Help! What's going on with my currants?!

HappyBallz(9A/B Valrico,Florida)April 11, 2012

I planted some red currants this February as an experiment, they all had very stout root systems and were fully dormant.

Once they woke up they grew about 6-10 inches and were fine. Now (~3 months since) they are starting to develop yellow leaves, that dry out and eventually drop . It only seem to be happening to the bottom leaves but seem to be progressing upwards. I looked online and couldn't find any diseases that would look close to this.

I also have 1 gooseberry that starting to wither and ideas why that is happening?

All pics attached.

Any help would be appreciated!

They looked like this couple of weeks ago:


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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

Have you had a lot of dry heat? Both gooseberries and currants prefer mostly shade and cool temps, except Crandall native Great Plains hollow black currant.
John S

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 12:12AM
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Both Currants and gooseberries prefer colder climates. I disagree with Jon. Currents prefer full sun unless you are gardening in warmer climate than they like. They are 10x sweeter if grown in full sun, almost like different berries. When people complain that their currants are not good for fresh eating, there is a good chance they grow it in semi shade or shade. However, if your summers are hot for currants(it is not clear from you profilein what zone you are) they would suffer in full sun and loose their leaves. Putting it in a shade could help, but, as I mentioned, quality of the fruits will be most likely dissapointing. They also like plenty od water. Not a dry hot climate berries.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Currants like sun, and like most plants that are new, one tends to over-water. Thats what you're yellow leaves tell me. I grow five varieties of currants and they can be picky at times or 'slow' growers; depends on the variety. Pull a little of the mulch away from the the main stems and sprinkle the mulch with slug bait. Slugs love them too. Hope this helps. Also Olga (trying to get an Alchemist rose for years, no luck!)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Do you want me to send you Alchemist cuttings?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 12:14PM
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I would love it Olga! My email is posted and I'll send you my address. How great is that? All of my roses are 'self' rooted, no grafts. Thanks so much! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 4:49PM
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HappyBallz(9A/B Valrico,Florida)

Thanks for replies... I am in Florida 9A-B and planted these as experimental trial.

Like you guys were saying I gathered it would be too hot for them in the open so I planted them strategically so only 6-10 AM sun and 4:30-6PM sun will be on them (very "soft" sun).

The gooseberry is exposed to the sun more, which probably explains its' withering. I do however have another one exposed to even more sun (Glendale I think) and it looks OK.
Either way I stacked up some mulch bags to provide it shade against the mid-day heat.

John - no it's been remotely mediocre for florida not too humid and not too dry lately. Temperature is in low to mid 80s during day and 55-65 at night.

Olga- Thanks, I already built up some barricades to block midday sun from that gooseberry.

MrsG47 - I haven't been really watering too much, and we had almost no rain. What schedule would you suggest? Once a week? I'll try to find some slug bait but so far I haven not seen any slugs near by.

It just seems strange that heat would be such a problem right now as it's barely even mid 80s ... when I was in Ukraine - Crimea it was +95F there and their currants/gooseberries did not seem to mind much and were superb tasting quality.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:50PM
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I have the "Backyard Berry Book" by Stella Otto, and she says gooseberries and currants thrive in zones 3 to 5. When temperatures exceed 86 degrees F, the plants can start to lose their leaves. "If you are growing them in the warmer reaches of their area, mulch them well and provide some shade to keep them cool. Gooseberries are somewhat more heat tolerant than currants.". She recommends that spring planted bushes be watered 2-3 times weekly, though the bushes do best if they're planted in the fall.
If you're in Florida, it may be quite difficult to grow these, but good luck!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:32PM
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Hi again, sorry. . . I didn't know which zone you live in. If you're in Fla. you will not have an easy time growing currants. They need winter, snow and a freeze. The time they really lose their leaves is in the fall. They do not like high temps. They grow in Austria, Germany, France, (not southern France),and Scotland. Many of our hybrids come from Scotland. Pretty rainy and chilly there. Gee, I wish I could give you better news. Mrs. g

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:57PM
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In East Europe currants and gooseberries are everywhere. Hardly any country house w/o several currant bushes. They are really "no care" plants there. Especially Russia and Ukraine have them in abandance. Some very tasty varieties too.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:10PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Currants and gooseberries thrive throughout the UK, not just Scotland. But an 80 degree day here would be an exception and would be deemed a heat wave if there were two in a row! BTW - I am in slug paradise and they've never bothered my red or black currants or my gooseberries.

I am wondering if your berries have Anthracnose. I can see black/brown rounded spots on some of the leaves, even the ones which are still green. This disease starts as spots, leads to yellowing leaf edges and finally leaf drop. Just as you describe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Anthracnose on gooseberry

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:27AM
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