Birds love redcurrants, so cover the plants with netting as the fruit starts to colour.
Redcurrants flower quite early and may suffer frost damage. Protect the plant with horticultural fleece if a frost has been forecast.
The redcurrant blister aphid is a small yellow aphid which releases a chemical causing the leaves to blister and turn red. The aphid does not seem to affect the plants growth or cropping ability and so no treatment is necessary. If you do want to treat, you can spray with horticultural soap or a mild solution of washing up detergent.
Redcurrants are particularly prone to fungal infections which are encouraged by warm wet conditions. Fungal leaf spot shows as brown spots on the foliage, whilst coral spot appears as orange-pink dots on dead stems. Remove all affected growth in both cases. Remove any branches growing up through the centre of the bush to encourage an open-centre and better ventilation. Remove fallen leaves from the ground at the end of the season to reduce the number of overwintering spores.
The gooseberry sawfly also affects redcurrants. Pale green caterpillar-like larvae rapidly eat away at leaves, causing rapid defoliation. Damage normally starts in mid spring but may continue through the summer. For light infestations, pick the larvae off by hand, otherwise spray the affected plants with pyrethrum (a natural insecticide).
Also, take a look at our page 10 Ways to Avoid Plant Pests, Diseases and Problems for some general advice.
1. Growing Redcurrants – QUICKSTART GUIDE
2. Planting Redcurrants – Help on planting redcurrant bushes
3. Redcurrant Plant Care – How to maintain healthy and productive redcurrant bushes
4. Picking and Freezing Redcurrants – How to pick, store and freeze your redcurrants
5. Redcurrant Tips – Some tips to help you get the most out of your redcurrants
6. Redcurrant Diseases, Pests and Problems – Help if things go wrong with your redcurrant bushes
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