My currents are dropping off the bush before ripening. At first I thought...

Asked June 14, 2015, 12:58 PM EDT

My currents are dropping off the bush before ripening. At first I thought chipmunks were eating them but now I think not as they are on the ground. I found one green worm on them but I can't understand why I get no ripe fruit. This has happened three years in a row. Can u help?

Washington County Wisconsin fruits and berries currents and gooseberries

1 Response

Currants are mostly self-fertile, but some varieties benefit from having another variety growing nearby to produce consistently. If the currants you have are red currants, get another red variety, if they are black, get another black variety. They also might be getting gray mold, which will cause premature dropping of the berries. That can be controlled by sprying the plants just after bloom with a fungicide labeled for control of gray mold, also known as Botrytis, which is very common and affects many other plants and fruits including strawberries. Positive identification might be possible if you take some of the fallen berries to your local extension office. If the berries are being chewed off rather than simply falling from the stem, look closely for the little green worms which blend in with the leaf color. The extension office will be able to tell if the problem is an insect, such as the gooseberry fruit worm, or the currant fruit fly. Spraying with Bacillus thurigiensis will control all three pests.