Red, White and Pink currants all produce their fruit on old wood, growth that was made in previous years. Summer is a good time to start your pruning. Prune this seasons new growth, by cutting the main shoots back by two- thirds. Then in early spring before growth starts, cut these main shoots back again to leave 2-4 buds, prune to an outward or upward facing bud. Side shoots can be pruned to leave 2 buds. As these currants are quite vigorous growers, this hard pruning keeps the bushes compact, and encourages fruiting spurs to develop. In late winter or early spring, before growth starts, you can also remove any diseased, dead or damaged branches or any that are growing into the centre of the bush. The aim is to produce an open goblet or bowl shaped bush, allowing a good circulation of air to flow through the bush, keeping it healthy and the fruit easy to harvest. Feed in late winter or early spring with a good general fertiliser. Never allow the plants to dry out in hot weather. They can be grown in pots as well as the open ground.
Blackcurrants produce their fruit mainly on new wood, so are treated differently from the other currants. It’s best to prune them in winter when they are dormant. If pruning is required to thin out the bush, only remove branches that have already carried fruit. You can remove any weak or spindly growth, leaving upto 10 healthy branches to carry fruit. In later years, about a third of the oldest branches can be removed, pruning them back to the base of the bush. This will encourage new growth. This harder pruning can be carried out every 2-3 years. Keep watered in dry weather and feed in late winter with a good balanced fertiliser. They can be grown in pots, but often get rather large.
Watch out for pests in summer, aphids are often the cause of leaf curl. Use clean sharp secateurs and disinfect between each bush. Long handled pruners can be useful when pruning blackcurrants.