Currants are a great addition to any garden! They are incredibly easy to grow and manage, and not to mention easy to propagate! The ribes family has homes in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. In our experience they don’t have many pests, deer tend to not care much about them (especially black currants due to their unique musky odor when rubbed) and they don’t require much pruning—if any! (Of course pruning can always help, but it’s not absolutely necessary with these plants)
We currently offer these varieties of currants;
Red Currant: These are tart and slightly sweet, vibrant red berries that are extremely prolific and easy to grow. They are an unnamed cultivar given to us by some friends, and we’ve been growing them and enjoying them ever since! The bushes can get to 4’ tall by 5’ wide, and even 6’ tall by 6’ wide if you really feed them and take good care of them.
Black Currant: Blacks are revered for their high levels of antioxidants, Vitamin C, omega fatty acids, their highly unique taste and their ability to produce berries and thrive in partial shade! These have been highly deer resistant, and they release a musky odor when rubbed, not unpleasant, just a bit different is all! This is probably why deer stay away. Great addition to a forest garden!
Consort: This is a popular variety of black currant. Bred and selected in Canada for it’s resistance to White Pine Blister Rust (a rapidly evolving fungal disease that can affect some currants, read a great article about it here). Smaller bush than a red currant—typically 4’ or 5’. Larger fruits than reds, complex flavor profile. Will produce berries in full shade, and can thrive in neglect, especially in the Northeast! Ripens in July
Ben Sarek: Another popular black currant variety. Compact growing habit, 3’ to 4’, Extremely prolific, branches are sometimes weighed down by the fruit! The berries are very large on this variety. Ben Sarek is frost tolerant, which is important during blossom time in the Northeast, or anywhere Zone 5 or lower. Usually ripens in July for us.
Cuttings: We offer bundles of cuttings as an affordable way to establish lots of currants! Currants root readily when put into rich soil in the dormant months (Autumn-Spring, before leafing out). Simply insert them into the soil and wait one full growing season before digging them up, couldn’t be any easier than that! Watch the videos below for a quick look!