Prune and take cuttings of currant bushes - how and when

Prune and take cuttings of currant bushes - how and when

Photo: Colourbox

When you have a limited area for currant bushes, you have to prune them hard every year, to keep them in check. It will still be a decent harvest. The bushes are kept fresh and healthy. From the cut branches you can make new bushes.

When to prune currant bushes?

The best time to prune currant bushes is after they have lost their leaves in the fall. You can prune in the spring-winter before the buds start to swell, because that's where the carriers are. They are not damaged by pruning at other times, but this year's berries may not be present if they instead concentrate on forming new branches or if you happen to remove this year's fruit branches.

Black currants can withstand hard pruning. Lean properly for healthier shrubs. Photo: Colourbox

Prune black currants

Black currants get the most berries on new strong branches and black currants you can prune harder than red currants. Remove older and more ricey branches on black currants every year. Then cut down to the ground. Every year, branches that lie against the ground are also thinned out.

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Prune red currants

Red currants mainly bear berries on 2–5 year old branches. So there you have to be more careful which branch you cut. Remove an older branch every two years. Cut down to the ground. Thin away dead and damaged branches, as well as branches that hang / lie down to the ground. Lean regularly every year.

Currants are pruned when the bush loses its leaves before winter or early spring. Photo: Kucher Serhii

Take cuttings

Take the opportunity to remove cuttings from branches that have been cut off. It is easy to propagate and several plants. Take only a top cutting of about 15 cm. Save about two leaves at the top, and stick the cuttings into the soil. Roots soon form and you can replant the cuttings in larger pots.

Tip: Also take care of the leaves that would otherwise be thrown away when pruning. They are good as tea, both fresh and dried.

More about pruning:

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Prune vine inside and out

So I prune blackberries

  1. After this year's harvest and growth, I have three main stems on my plant. One of these is the strain that gave this year's berries. All of it is cut down with the ground and all side twigs are removed from the "shrubbery".
  2. Now there are two main tribes left. Had the plant itself been allowed to decide, there would have been significantly more, but during the season I have cut off everything else that has emerged and only left the two strongest ones. Next summer I will keep both, or just one, depending on how they look to have coped with the winter.
  3. The main stems are topped at the right height, I think it is practical that the top side shoots of the plant are about as long as I am. Then I get to harvest comfortably.
  4. From the main trunks I cut off all the side shoots except the ones I want to trellis next summer. The whole plant grows with a main stem and several side shoots that are led out horizontally for a few meters. I save three side shoots in each direction, on each plant. Side shoots that grow out of the side shoots are removed. Now only one skeleton of the plant remains. Perfect.
  5. Next spring, new shoots will grow out of the whole plant, which has lots of energy for the limited plant parts. Lots of flower buds are planted and there are large tasty berries.

You can see the result after pruning at the top of the post, where you can clearly see how the tops were cut and how I kept six side shoots on each main stem.

Read more: Prune blackberries in the open

Prune and take cuttings of currant bushes - how and when - garden

Thank you very much for the tip! My bush on the lot is mega big! Must try your tip with pruning! Have today cooked jam according to your recipe! soooo good.

Håkan Bergman Nilsson writes:

Do you also have red currants? How do you prune them?

How do you prune red currants?

I currently have no red currants, have removed the only shrub I planted. But on FB, it seems that those who commented treat red currants as well as black ones. Regards Sara

Fantastic to hear how you prune and take cuttings!

Thanks for the tip, I will also dare to be strict with pruning now. This year, several branches have died on different bushes with us, wondering what it could be due to. In any case, cut off all the dead first, and then remove what is spreading.

It is very inspiring to read your blog! Wondering if it is possible to prune currants in height as well, some shrubs will be quite tall and then they will be obscured if you use them as a hedge?

The difference between black currants and red / white currants is that black currants get berries on the annual shoots. Red and white currants give the most berries on branches that are 2 - 5 years old.

I prune my currants both in width and height, which has worked great for me.

Can you take cuttings of gooseberries in the same way? The neighbor has yellow gooseberries and I only have red, it would be good if it was possible to make several seedlings of yellow gooseberries, as well as black currants.

Yes, it should work well. I have taken a year but forgot to take care of the plants when they took root, so it was nothing unfortunately. / Sara

Hello Sara!
When you have the blackcurrant bushes as a hedge and prune them as you describe, how dense can they be planted then? Thought to try me on a hedge, but am unsure of just this.
thank you for an inspiring blog!
/ Malin

Do you do the same with Jostabär?

Hello Sara! So good with currants and I want lots. The ones I have are old and bad / neglected. However, I have a number of new plants in the pot that come from cuttings I put down along the edges of my pots (from other nice bushes, so not my own bad ones) - a little here and there. :) I have later replanted them in my own pots but honestly, not devoted much care to them. They have survived in any case and also got some berries - even though I neglected the watering. I have read that they do not demand so much when it comes to manure but that they would like some wood ash. I should probably put them down in the country so they get a more even moisture but have not decided where I want them - but it's just to move - so I intend to do that. Anything else I should think about? How do you do? Any tips? Should I prune them at all during the first few years and in any case? I know that you should remove the oldest branches and ingrown branches on older shrubs, but how do I establish and give a NEW / YOUNG shrub the best possible start / conditions?

Hi currant grower
This year I cut down branch by branch while the berries remained. It became easy to then pick the berries and at the same time I had disciplined my bush.


Klara Trädgård

Tip! Take cuttings. An exciting and simple spring project.
Now, during the spring and winter, we prune hedges, apple trees and shrubs at breakneck speed. Yesterday it was freezing cold in the morning. But soon the sun looked ahead. Clear blue sky.
We have the best job in the world!
We prune a couple of giant Forsythia, Schersmin, Vresros and some currant bushes. Ingela took the opportunity to take home some twigs from a large Rosenribs and make cuttings.

Here's how to root cuttings:

Cut the cuttings when the plant is still dormant.
Take a reasonably large pot with about 1/3 gravel or leca and the rest peat, it should be airy. I use a pallet collar which I then put the pots in. Mark the cuttings with their name.
Cut cuttings from the branches. It should be young shoots that have had time to burn something.
A good way is to cut straight off at the top just above a blade holder and obliquely at the bottom. This way you do not put the cutting upside down.
Insert the cuttings 2/3 below the soil surface so that only 3-5 leaf buds are visible above.
Feel free to stick the cuttings or cuttings along the edges of the pot, they usually root better there. Never let it dry out. It should be moist but not wet.
Place the pot in a cool place, not directly in the sun. Half shade will be good.
Wait for the cuttings to get light green shoots. However, beware of the roots of the cuttings, they are very fragile!
The rooted cuttings are planted out in late summer.
You can try to take cuttings from all kinds of shrubs and trees that you still prune, but the ones that are usually easiest to get rooted are different kinds of willow and dogwood butterfly bush, Prakttry, curry, olvon, currant, forsythia, elder, privet and schersmin.
Why not take lots of cuttings to a privet hedge!

If you are a little unsure of how to prune your ornamental shrubs, they are numerous, rickety and look like overgrown monsters. Call us and book an appointment for spring pruning.

Video: How to prune a red or white currant bush