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How to Propagate Currants: The Easy Guide | Enhanced Garden&Life

Updated: Jun 27, 2021

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Currants are a small, sweet fruit that is often used in baking. The plant currant produces can be propagated easily by taking cuttings and planting them in pots or directly into the ground. I will walk you through how to take cuttings from your currant bush, which should help you increase the number of currant bushes you have.


Using Soil to Propagate Currant Cuttings

The first step in propagating your currant bushes is to take cuttings. It's important that the cutting not be too big and contains at least two buds on each end of it. This should allow for enough roots to form, but not so many as to make the plant difficult or impossible to manage with limited space. Take a young branch, use a sharp blade to cut off the end with at least two buds, and then place it in moist soil. It is important that the cutting doesn't stay too wet or dry for extended periods of time as this can compromise its ability to root properly.


The next step after placing your currant plant in water is waiting about a month before you move it into the sunlight. The waiting period is because roots may still be forming underground even though they are out of sight. Once you've waited around thirty days, take your young bush and gently remove any leaves from the top half of its stem (this will help it receive more sun). Then carefully put each new plant outdoors without touching the delicate roots which have formed on the bottom half of the stem.


How to Propagate Currant Cuttings Using Sand

Sand can also be used as a propagation medium, and it does not require a rooting hormone. It is simply put into a container then cuttings are inserted into it, ready for watering. I didn't add drainage holes to these containers.


Keep the sand moist at all times to avoid drying out of the cutting's roots.

Propagation by cuttings is a good way to increase the availability of this plant. It also helps reduce genetic variation in future plants which may come as benefits for some growers.

As an alternative, one can use cloning techniques such as air layering or heel cutting and grafting to propagate currants from their roots rather than using cuttings. These methods are more difficult but offer stronger root systems that give faster establishment rates with less risk of disease issues when compared to propagation via stem cuttings. With these two options available, you should choose whichever method best suits your needs!


Propagating Currants Using Perlite

- Perlite is a wonderful soil amendment and it can be used to propagate currants.

- Fill up containers with perlite so that they are about three-quarters full


-I did not add drainage holes to these containers


- Place your cuttings into these containers until they are filled up completely (or just tightly packed)


- Place these pots outside


- After a month or so, you should see roots coming up out of the cuttings


- Allow them to continue growing in their new home for at least four months before transplanting into your garden and finally harvesting some fruit!



Currant Propagation

This photo is a currant that was propagated and placed into perlite. The one I have in the sand is not yet rooting. This one from the perlite is starting to root after three weeks. I'm holding it over the sand so it's easy to see the roots in the photo.




Both of these currants from the perlite container.

Currant Propagation

After Roots Have Grown Out

After the roots have grown, you can either pot up your currant plant or leave it in its original container. Either way, make sure to keep it moist by watering every few days. Make sure not to overwater because that encourages root rot instead of healthy growth!

The best time to do this is in the spring when you are trying to get your plants started. The container needs to be large enough for the root and stem (at least a gallon). It can also be done during the summer or fall if desired. Just make sure it is never too cold outside!

If left on its own, your plant will grow up into a bush with more fruit-bearing branches than a pot usually offers. If potted up - which involves removing any competing weeds that might have grown around it. You can also do this in the fall, by removing it from its container and lining a new one with potting soil.

The Key to Successful Propagation is Moisture!


Health Benefits of Currants

- Currants are a good source of vitamin C and manganese, both essential to metabolism.


- The anthocyanin in the berries is shown to have antioxidant properties, preventing cellular damage to protect against disease.


- One cup of currants has about 50 calories


- Currants do not need to be refrigerated! They can last for a long time if kept at room temperature.


Growing Currant Plants

Currants are a hardy bush that require little maintenance and can be grown in most climates. Currant plants will grow well with other shrubs or vines like blueberries, grapevines, roses, honeysuckle, blackberry bushes, and more.


- Plant the currant bush from rootstock in early spring before they leaf out for best results. Look for healthy-looking roots when planting them to increase their survival rate; if you plant them during fall months expect some possible dieback of leaves depending on how cold it gets where you live.


- Dig up enough space under your desired spot (about 12 inches) to place the root ball then backfill around it with soil gently tamping down as you go (this will help the plant get established and will make it easier to maintain as time goes on).


-Water well after planting and keep a close eye on the soil so that you can water when needed. Currants like moist, but not wet, conditions; if everything is dry then either add more mulch around or water deeply until they're near saturation.


- Your first harvest should be expected between four to six years from seedling depending upon climate zone and cultivation methods used. The bushes will produce berries on the previous season's growth.


How to Plant Currant Bushes

A Currant bush is a shrub that can be grown in USDA Zones -14. It has dark green leaves and produces clusters of tart berries when not harvested, which are black, red, or white depending upon the variety.


- Plant your currants bushes 12 to 18 inches apart from each other so they have room for their roots to grow without being crowded by neighboring plants.


- Dig holes that are deep enough to accommodate the entire root system but no deeper than three times as long as it is wide. Push back any soil you took out of the hole once finished planting.

- Mix one part compost, two parts peat moss and some sand into the soil mixture in order to provide more nutrients for your plant's roots.


- Fill each hole with the mixed soil so it is level. Add water at this point if needed to moisten the dirt but no more than you would normally use when watering plants outside of a pot or garden bed.


- Spread mulch around individual bushes preserving moisture levels within the ground beneath them which can help hold moisture through hot dry summer months where rainfall isn't sufficient enough to keep currants healthy on their own.


- Currant bushes are self-fruitful so you don't need to plant more than one of them in order for the plants to produce fruit.

How to Harvest Currants

- Harvest currants when they are ripe.


- For best flavor, pick on mornings with cool air and soft dew.


- Put harvested berries in paper bags or baskets covered by leaves then place in an open container until dry for storage purposes. If it is not possible to store them immediately after harvesting, spread out the fruit on screens so that air can circulate all around them; this speeds up drying and helps prevent mold from forming.


Where do Currants Grow

- Currants can be found in most parts of the world. They are especially prevalent in Greece, Europe, and North Africa. The climate is typically Mediterranean or sub-tropical with dry summers.

Currant trees grow best near to saltwater bodies such as estuaries or seasides where it gets plenty of light from the sun for much of the day because currants prefer a semi-arid environment that lacks humidity (which makes them more prone to disease).


- A popular place for growing currants is along coastal areas like Cornwall in England - but any area with rich soil will do if you add extra organic matter around their roots and keep an eye out for pests that appreciate these same conditions!


As you can see, propagation is a fun and fulfilling hobby that will provide your family with delicious fruit for years to come. We hope this has been helpful in answering some of the most common questions about propagating currants! Now get out there and begin growing those berries! Leave us a comment below if you have any other questions or suggestions. Thanks again for reading our blog post today- we appreciate it more than words could ever express!


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