How to Propagate Red Flowering Currant

Red Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)

Red Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)

Red Flowering Currants are easy shrubs to propagate. You can quickly produce numerous shrubs from softwood cuttings in early summer. Red Flowering Currants are early spring bloomers and the dangling flowers attract hummingbirds. Visit my blog, How to Make a Hummingbird Garden, for other plants that will bring hummingbirds to your garden.

Follow these simple instructions to propagate your own Red Flowering Currant bushes:

  1. Start these tasks early in the morning on a cool day in June or July. Early morning ensures shrub stems are full of moisture. The branch shoots on the parent plant should be in the softwood stage – not green but not woody. They should bend and snap. (If they are too green, they will bend but not break. If they are too woody, they will snap without bending.)
  2. Have pruning scissors, a sharp knife, and a small shovel handy.
  3. Dig a small hole in good soil where you want your new shrub to grow; alternatively, have a pot ready for planting the cutting in. Moisten the soil.
  4. Take a 20cm cutting from the parent Red Flowering Currant shrub.
  5. Remove the foliage from the lowest half of the cutting.
  6. Using a knife, carefully slice the bottom of the cutting on a diagonal, slicing away a small segment of bark.
  7. Dip the bottom of the cutting in hormone rooting powder. This step is not required!
  8. Plant the cutting in moist rich soil and ensure it does not dry out. (Alternatively, you could place the cutting in a soil-filled pot and then set it inside a plastic bag. Move this to a sun-dappled area of your yard. Ensure it does not dry out. Remove when roots have started to grow.)
  9. You should have a small, flowering shrub by next spring!

These instructions work equally well for Ribes Sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ and the following deciduous shrubs:

Butterfly Bush
Deciduous Azalea
Japanese Maple
Mock Orange
Rugosa Rose
Witch Hazel
Ribes Sanguineum 'White Icicle'

Ribes Sanguineum ‘White Icicle’


2 thoughts on “How to Propagate Red Flowering Currant

  1. Hi. Thanks for the useful info on propagating these. I’ve been seeing these blooming everywhere now (I’m in Surrey) so I’ve gotten some small cuttings to start in a pot. But now I’m going to go find some larger pieces and just jam them into the dirt and see what happens. I’m so glad it’s spring!

    • Good luck with the cuttings, Danna! I hope you get lots of hummingbirds visiting your new shrubs.

      I’m also glad it is spring…this is my favorite season.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s