Flowering currant bears magnificent blooms in spring.
Key Flowering currant facts
Name – Ribes sanguineum
Family – Grossulariaceae
Type – shrub
Height – 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 m)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary
Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – April-May
Easy to care for, planting and pruning will help you boost its growth and bear beautiful flowers.
Planting flowering currant
Favor planting in fall or in spring but avoid freezing temperatures or high temperatures.
- Follow the Nature-and-Garden tips on how to plant a shrub.
In a hedge, space each plant at least 30 inches (80 cm) apart.
Propagating flowering currant
It is very easy to propagate flowering currant through cuttings at the end of winter.
- Collect the cuttings around March.
- Remove lower leaves, keeping only the topmost one or two pairs at the crest.
- Dip the base of the cuttings in powdered rooting agents.
- Transplant directly in the ground in a blend of cutting soil mix and garden soil.
First pruning of flowering currant
Like most flowering shrubs, pruning serves to increase foliage density and enhance flowering year after year.
- Flowering currant can live for two to three decades.
- After that, it may lose its vigor, even if you prune it diligently.
Pruning flowering currant after planting
For the first year, only light pruning is needed that will guide the shrub into producing more stems.
No need to prune drastically, the flowering currant might suffer from it.
- Simply snip an inch (a couple centimeters) or so off the tip of all branches.
Maintenance pruning of flowering currant
This is a regular pruning that can be repeated yearly, that increases the blooming and the growth of the shrub.
- After the blooming, cut branches that have born flowers back to ⅔.
- Cut back those branches that did not bear flowers to about half.
- Follow our advice on pruning shrubs.
Finally, to recover a tightly-bound silhouette and avoid it growing sparse at the foot, you can prune drastically after a couple years.
Diseases and parasites that attack flowering currant
Even though it is quite hardy, flowering currant does nonetheless fall victim to certain diseases and parasites such as powdery mildew and aphids.
- Here is how to fend off powdery mildew, the fine layer of white mold developing on leaves.
- Here is how to fight aphids off, those insects that invade leaves.
Learn more about flowering currant
But it is also liked just as much when standing isolated in the garden, in shrub beds and even in pots or garden boxes on a terrace or balcony.
It is hardy and grows fast, which makes it an easy shrub to grow that will reward you with quick results.
Hardy to the cold and freezing, it can cope with temperatures dropping down to 5°F (-15°C).
Some remarkable flowering currant varieties
- Ribes sanguineum ‘King Edward VII’ – late flowers that are bright red.
- Ribes sanguineum ‘Koja’ – dense vegetation and nice red flowers.
A white-flowered variety also stands out:
- Ribes sanguineum ‘White icicle’ – big bunches of white flowers.
Smart tip about flowering currant
If it grows too large or to renew its vigor, proceed to prune drastically every 4 to 5 years!
Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Flowering currant branch by Hans Braxmeier under Pixabay license
Flower currant bloom by Beverly Buckley ★ under Pixabay license