfection A variety that is resistant to mildew and blackcurrant gall mite. The berries are large and juicy.
London Market An old variety that is still popular today. The berries are small but sweet and tart.
RovadaLate-ripening varietyProduces long strings of juicy and flavourful berries. It is also resistant to powdery mildew and rust.
White Currant A variety with white berries. The berries are smaller than redcurrants but have a similar flavour.
Junifer This is a new variety that is gaining popularity for its high yields, large berries, and excellent disease resistance.
Pink Currant A variety with pink berries. The berries are larger than whitecurrants and have a sweeter flavour.