Decorative currant blood red
Currants, which have long secured the status of a “mandatory” berry shrub, are largely underestimated. They are perceived mainly as a productive plant. But among the many species of hardy shrubs, in addition to peppercorns and black currants, there are many plants that belong, first of all, to decorative cultures. And the first beauty among decorative currants is rightfully recognized as an imposing blood red currant.
This is an unusually large plant for the genus, the flowering of which can eclipse even rhododendrons: albeit not in detail, but in splendor and massiveness. The cultivation of this crop in regions with severe winters is quite simple, since the only complex component of agricultural technology is its preparation for wintering.
The dazzling flowering of a custom shrub
One look at the amazing blood-red currant will make any gardener forget about boring, boring and such ordinary berry bushes. Like decorative viburnum, decorative types of currants also radically turn around the idea of this species as a whole. The beauty, freshness, originality inherent in decorative currants change the usual notions of shrubs and make us take a fresh look at plants typical of our climate.
Blood red currant (Ribes sanguineum) - not just the largest of the known currants, but also one of the most "multi-talented" garden shrubs. This beauty is good all year long - from massive, lush flowering to the original fruits and the beauty of the winter graphic crown. The period of active vegetation of this beauty lasts from the beginning of April until the arrival of the first frosts. There are no negative features in it - only amazing details that can be appreciated both from far and near.
Blood red currants reach a height of 2 to 3 meters, which allows it to be used as a full-fledged decorative shrub, even for hedges. In nature, this North American species can grow up to 4 m, in regions with severe winters in culture it is often limited to a meter high. The diameter of the crown is almost equal to the height. Young shoots and leaves are extremely fragrant. The shoots are strong, straight, with a beautiful reddish bark. The foliage is identical in form to the other currants and is easily recognizable: medium-large (from 2 to 8 cm), quite bright, it remains attractive until late autumn.
The edge is more “felt” on the back of the sheet plates. Leaves sit on glandular cuttings, three- or five-lobed. The only thing that distinguishes the blood-red look from the rest of the currants is the variability of colors. In this beauty, they are not limited to the standard dark green, but vary in various forms and varieties from bright green to yellow, various shades of forest and grass color.
But not foliage is so attractive in this shrub. The status of a decorative leader among relatives of blood-red currants ensured its flowering. Red-purple, brightest flowers are collected in dense and very beautiful brushes of inflorescences, which can both wilt and stand against twigs. Flowers with a diameter of 0.5 to 1 cm in the palette can be very different - from delicate pink to the most saturated bloody. The color of the flower is not uniform, in the center it fades to white, sometimes with yellow spots. In one brush inflorescences collected from two dozen flowers.
Bloody red currant blooms from the third year. Traditionally, this beauty pleases with abundant flowering in May, while the flowering duration always exceeds three weeks and allows you to freely admire the bright pink and red lace.
The fruits of the plant, bright and original, are also noteworthy. They are somewhat unusual, inky black, with a visible bluish tinge that gives them a light blue. In length, the berries reach only 1 cm, but on the branches they seem very large. The bush begins to bear fruit quite late, from the fifth year. Currant fruits are tied in August. They are edible, but the taste is so neutral and uninteresting that they are usually not consumed.
Forms and varieties of blood red currants
In this type of currant, it is better known not the base plant, but numerous decorative forms with improved characteristics. In this case, the main attention in the difference between the individual subspecies of blood-red currant is always given to flowering.
The best forms of blood red currant include:
- blood red currant dark red (atrorubens) with very dark and catchy, red, with a rich ruby tone flowers and lower, only about 1-1.5 m bush, bearing fruit not every year;
- blood red currant Brondebank (Brocklebankii) - yellow-colored form with very beautiful "golden" leaves;
- form bright (Splendens) - coarse-colored bright red, rather dark beauty;
- pink color form (carneum) - a pale and tender currant with a larger flower size, meter high and slow development;
- form whitish (albescens), showing off with whitish, atypically light flowers;
- blood red currant flore-plena - a favorite of terry currants with dense red flowers;
- form variegate with spotty leaves decorated with cream spots.
The most popular varieties of beauties include:
- ‘King Edward VII’ - one of the best garden shrubs with a rich wine, dark color of flowers in very thick and long tassels (crown airy, loose);
- hardy and persistent beauty of the ‘Pulborough Scarlet’ variety with pink-red flowers, a sparkling white center and bluish-emerald leaves;
- ‘White Icicle’ - a snow-white variety, as if wrapped in a snow cloud, with very massive inflorescence tassels;
- large, over 2 meters creamy white variety ‘Tydeman’s White’ with very bright greens;
- ‘Strybing Pink’ is one of the most beautiful pink-colored shrubs, as if embarrassingly pink, with watercolor transitions of colors on the brush of inflorescences and a delicate romantic look.
