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Flowering currants

Flowering currants Lubera

Flowering currants as easy to care for shrubs set impressive accents in every vegetable, ornamental or cottage garden.

   
 
Bloodcurrant 'Pulborough Scarlet'

Ribes sanguineum 'Pulborough Scarlet', an uncomplicated plant with beautiful autumn...

£14.90 *

Bloodcurrant King Edward VII

Ribes sanguineum - a robust, red-flowering shrub

£17.90 *

Bloodcurrant Koja

Ribes sanguineum 'Koja' ist an uncomplicated beauty; also for small gardens

£14.90 *

   
 

More useful information about flowering currants

They can be grown as a decorative hedge to the neighbouring property, as ornamental berry bushes, which can be excellently planted with all kinds of spring flowers such as daffodils and small daffodils, or in decorative pots on the terrace next to the house. Flowering currants with their dark bluish black fruits originally come from the western regions of North America, where they can be found from Northern California to British Columbia at altitudes of up to 2000 m. They are very hardy, resistant to powdery mildew (the American gooseberry mildew) and came to Europe around the middle of the 19th century, where they are now valued as particularly early-growing ornamental shrubs.

Our flowering currants in the Lubera® Plant Shop

Would you like to have a new splash of colour in your garden with our red-flowering currant 'Pulborough Scarlet', the low-growing 'Koja', the super robust 'King Edward VII' or would you prefer to have at least one plant of each variety?

Our short portrait of these three varieties will certainly help you to make your choice:

1) Flowering currant Pulborough Scarlet:

Final height and width (cm): 200 to 300 and 100 to 160 respectively

Flowering time: early April to end of May

Flower colour: pink

Leaf colour: green, orange, grey with bright yellow autumn colouring

 

2) Flowering currant 'Koja':

Final height and width (cm): 100 to 160 and 60 to 100 respectively

Flowering time: early April to end of May

Flower colour: dark pink

Leaf colour: green, violet, red, apricot grey

 

3) Flowering currant 'King Edward VII':

Final height and width (cm): 180 to 200 and 160 to 180 respectively

Flowering time: early April to early May

Flower colour: red

Leaf colour: green

 

Flowering currants Lubera

Can you really eat flowering currant berries?

The small, blue-black berries are available for snacking from July and, if the weather permits, such an ornamental shrub even bears an amazing amount of fruit. Sooner or later, nearby birds will sooner or later figure out that there is something particularly tasty in your garden. If you prefer to use your own currants, pick them in time, they taste very fruity as a topping on a cake and are also suitable as an addition to delicious jam, which can be cooked together with other types of fruit.

Contrary to what you might read here and there, the fruits are in no way harmful to children's health as long as the daily amount of ripe berries eaten does not exceed their weight, which could certainly lead to flatulence...Unfortunately, the freshly eaten berries do not correspond to the taste of red currants and they do not have the aroma of cassis. They seem rather empty so that they are usuall not eaten fresh, but only processed and used in the kitchen in a mixture with other fruits - if you don't leave them to your feathered friends from the beginning.

Lubera® is working on breeding new flowering currant varieties

Lubera also has a breeding project for flowering currants. We are currently assessing the young plants for resistance, growth and flower quality and, above all, we are selecting a group of varieties with very different flowering times. Last year, we also started to evaluate the fruits by tasting them, but we found clear differences from 'quite inedible' to 'ok edible'.

The perfect soil in the right location is key

The garden soil should not be too heavy for the bushes; sandy and well-drained soils would be perfect. Since flowering currants have shallow roots that tend to dry out quickly during long periods of heat, the soil must be well moist, but without allowing rain or watering water to accumulate over a long period. As far as the pH value is concerned, it should be in the middle range between slightly acidic to alkaline (approx. 6-7.5), not only during planting but also in the following years of growth. This is equally important: make sure that your garden soil, on which the flowering currants are to grow, is at least moderately rich in nutrients. Regular application of fertiliser and compost ensures that the ornamental plants develop well from the roots up to the formation of new and healthy shoots.

Like most other soft fruit bushes, these ornamental currants also prefer to grow in a sunny and somewhat shady location. While morning and evening sun are not a problem at all, a shady tree or house wall would be ideal for the ornamental shrubs, especially during the summer midday heat at the time of flowering.

Planting ornamental currants

Since we already deliver very vigorously developed two to three-year-old container plants to our customers, the shrubs can be planted in the ground at your premises during the frost-free period throughout the year. And even if it if doesn't look like it at first, the bushes can grow between 150 and 300 centimetres high after just a few years, depending on the variety chosen, and they can grow almost 200 centimetres wide. Our ornamental currant 'Koja' with its ideal dimensions of 150 x 100 cm (height and width) is particularly suitable for the smallest mini gardens and balconies. It is therefore essential to ensure that the bushes are planted far enough apart so that the shoots do not grow into each other later.

First of all, a sufficiently large planting hole is needed, which should be at least twice the size of the root ball of the shrub. If the soil is poor in nutrients, dig a little deeper so that at least another layer of ripe compost about 10 to 15 centimetres high can fit into the bottom of the pit. Before planting the plant, we recommend tearing open the root ball of your ornamental currant with a garden claw or similar tool. This loosening allows the fine roots to spread better in the soil and they will find a quicker hold for growing. If you would like to grow the plant as a shrub, the upper part of the roots should now be covered with a layer of soil about five to eight centimetres thick. Spindle plants and hedge plants should be positioned a little higher so that the basal shoot formation of the currants is prevented or at least becomes less strong.

Before you water the shrubs thoroughly for the first time, it is best to provide them with a good watering rim around the entire root area.

Watering

This may be a rule of thumb: the root network should never dry out for several days, which is especially important in the first year after replanting. It is best to use stale rainwater for watering and avoid watering the leaves, flowers or fruit, as the plant can supply itself very well from the root with a degree of moisture that is exactly right for it.

Fertilising

Depending on the specific soil conditions on-site, it should be sufficient to keep the ornamental currants a little bit on their toes at the beginning of the vegetation period with a high-quality slow-release fertiliser. For this purpose, we recommend our Frutilizer® Seasonal Fertiliser Plus, which has been tried and tested over many years and which is sprinkled with 20 to 40 grams per square metre. This prevents possible symptoms of fatigue, encourages the plant to form new, load-bearing shoots and at the same time stimulates a lush flowering of the shrubs.

Pruning

The purpose of regular pruning is to remove old wood that is no longer bearing fruit and to ensure that the shrubs do not grow too densely on the inside so that sufficient light can reach the somewhat hidden shoots and the upper part of the plant can dry out as quickly as possible after long rain showers. In practice, it has been shown that ornamental currants in particular age relatively quickly and tend to get lazy about flowering. The pruning technique differs only slightly from traditional currants and is mainly aimed at removing the woody and older branches and allowing the young shoots to grow back. Although it is unlikely to cause permanent damage to the shrubs by cutting too rough, we have summarised how to prune currants in a detailed guide for our customers in this garden article: Pruning currants. These instructions also apply in principle to ornamental currants.

When to prune?

Since the main purpose of the flowering currant is to be decorative, it can also be cut just after flowering, as there is no risk of losing too many flowers due to a spring pruning. But the pruning, the cutting out of all the oldest branches, must be done just after flowering and should be accompanied by a fertiliser boost in order to stimulate the plants to vegetative growth after they have been weakened by flowering. A compost application after flowering is very good, whereby the 5 cm thick compost layer is quickly worked in with a hoe and I also recommend applying some mineral, nitrogenous fertiliser or horn meal.

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