Garden Action

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Growing Blackcurrants

Blackcurrants were traditionally used only for jams, pies and puddings, and they tasted great. More recently, there are varieties the size of small grapes which are tasty eaten by themselves, with ice cream or cream. Mixed with other fruit, they are delicious.

Blackcurrants the size of small grapes with a taste to match.

An easy crop to grow in the garden, they are however expensive in the supermarkets. Home grown, they are almost free and packed full of vitamins, especially vitamin C. 


Latin Name
Ribes nigrum

Hardy deciduous shrub with edible berries

Site and Soil
Tolerant of many conditions. Preferably full sun, on a rich well-drained soil.

Plant to Harvest Time
2 years

4kg (9lb) per bush

Varieties of Blackcurrant
The table below lists varieties recommended by GardenAction

Variety Type Comments

Ben Gairn Early Resistant to most diseases affecting blackcurrants including Reversion virus. One of the earliest varieties to fruit , it has medium sized berries with a good taste.

Ben Lomond Mid-season
Resistant to most foliar diseases and also to mildew. This variety grows to around 1 metre (3 foot) high and produces large fruit. Superb taste, the best in our opinion.

Titania Mid-season Large tasty blackcurrants on a tallish bush. Needs a protected position. Good disease resistance.

If you want to buy Ben Lomond from our recommended suppliers, then click here

Site and Soil For Blackcurrants
Blackcurrants are more tolerant than many fruits of their site and soil conditions. What they do like though is a moist soil, but not water logged. They need the moisture for the fruits to develop. This is one reason why they do well in less dry parts of the UK.

Their ideal site is in full sun, but the effect of partial shade does them little harm. Avoid frost-pockets, their flowers can be damaged by a late frost which will of course result in a lower yield of fruit.

Their ideal soil is a rich well-drained soil which will not dry out. They prefer a slightly acidic soil - around pH 6 to 6.5 (click here for more details on soil acidity). They will grow well however on most normal soils.


Name: don
Date posted: June 20, 2011 - 11:49 am
Message: forgot to add email.

Name: Don
E-mail: Private
Date posted: June 20, 2011 - 11:45 am
Message: I've had black berry bushes for three years now. I've had lots of blossoms, but the last two years they have fallen off and I get no fruit. Could someone help me to find out why the blossoms fall off. Thank you.

Name: Captain Ramsey
Date posted: May 09, 2011 - 06:11 pm
Message: Black Currants will grow 1-2 metres in height, or roughly 3.2-6.4 feet.

I assume Red Currants are similar.

A Gooseberry Bush can apparently grow anywhere from 3-10 feet.

Name: sarah
E-mail: Private
Date posted: May 03, 2011 - 04:06 pm
Message: hi I recently bought several fruit bushes(gooseberry,tayberry,redcurrent and blackcurrent).we want to build a fruit cage around to stop the local wildlife devouring or bounty but cant seem to find what height any of these bushes will grow to.can anybody help.sarah

Name: Saundra
Date posted: August 27, 2010 - 03:29 am
Message: Hi. I discovered what looks like a blackcurrent bush on a forest trail in southern B.C. The leaves and all-over shape of the bush look similar to current bushes I'm familiar with but the branches of the bush itself are covered with sharp tiny prickles, so I am wondering if this is a true currant or what other type of fruit- bearing shrub it might be. As it has grown in a fairly dense area and gets little sun there were not many berries on it, and the few there were were quite small, but black as blackcurrants are. Anything insight you may have into what this might be would be very much appreciated.
Thank you,