Attempting to grow Gooseberries in zone 7b

yes. like others said by the 3rd year you should get fruit. if not its because like others said they dont like heat. here i get fruit the 2nd year. then a full harvest by the third year. they are extremely vigorous growers here. we had -40f this winter and even the bigger currants and gooseberries that were above the snowline got 0 dieback. once you go above z6 they really start to struggle. best thing you can do is mulch heavy and water often to keep the roots as cool as possible…

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This is based on reading, and my expreance with my first currents and gooseberries. But depending on genetics gooseberries and currents are going to produce heaviest on 3-year-old canes. The thing is you do not really count the first 2 years they’er in the ground establishing their eves.

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That’s consistent with what I’ve seen so far. Pixwell is extremely vigorous. My bush is currently 6’ high and about that wide. Glenndale is doing well, but it has a lot of catching up to do: it can reportedly reach heights of 8’! It set no berries in this its second year here. Both Pixwell and Glenndale have Ribes missouriense heritage, which is probably what makes them more heat/disease tolerant. R. missouriense genes probably also determine Pixwell’s tendency to set fruit in dangling strigs—the feature that (along with its moderate thorniness) makes it “pick well.”

Black Velvet, part R. divaricatum, is vigorous once it gets going. Mine’s at about 5’ right now. Reports are that it’s a shy bearer before attaining maturity. Mine bore only a few berries last year (it was planted in 2020), and is up to 2 or 3 handfuls this year. Hopefully full production next year. It seems more susceptible to leaf spot than some varieties here, but this doesn’t seem to do any serious damage to the plant.

My full sun planting does pretty well here. I think the key is 1.) deep planting and 2.) deep mulching. I achieve the former by planting at or slightly deeper than the nursery/pot line, then burying several more inches of stem by building up a berm around the plant. I regularly renew mulch—wood chips, straw, pine straw, whatever I happen to have on hand. We’ve already had a number of days this season in the upper 80s and a couple in the lower 90s; and the gooseberries have evinced no distress. I have a new gooseberry bed that receives afternoon shade—so I will compare the two plantings in terms of growth, production, etc.

EDIT: Here are a few pics.

This is part of my full sun planting. L-R: Black Velvet, Hinnomaki Red (stuck in the middle of giants), Pixwell:

Hinno. Red is small and has a tendency to sprawl, but it bears heavily and is the earliest to start ripening:

Red George is one I’d recommend trialing. Similar tolerance to leaf spot as Hinno. Red and similar sprawling habit—but a larger, more vigorous bush. Heavy producer of good-sized, quality gooseberies.

I put a couple of pink currants at the rear of my full sun bed last year. They’re doing well and set a few strigs of berries this season. Some are beginning to color.


One point to make note of…zone7b relates to minimum temp in winter.
It’s the heat that is a problem. People in British Columbia in zone 7 have no problem at all most years raising gooseberries. But in Dallas Texas?

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Or in southern TN 7a…

I tried jostaberry and red currants… they did not like it here at all. Even in morning sun only location… they could not hack it. Nasty foliage issues… die back… had to yank em.

I wonder if Poor man goosberry might hang in there here and produce some fruit.


I’m in 7a PA and currently am trying to grow Black Velvet, Glendale, Jewel, Hinomaki Yellow, Poorman, and Red Jacket. My oldest are going on two years and haven’t produced any fruit yet. This year they really seem to be growing alot though. Mine are all in partial shade to heavy shade. I’ll have to keep you guys posted if they fruit.


that sounds a lot like what I am seeing

Jerry on here is in 9a cali. and has Crandall clove currant growing and producing consistently but its also alot drier there also.

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That’s why I grew 9 varieties. I don’t expect them all to thrive but hoping at least a few turn out to be good producers


I think Glendale is the only hybrid you have, the rest are 100% European. I’m not sure why I never tried Glendale.

Poorman is plenty vigorous, your plant could just be taking longer to get established.


there is a lot of mixed and contradictory information out there regarding if these varieties are hybrids or not, but I’m pretty sure the vigorous ones I’m growing are hybrids. the information @JeremiahT in post 83 supports this.

Captivator - Often listed as a European American Cross bred in Ottawa in 1935.

Black Velvet - mix of sources, but most describe it as a Ribes uva-crispa × divaricatum cross.

Glendale - frequently listed as a Ribes missouriense x grossularia cross

Pixwell - "‘Pixwell’ was introduced in 1932 by the North Dakota Experiment Station from a gooseberry breeding program started in 1920. It resulted from a cross of Ribes ‘Oregon Champion’ and R. missouriense. Ribes 'Pixwell' - Plant Finder

Tixia - Fully European, Invicta cross with another european cultivar. developed in Switzerland

Amish Red - likely cross. unknown.

Poorman - a cross between Downing and Houghton (both crosses themselves) developed in 1888 in Utah.

Hinnomaki Red/Yellow - fully European, developed in Finland. some sources claim the yellow version is a hybrid

Jeanne - Likely hybrid but unknown parentage. Observed for 24 years at the USDA National Germplasm Repository, Corvallis, Oregon. Its origin prior to Corvallis is undocumented.

This is what I have found but if I’m wrong feel free to correct me.


I’m sort of surprised you can’t do gooseberries well…especially if in afternoon shade.
Pixwell is almost like a weed, certainly fruitful here in southern Kentucky.
Hinnomaki is vigorous enough but low and spreading in habit.
Jeanne, Amish Red, Black Velvet I am still not sure and more trials needed.
Poorman is ok, but not all that vigorous in poor acidic soil…I’ve not tried it again lately.


Here’s a quick video of the gooseberries & currants growing in mid-Atlantic 7a region, skip to 2:30 to see my Poorman gooseberry plant.

Things aren’t that well organized as I’m growing a lot of different things mostly as a trial to see how well they would grow in my region for the next property.


says video is private. wont play.

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My bad, first time using YouTube. Should be up now!

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I like how you have Jeanne in a tomato cage. always thought it was pronounced Jean.


yeah jeanne likes to lay on the ground. its a issue ive tried to fix by cutting the lower branches but i may have to cage it.

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I had Pixwell here, for probably a decade, in full sun, 70 miles NW of Nashville TN. It didn’t ‘like’ full sun, but chugged along, and fruited fine, but it’s pretty much bottom-of-the barrel, so far as fruit quality goes, for a gooseberry. It went away, with a number of other fruiting plants when we put in a tennis court in an area that had been part of the orchard.
I’ve meant to replace it, but never have done so.


I’d been calling it “Jeanie,” probably because I recall someone who pronounced their name (so spelled) that way! Or maybe we should be using the French pronunciation? :slight_smile:

I guess the solution to the mystery would be to discover how the name of the late Cheryl Jeanne Gunning (the former NCGR employee in whose honor it is named) is pronounced! “Jean” does seem most likely, though.

By the way, I got a ripe berry from one of my little potted Jeannes recently. It showed real potential. Sweeter than most I’ve tried—almost as sweet as a fully ripe Pixwell, but with better overall flavor and texture. Excited to see what “Jeanie” does in coming seasons!

Speaking of Pixwell: I keep getting mislabeled Pixwells! My original Jeanne was really Pixwell. Now, looking at my “Invicta” from Jung’s, I’m beginning to think it’s Pixwell, too. The foliage, the small-to-medium round berries dangling well beneath the canes, the thorns: it’s a dead ringer . . . I mean, Pixwell is fine and all—but dang it, nursery people!


yes. thats how i say it. jea nanne. guess theres a few different ways but my wifes aunt is named this and its how the French here say it here. also heard is said jean neieen.

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