The resilient and easy to care for currants are grown in large numbers in the local gardens. Because the fruits are tasty and can be processed in a variety of ways. There are also various ornamental currants. But there are diseases that more or less troubles the plants and the causes of which you should therefore get to the bottom. You will learn everything about diseases in currants, their prevention and measures to combat them in the following article.

American currant or gooseberry powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is widespread in the local latitudes. The infestation by the fungus must always be taken seriously. Currants are usually attacked by American powdery mildew, which, despite its name, has already spread in gardens in this country. Chemical agents should never be used on crops, as the fruits are then no longer suitable for consumption. If the following symptoms of powdery mildew are recognized on currants, other suitable measures can be taken to counter this:

  • gray-white coating on leaves
  • cut off all infected leaves
  • shoots can also be affected
  • remove these as well
  • Dispose of well closed in the residual waste

To prevent American powdery mildew, it helps to regularly spray the bushes with horsetail broth or nettle stock. These home remedies are easy to make yourself.

Leaf fall disease

Leaf fall disease, which occurs after a wet spring, only affects white and red currants. This is a fungal disease that cannot be treated with fungicides, as these must not be used in the kitchen garden. In leaf fall disease, brown spots appear on the leaves first, later the leaves curl up completely and fall off. The following measures should be initiated against this:

  • Generously remove infected shoots
  • even if there are flowers on it
  • remove all leaves from the ground
  • Harvest will be less that year
  • when planting bushes not too close together
  • thin out thoroughly when cutting
  • better air circulation between shoots and leaves
  • Dry off better in wet periods
  • makes a fungal attack more difficult
Note: Fungal spores often overwinter on the old foliage around the bushes. Therefore, as a preventive measure, the fallen leaves around the currants should always be removed in autumn. After the soil around the bushes is clean, it can be mulched again with fresh leaves or chopped bark.

Nettle leaves

The causes of nettle peeling are due to a virus that is transmitted by a pest, the red currant mosquito. The mosquitoes infected with the virus bite the currants and thus transmit the disease. If the shoots and leaves of the plant change color and produce fewer flowers than in previous years, then it has been attacked by the currant fly. If symptoms are detected, the following measures should be taken:

  • cut off all infected parts generously
  • when pruning, not many shoots should remain
  • Spray with tansy tea for prevention
  • repeat for several days in a row
Tip: If the diseased shoots have all been removed and the mosquito repelled by spraying tansy tea, the shrub should sprout again healthily in the following year.


Especially the old currants, which have older branches, are affected by the lichens. Because these structures, which combine to form a lichen from a combination of blue-green algae and fungus, primarily attack the gnarled and old branches of the shrub. Therefore, it is important to prevent with the right cut. For this purpose, old shoots are regularly cut out of the bushes close to the ground. Lichen does not have a direct negative impact on the shrub, but the following can happen and should therefore be remedied promptly:

  • fewer or no flowers are formed
  • There is no harvest
  • remove old branches with lichen
  • otherwise there will be constant crop failure
  • Lichen is used by pests to overwinter
  • curb pest infestation by removing
Note: Lichen on a currant bush is always a sign that the bush has not received enough care in previous years, especially with regard to a cut. The plant had no opportunity to renew itself in previous years.


If the currant suddenly gets curling leaves and reddish bumps on the leaves that look like blisters, then the shrub has in all probability been attacked by aphids. The symptoms are usually noticeable in the period from spring to early summer. However, harvest damage to the currants can be ruled out with this disease. The following steps can be taken against the aphids:

  • lay eggs in late summer
  • in the spring the lice hatch
  • get wings in early summer
  • fly on other plants
  • return for oviposition
  • take action against the pests with rapeseed oil
  • Distribute this generously in autumn
  • Spray all leaves and shoots
  • Better to do without insecticides

Since berries are to be expected in the case of curl disease and these will hardly affect the harvest, it would not make sense to treat the bushes with insecticides. Because these are poisonous substances that can then get into the human body through consumption of the berries.

Red pustular disease

Red pustular disease occurs in early summer. It can be recognized by the fact that the leaves wilt and fall off prematurely, and the shoots also show red pustules on the bark. This is also a fungal attack. So that this cannot spread any further, all infected shoots must be removed, even if this is at the expense of the harvest. This is the only way for the plant to recover until the next year. For prevention, it is helpful to regularly spray the bushes and the soil at the site with nettle stock in spring and summer.

Tip: Well-cared for currants that you cultivate in the right location and that are regularly pruned are far less susceptible to diseases of all kinds than those shrubs that are already weakened due to lack of care. Therefore, proper and regular care is the best prevention against disease.

Pillar grate

If there are five-needle pines near your own garden, column rust can also appear on the currant bushes. Because this is a fungal attack in which the fungus overwinters on the pines in the area and from there can spread to the other plants in the vicinity. If the following symptoms are recognized in currants, suitable control measures should be taken immediately:

  • orange to rust colored pustules on leaves
  • mostly in autumn
  • remove all affected leaves
  • Dispose of in the residual waste
  • in this way spore transmission can be prevented

However, if there are pines within a few hundred meters, it is very likely that they will be infested again every year. As a preventive measure, all the pines in the neighborhood could be felled here, which of course usually cannot be done.


The shoot death is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, which is why this disease is also known as Botrytis bark blight. Bushes that have just been cut are particularly at risk because the fungus penetrates through the wounds. It overwinters on leaves, shoots and diseased fruits. The outbreak of the fungus is encouraged, especially when it is very wet and cold. The death of instincts can be recognized and combated as follows:

  • first symptoms in spring
  • Shoots die right after they shoot
  • some do not drive out at all
  • Wilted shoots just before harvest
  • Leaves turn yellow, fruits fall off
  • Immediately remove the affected shoots, leaves and fruits
  • remove all leaves on the ground
  • do not add to the compost
  • Dispose of in the residual waste
  • Otherwise fungus will spread all over the garden

To prevent this, you should cut back the shrub in autumn and, above all, remove any fruits that have not been harvested so that the fungus does not have a chance to overwinter.

Note: Especially on fallen leaves, even if they do not show any symptoms of disease, the fungus can thrive and then penetrate the plant between October and April. Therefore, the soil around the plants should always be kept clean.

Even the easy-care currants can be attacked by various diseases, against which prevention is not always possible. It should be noted that well-cared for shrubs are more resilient than those that are neglected in care. If you recognize the causes of one or the other disease, then you can take the appropriate measures to combat it. The bushes bear plenty of berries again in the following year. As a rule, there is no risk of the plant dying off due to a disease if action is taken promptly.

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