Rich soil with compost dug in. pH of 6 to 6.5 preferred.
Black currants grow best in locations that receive morning sun and afternoon shade, or dappled shade part of the day.
Many cultivars are hardy to -40F (-40C). These cold-natured plants seldom produce well in warmer climates where temperature often top 90F (32C).
Fertilize in late fall by spreading a 1-inch (2.5 cm) layer of composted manure over the root zones of the plants. Slow-growing plants can be fed again in early summer.
Single Plants: 2′ 11″ (90cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 2′ 11″ (90cm) with 2′ 11″ (90cm) row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Plant in spring, just as the plants are emerging from dormancy. Set plants slightly deeper than they grew in their nursery pots. Mulch after planting to keep the soil cool and moist.
Older varieties of black currants can host a disease called white pine blister rust that is devastating to white pine trees in North America. Plant only resistant varieties including ‘Consort’, ‘Coronet’, ‘Crusader’ or ‘Titania’. In winter, prune out old branches close to the ground. Mature black currants bear best on one and two-year-old branches.
Harvest fruit when they are dark and ripe, and chill immediately. Black currants freeze very well.