Ribes flower early in the spring – just after forsythia.
Ribes are a sturdy shrub with straight stems that branch only at right angles to provide long, well-spaced flowers for six weeks or so. If you have planted your Ribe out of proportion and it has grown over other plants, then prune into shape regularly so it doesn’t overgrow its location again.
When to Prune Flowering Currants
Ribes (or flowering currants), flower early in spring on flower buds that are grown in the previous growing season and needs a full season to grow. To ensure flowering next year, Ribes should be pruned at March or April latest and down to ground level for best results.
The sprawling Ribes bushes should be pruned immediately after they have finished flowering. This will avoid the loss of flower buds for next year, which is necessary if you want to see a beautiful show of white and pink blossoms in your garden again in summer.
How to Prune Ribes
The Ribes shrub can be pruned in one of two ways:
- A general trim back to shape – but bear in mind that growth will be quite rapid after the first season.
- A light pruning might not suffice, however; some species may need more drastic measures like a hard cut right at ground level each year (right after flowering). This method is great because it’ll contain your plant without making you wait for yearly maintenance.
Remember that cutting off all previous years’ flowered branches puts undue strain on the remaining stems and leaves. To prevent this from happening, just make sure there are enough new shoots coming up from below before you do any major cuts – keep about 30 cm’s worth above ground level.
Pruning shrubs back every year will keep them manageable and more importantly, the plant should grow long upright cane type branches over time. These canes are covered in large flower clusters during spring and are a beautiful sight.