We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to Grow Black Currants From Seeds

Updated November 21, 2016

Black currants -- once nearly eradicated in the U.S. out of fear they harboured a threat to the lumber industry -- are making a comeback. Popular in Europe and Asia, the small black berries are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C. The sharp taste usually requires sugar and the berries are prized for jams, jellies, baked goods and even beer. Many nurseries now carry black currant starts, which are hardy from Zones 3 to 8. However, with some patience, the bushes can be started from the tiny seeds found in the berries.

Loading ...
  1. Pull black currant berries from the bush when they are fully ripened -- usually July and August -- at peak seed maturation.

  2. Place several currant berries in a piece of muslin. Turn on the kitchen sink, and place the muslin cloth under cold running water for several minutes. Gently squeeze the currant berries inside the cloth, allowing the pulp to separate from the seeds, as the water runs over the bag.

  3. Remove the cloth bag from the water and wring the excess water out of the material. Open the muslin; the seeds should be separated from the pulp and easy to see. Place the opened cloth on a cloth or paper towel and allow the seeds to air dry.

  4. Place peat or potting soil in a polyurethane (plastic) bag. Add water until the "soil" is moist to the touch, but not soaking wet. Mix the dried currant seeds into the medium, and seal the bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator -- such as the fruit or vegetable drawer -- for approximately three months to simulate winter conditions.

  5. Sow the seeds as soon a possible after the stratification period to begin seedlings. Mix the stratification medium in with potting soil -- preferably in a large, somewhat shallow container. Water the soil and keep it moist, but not saturated. Place the container in a cold frame.

  6. Place seedlings in individual peat pots with potting soil once they are large enough to transplant. Continue to keep the soil moist.

  7. Check the pH level in the soil before transplanting the seedlings in the spring. Currants prefer a level of 6.5 to 7. Mix compost or peat into the soil to prepare it for the new currant seedlings.

  8. Transplant larger seedlings into the ground in spring, after the threat of frost has passed. If planting multiple bushes, place them 4 to 5 feet apart in a row. If making multiple rows, place at least 6 feet between rows. Mulch around the base of the plant to preserve moisture and protect the young roots.

  9. Tip

    Black currants propagate easily through cuttings -- taking a section of a healthy currant bush, cutting a stem and rooting a new plant from that section. Black currants propagate naturally from seeds in the wild; new plants emerge in the spring.


    Black currants will not do well in acidic soil.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh black currant berries
  • Piece of muslin
  • Kitchen faucet
  • Cloth or paper towel
  • Peat or potting soil
  • Polyurethane bag
  • Water
  • Refrigerator
  • Potting soil
  • Long, shallow container
  • Cold frame
  • Peat pots
  • Compost
  • Mulch

About the Author

Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."

Loading ...