In addition to the actual forms of blood-red currant, it is worth paying attention to hybrids:
- golden standardized specimens grafted onto currants;
- variegated bushes grafted onto fragrant currants, issuing both golden and red brushes;
- Gordon currant (Ribes gordonianum) - a completely winter-hardy, not needing shelter charming decorative currant with long tassels of yellow-red flowers.
The use of blood red currants in garden design
Blood-red currant in decorative gardening is used in the role of:
- solo accent - decorating lawns and clearings with groundcover;
- high emphasis on spring flower gardens surrounded by seasonal plants;
- in landscape groups with other shrubs and tree;
- the tallest plant in classic flowerbeds;
- front garden decorations;
- one of the most unusual plants for hedges.
The best partners for blood red currants: forsythia, hazel, witch hazel, decorative viburnum, iragha Lamarck, dicenter, tulips, daffodils, muscari, forget-me-nots and other spring-flowering perennials and bulbs.
The conditions required for decorative currants
In their requirements for growing conditions, blood-red currants are similar to other members of the genus. To observe not only fruiting, but also massive flowering, you need to highlight this currant the most brightly lit area. Blood-red currant is not afraid of shading, it is put up with any diffused lighting. But the most beautiful blooms in good light.
The soil for this currant should be of high quality - moist, fertile, loose. Feels better on neutral or slightly acidic soils. Heavy clay soils and moist soils should be avoided. Before planting, it is recommended to improve the soil in advance by introducing a portion of full mineral fertilizers, compost or other organic matter into it.
Planting blood red currants
Bloody red currants can be planted both in early spring and early autumn, but in regions with severe winters, spring planting is preferable. Planting holes dig large, twice or three times the rhizome of the plant. Saplings are set in the same way as for fruit currants - with a depth of 5-10 cm. After planting, the branches are not cut and several heavy irrigation is carried out to accelerate adaptation. Immediately after planting, it is advisable to mulch.
Caring for Blood Red Currants
It is not for nothing that this type of currant is considered one of the simplest ornamental shrubs in growing. The beauty in the garden actually does not need any care other than maintaining soil moisture. She gratefully responds to watering in a drought, especially during the flowering period, but does not require systemic procedures. However, if you can provide them, then the moisture-loving currant will surprise you with its growth rate and the beauty of the crown.
Fertilizers for currants in the first few years do not make. Starting from the third year (or with signs of soil depletion, deterioration of flowering), you can enter a single dressing for the season in the care program: in the early spring for a shrub it is better to add a portion of full mineral fertilizers or organic matter. In order to save yourself from the need for weeding and loosening, it is enough to maintain the mulching layer created during planting. If mulching is not used, blood-red currants will need 1-2 weeding with loosening per year.
The most time-consuming component of care is thinning, regulating pruning. It is carried out 1 time in 3 years, removing all weak and too thickening shoots inside the bush, as well as cutting the oldest branches for rejuvenation (5-6-year-olds) to a stump. During such pruning, young shoots can be shortened by 1/3, which will stimulate active growth and branching. The optimal pruning time is late March or early April.
Wintering of blood red currants
The only significant drawback of blood-red currants is considered to be insufficiently high winter hardiness. In the middle zone and to the north, it needs protection for the winter. Without shelter, the plant freezes above the level of snow cover. Some gardeners note that flower buds can freeze in a plant, but here you have to rely on luck with the weather.
After the currant leaves the leaves, you need to clean the top layer of soil and spud the base of the bushes. Currant shoots are bent to the ground, falling asleep on top of bushes with dry leaves. In snowy winters, it is enough to redistribute the snow and wrap the currant with a snow cover.In snowless years, it is better to protect the bushes with either spruce branches, or increase the level of the leaf layer, or apply any air-dry method (even a simple wrapping with non-woven material is suitable).
Pest and disease control of blood red currants
Blood red currant is a persistent and hardy plant, which, with the right selection of growing conditions, does not get sick. Only in a neglected state can signs of fungal infections or aphids appear on it, but this also requires the proximity to a heavily infected plant.
Blood redcurrant propagation methods
The simplest and most productive way of propagating blood red currants is considered to be cuttings. Branches cut in the summer take root quickly and easily, with almost 90% efficiency. They are rooted in normal conditions - under a cap in a moist nutrient substrate, in heat. When grafting in autumn with semi-lignified shoots, you can try to root the cuttings directly in the soil. In both cases, it is better to use cuttings about 25 cm long.
Great for this type of currant and breeding method layering. Shoots fixed in the soil will take root under the condition of additional watering to maintain moisture. The bushes obtained in this way grow rapidly after separation and planting in a new place.
You can propagate this type of currant and seed. Bushes will begin to bloom from the third year. About a third of all seeds germinate, and before sowing, they need to be stratified for 2 to 3 months. Winter winter redcurrant is suitable for sowing in boxes and pots or in the soil, but in the latter case, young plants will need to be given more thorough care.