The fruits of the alpine currant do not taste particularly good, but the robust shrubs are suitable as hedge plants for the garden. Because with their dense growth they offer optimal privacy.


  • botanical name: Ribes alpinum
  • Plant genus: Currants (Ribes)
  • Synonyms: mountain currant
  • Growth: densely branched shrub
  • Growth height: up to 250 centimeters
  • Growth width: 100 to 200 centimeters
  • Growth rate: 20 to 30 centimeters per year
  • Flowering time: April to May
  • Foliage: deciduous
  • Thorns/Prickles: none

Alpenjohannisbeeren as Hecke

Alpine currants come in different varieties. Dwarf varieties for low plantings are “Compactum” and “Pumilium”. In the trade, however, the “Schmidt” variety in particular is offered. This is suitable as a solitary plant, for group plantings and as a hedge. The plants sprout in early spring, which is why a currant hedge offers a long privacy screen. Since plants and berries are non-toxic, the shrubs are very suitable for households with children. In addition , the flowers attract bees and bumblebees and the fruits attract birds .

location & soil

The alpine currant makes no special demands on the location. Since it thrives in almost all locations, it is suitable as a hedge for many gardens. Since Ribes alpinum does well in both shady and sunny locations, the shrub is also the ideal privacy screen for locations in which the hedge is in both sun and shade.
The mountain currant is urban climate-proof. Car exhaust and neighboring industrial plants do not harm the shrubs. Since the plants are very robust, a currant hedge can also be planted in higher and/or rough areas.

As with the location, alpine currants do not make any special demands on the soil. The plants do well in normal garden soil, but will grow in soil with the following characteristics:

  • sandy,
  • lehmig,
  • stony,
  • sauer,
  • kalkhaltig,
  • dry or
  • wet

particularly good. Which soil is optimal for the mountain currant is evaluated differently because of its undemanding nature. For example, the following soil properties are mentioned as ideal conditions for the plants:

  • alkaline to neutral pH
  • kalkliebend
  • moderately nutritious
  • rich in humus

Although it is often read that alpine currants also tolerate road salt in winter, this plant characteristic does not apply to all varieties. Wild forms do not tolerate salt, while the garden variety “Schmidt” has no problems with road salt.


Alpine currants are usually available in containers. This can be planted all year round. Only periods with frost, especially with ground frost, are not suitable for planting the bushes. However, the ideal planting time is from March to May. On the other hand, you should plant bare-rooted shrubs in October/November, as long as the ground is not yet frozen. So that the currant hedge is nice and dense, you should plant three to four plants per meter. For a loose hedge, a planting distance of between 70 and 100 centimeters is recommended. When inserting yourself, there is not much to consider:

  • loosen soil
  • get rid of weeds
  • Dig planting holes
  • Width: sufficient space for roots or balls
  • Depth: Roots or balls close to the soil surface
  • Use alpine currants
  • Fill in the planting hole
  • Press the soil lightly
  • water moderately


In terms of care, the mountain currant is undemanding. Except for a pruning, so that the hedge stays in shape, it does not do any further work for the hobby gardener.

watering and fertilizing

Since the alpine currant also tolerates dry locations, additional watering is not necessary, even during dry periods. The rule is that you can water the plants naturally in very dry times.

An alpine currant hedge does not need to be fertilized. However, the plants are happy about a long-term fertilization in the spring.

To cut

An alpine currant hedge is very easy to cut. Regular pruning, which keeps the currant hedge in check, is extremely well tolerated by the plants. The ideal time for pruning is after flowering. However, so that the hedge does not look so torn, you should cut it by hand. In addition, the pretty leaf shape is preserved.

Note: If you want to harvest the fruits, you should make sure that as many faded inflorescences as possible are preserved when cutting.


The alpine currant hedge does not need winter and/or frost protection. The shrubs tolerate temperatures down to minus 40.1 degrees Celsius. This corresponds to hardiness zone (WHZ) 3.


Alpine currants are easy to propagate with cuttings. To do this, woody sticks are taken from the mother plant in late summer. However, you can also use shoots that occur when thinning out. The length of each cutting should be about 20 centimeters. Once you have the cuttings, put them in boxes with sand or soil. Unlike adult plants, you should water the cuttings moderately. In March, if the weather permits, the young plants can move to their final location. Once vigorous enough, they are cared for like adult shrubs.

harvest time

The berries of the alpine currant are spherical and scarlet. They are suitable for consumption, but taste bland compared to other currant varieties. If it is the “Schmidt” variety, you have to do without the berries, as this variety only has male flowers and therefore does not develop any fruit set.

diseases and pests

In general, diseases and pests in the shrubs are unknown. However, it is occasionally pointed out that the leaves of Ribes alpinum can be attacked by fungi in some late summers. Since these cause the leaves to die off, the hedge can look unsightly for a few weeks.

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