Gooseberry: characteristics, cultivation and uses

The gooseberry . If you are one of those people who loves to make homemade jams, surely you have heard of it, and if not, don’t worry: in this special you will know everything about it, the fruit produced by the Ribes rubrum species known as gooseberry

We will start first by explaining the characteristics of the currant and its uses, and to finish we will give you many tips so that you can enjoy it without having to go to a supermarket to buy it.


  • 1 What and how is currant?
    • 1.1 What is it used for?
      • 1.1.1 Culinary
      • 1.1.2 Medicinal
  • 2 What is the currant bush like?
    • 2.1 Cultivation
      • 2.1.1 Location
      • 2.1.2 Irrigation
      • 2.1.3 Subscriber
      • 2.1.4 Floor
      • 2.1.5 Time of planting or transplanting
      • 2.1.6 Multiplication
        • Seeds
        • Cuttings
        • Mugron
      • 2.1.7 Pruning
      • 2.1.8 Diseases
      • 2.1.9 Pests
      • 2.1.10 Rusticity

What and how is currant?

Ribes rubrum is the scientific name of the gooseberry

The gooseberry is, as we said, the fruit of the Ribes rubrum species , but that surname ” rubrum ” can cause some confusion, since it means red in Latin and the reality is that there are also white currants (the Alba variety). In any case, you should know that it is a fruit the size of a cherry that, certainly, is very reminiscent of it: it is a fleshy berry with a shiny skin that measures between 8 and 12mm in diameter and that ripens in autumn. Its flavor is acid, but pleasant to the palate.

In addition to “currant”, it is known by other names such as agracejo, artimora, cambronera colorada de Jarava, cascalleja, celombro, corinto, gandaru, white currant, gándaro, pinsús, ribes, rimas, rivas, rosella, Fran grape, grape from India, zarangüenganal and zarangüengano.

For what do you use it?


It is mainly used to make jams , but also to make soups and summer desserts and in various pie fillings. Its nutritional composition is as follows:Currant nutritional table

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Currant has febrifuge, laxative, astringent, blood purifying, diuretic and digestive properties . In addition, it facilitates menstruation and increases appetite.

How is the gooseberry?

Learn to grow currant with us

Now that we have seen everything related to the gooseberry, let’s move on to the gooseberry, the “mother” plant of this delicious fruit. The currant bush is a deciduous shrub that measures between 1 and 1.5 meters in height , native to Western Europe. Its leaves have 5 lobes and are spirally distributed on the branches. The flowers are grouped in cluster-shaped inflorescences of 4 to 8cm and are yellowish-green.



It is a plant that  has to be placed in an exposure protected from direct sunlight.


It has to be frequent . During the warm months, 4-5 weekly waterings will be necessary, and the rest of the year every 3-4 days.


From the beginning of spring to the end of summer/beginning of autumn, it is highly recommended to fertilize it with  organic fertilizers , such as  guano  or  manure . Likewise,  we can add the egg and banana peels, the tea grounds ,…

Of course, if we are going to have it in a pot, we must use liquid fertilizers to avoid hindering the  drainage  of water.

I usually

It has to be acidic, with a pH between 4 and 6.

Planting or transplanting time

In addition to red currants there are also white currants

During the spring , when the risk of frost has passed.



Currant seeds are sown in autumn , when the fruit has finished ripening, in a pot with peat or mulch mixed with 30% perlite. It is important to cover them with a thin layer of substrate, and not to put too many in the same seedbed, otherwise when transplanting them it is likely that some will be lost.

We keep the pot moist -but not flooded- and in spring the first seeds will germinate.


To multiply it by cuttings, you have to cut a branch of about 35-40cm in spring, impregnate the base with homemade rooting agents and plant it in a pot with vermiculite. We put it in an area protected from the sun, and in a maximum period of two months it will emit roots.


The moor is a natural clone of the plant that arises when a branch grows (or is placed) above ground level and takes root. It is the fastest and most efficient way to have a new currant specimen, since you only have to cut behind where we put the anchor and plant it in a pot or in another part of the garden after 2-3 months.


It is important to cut dry, diseased or weak branches.


  • Oidium : it is a fungus that manifests itself by covering the leaves with a whitish or grayish powder. It is combated with fungicides.
  • Roya : is a fungus that manifests itself by the appearance of small circular orange or yellowish spots. It is also combated with fungicide.


Aphids can affect gooseberries

It can be attacked by aphids , which are very small insects of about 0.5cm in color brown, green or yellow. They feed on the cells of the leaves and those of the flower buds that have not yet opened. Fortunately, they can be controlled with yellow sticky traps that we will find for sale in nurseries.


It is a plant suitable for temperate climates, with mild summers and cold winters with frost. Its ideal temperature range is between 25 and -15ºC .

Gooseberry: characteristics, cultivation and uses

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