Attempting to grow Gooseberries in zone 7b

Amish Red is turning to ripe…and Pixwell isn’t too far off.


I never got a chance to prune my gooseberries this winter and they are already starting to leaf out. is it too late to do some pruning?

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I went around last night and checked the status us my gooseberries. Captivator, Black velvet, Glendale, Pixwell and Amish Red are all starting to leaf out. Black velvet and Glendale seem to be the strongest. Tixia looks like it died completely. Poorman has buds and it looks like the second Hinnomaki red I planted last spring might be coming back. the Hinnomaki yellow and the Jeanne I planted last spring also appear to have died. I’m thinking of interplanting some black raspberries in the sunnier portion where the Jeanne and Hinno Yellow were and a Dwarf Gerardi Mulberry where the Tixia was.


I don’t think so. I’ve done it before. And am getting ready to do it again this evening. :slightly_smiling_face: They’re all leafing out here, too. It doesn’t really seem to do any harm—and I would think it would be more harmful to leave them dense and unpruned in our humid climates.

Whether true or not I don’t know, but I’ve read that unpruned and pruned gooseberries of equivalent cultivar and age produce about the same weight in berries, but that with the latter, that weight will be in fewer, larger (and presumably better quality) berries.


Sorry you took some losses, but you’re definitely learning what will work there. I’m not at all surprised about Pixwell and Glenndale: they’re tough plants. Black Velvet becomes vigorous here after a couple of years of prostrate legginess. It does get serious, defoliating leaf spot by summer (I imagine yours does as well?), but seems to bounce back from it.

Jeanne I’m a little surprised about: mine seem pretty healthy so far—but it could just be that it can’t tolerate climates above 6.


So Last year I was able to pant a few more gooseberries. I planted a Hinnomaki red, a Hinnomaki Yellow, another poorman, and a Jeanne. my Hinno red from the previous year died as well as the jeanne so those were replacements but the hinno yello was new. I had thought my poorman died too but it just too forever to leaf out in 2023. I never got around to pruning any of them and in June my wife had a serious spinal injury and I simply left the bed to get overgrown with weeds and vines. fast forward to this spring and I went out last weekend and did a complete overhaul. My 2022 plantings in the shadier spot closest to my black walnut tree were doing the best (Captivator, Black Velvet, Glendale, and Pixwell) and the others were in a sunnier location and downright overtaken with weeds. the second jeanne and hinno yellow had died over the winter. I decided to transplant the ones that had survived being overtaken by weeks into the shadier location and reduce the spacing. I moved an Amish Red, Hinno red, and 3 poorman (2 from 2022 that were sold as a single plant and planted together, but separated when I transplanted them this year, and the backup I got in 2023). the old bed was 72 feet long by ~4 feet deep with 9 gooseberry plants and it is now only 40 feet long with 9 plants. I put the transplants in with some mykos and watered in with a weak fish emulsion to prevent transplant shock. for the established plants I raked around them with my action hoe, added some 10-10-10, and watered in with some fish emulsion. I pruned and re-mulched the new bed too. I’ll be adding some stakes and mason line to mark off the bed and prevent my landscapers from mowing over any of the plants.

Black velvet

Glenndale (Largest, first to leaf out, first to have flowers, pretty red leaves in fall)

The new bed

Side note: I’ve noticed that first year growth that overwinters gets this grey driftwood look to it and appears dead the next spring only to sprout. then in the following year it looks like the grey outer layer sheds and reveals a darker bark with white dashes that more resembles the main stem. this is not something I was expecting and in my second year I thought all the new growth from the previous summer had died. definately threw me off.

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flowers on my glenndale already

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this isnt a gooseberry but you should try growing it. Crandall clove currant. its got a nice fruity taste. Jerry on here grows it in z10 and it produces well for him there.

this is my thread documenting my successes and failures of growing gooseberries on my property for the past few years. I have 3 clove currants on pre-order. Crandall, Missouri Giant, and Black Topaz. all of my fruit cultivars are listed in my profile.

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yes. ive been following. where did you get mis. giant and black topaz?

I’ve seen this sloughing of the bark too and the unexpected “dead” vines sprouting. I took a photo just now showing a bit of it

the dead looking part extends and has leaves and buds all along. the right bit is new growth. there’s even a piece that went to that third stage, looking new again:

one green world. they are sold out of black topaz now though


Late to this but have you tried Whitesmith, Whinhams Industry, Careless or Invicta?

Are you growing blackcurrants as well JeremiahT? What varieties?

I started 2 Crandall clove currants this spring… they are blooming now and looking good so far.
I have them in a location that gets good morning sun… and continues until around 2 pm… then shade the rest of the hot part of the day.

And real close to them… planted 2 Jeanne goosberry just recently. They should get full sun until around 3 pm… then shade.

I am trying Jeanne goosberry because a fellow Tennessean… just north of me…said his were thriving and fruiting well.

When I tried red currants and jostaberry before they did not thrive at all… had aweful foliage issues, dropped leaves… did not grow or produce fruit.

Hopefully these new ones like TN a little better.

Jeanne is a incredibly heavy producer. so much so that I’ve given up trying to keep the canes up right with a fruit load on. i just pruned down to the 5 biggest canes and tied them to a 4ft. section of staked wire fence. espalier style. you might want to consider doing the same once yours starts producing. will make it much easier to manage them and harvest the fruit.

Hi Chris, I have no blackcurrants. The closest things I have are a couple of clove currants. Haven’t been too impressed by the clove currants so far, but the blooms are nice-smelling.

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@Bigmike1116 I’m going to be giving black velvet, poorman, and Primus at my house 7b a try, I’m over in moco right beside you.

Then at my parents in western MD 7a, gonna try red lake and pixwell.

Primus and red lake are currants, not gooseberries.

Yeah I know, just giving a list :+1: I read a bit of the thread and figured I’d chime in since general area