Last autumn I transplanted three, relatively young redcurrants which I had received from a neighbor because they had not prospered in her garden. One of them is now starting to grow green leaves (hurray!) but the other two still look barren. It is early in the season (zone 6 in Central Europe) and I won’t give up to them anytime soon, but I am wondering whether I could do anything special (e.g. in terms of fertilization or pruning) to increase their chances of survival in the new habitat.

Up to now I have been loosening the ground (this spring) and cutting back all but approx. 5 branches on each bush (last autumn). I am somewhat tempted to cut into single branches to check also insides but imagine that this will do more harm than good at a time when natural growth could occur. Is there any better strategy than just "wait and see"?

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    You could scrape back a little of the 'bark' with a fingernail - if its brown and dry underneath, that bit's dead, but it doesn't necessariliy mean the whole plant is dead, so try low down. Otherwise, it is wait and see...
    – Bamboo
    Apr 7 '15 at 11:31
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    Let them be. If the others don't make it, the one that did can provide 2 (or many more) bushes easily in short order. But they are probably fine, and if not, nothing you do now can change that.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 7 '15 at 13:19

I wouldn't do anything at this point. At this time of the year, any change you make is something the bush needs to adjust to when it really needs to be left alone to try and break those buds. Don't check if they are alive. You'll find out naturally. Check if they are alive after they are late. Right now is when they are weakest and most susceptible.

If you want, put some compost down as mulch.

Currents and gooseberries grow naturally at the edges of forests where they enjoy filtered light most of the day. The very best placement for them, is to be where they get full direct sun for a few hours in the morning, but are protected from the direct sunlight for the rest of the day. This lets them benefit from the full strength of the cool morning sun while the plant is still cool from the evening.

If this makes you want to move them, wait until the fall so they can get established again. Don't move them in the late spring or summer.

Hope this helps.

  • Tx. BTW, their location should be optimal also by your description.
    – Drux
    Apr 8 '15 at 7:28

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