Plant Encyclopedia

Alpine Currant

Ribes alpinum

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Alpine Currant with green foliage

Discover More Information On Alpine Currant

If you are looking to boost the appearance of your landscape, make sure to check out the Alpine currant (Ribes alpinum). With this shrub, you get a little more than just a green plant. This currant shrub is the ideal option for introducing some vibrant green color into your spaces. You will love the look of the Alpine currant so much that you might want to find other places to plant it.

Plant Attributes

The Ribes alpinum is a small deciduous shrub that is part of the gooseberry family. It is known for its dense green foliage and trilobed leaves. This color remains throughout the growing season. In the fall, the lobed leaves transform into a yellowish tone. This compact, mound-forming shrub can grow 3 to 6 feet tall. Since there are male and female plants, this shrub is considered dioecious. The fruit on the female produces inedible scarlet berries in the summer months. Younger stems feature a brownish color. As the Alpine currant ages, the bark begins to exfoliate.

Landscape Use

This Ribes alpinum shines as a short hedgerow. Think about using them to line your driveway or property borders. With the uniformed green color, the Alpine currant makes an exceptional choice to spruce up your space without overwhelming it. Since the Alpine currant has a relatively fine texture, it can set itself apart from other plants in your landscape. If you want to create some contrast, make sure to pair the Ribes alpinum with plants that have coarse foliage.

Female plants produce red berries that stand out against the green foliage. With its summer haul of berries, this plant is an excellent shrub to help attract birds to your space. You might want to add a few shrubs to those wildlife habitats. If you place this shrub in the right spot, you will have a lovely time watching the birds throughout the warmer months.

Finally, the Alpine currant shines as a low privacy screen. No matter where you place it, this shrub will not let you down. When used as a mass planting, you can screen your patio from visitors. Not only will you have some privacy, but the delightful green color dazzles throughout the growing season.

Planting & Care

Most Alpine currants prefer to grow in spots with full sun and well-draining soil. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 7. These shrubs are very adaptable and tolerate a variety of growing conditions. However, if you want your Ribes alpinum to perform at its best, place it in a location that receives direct sunlight for six hours a day. Alkaline soils are the best choice for these shrubs. In some cases, they can survive in dry, compacted soils.

While the Alpine currant is a drought-tolerant shrub, it does need regular watering. For those shrubs in a dry region, you might want to supplement your rainfall with a few waterings. Younger shrubs require more water during their first year.

Mature Alpine currants don’t require fertilization, but those younger plants might need an added boost. If you want to keep your Ribes alpinum healthy and shapely, then regular pruning is a must. As the plant matures, consider a heavy prune. With these cuttings, you can increase the longevity of the plant. Renewal pruning should be completed in the spring. To complete this process, remove a few of the largest branches to encourage new growth.

Additional Information

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Alpine Currant


If you want a low-maintenance hedge shrub, then it is time to choose the Alpine currant. The Ribes alpinum is a low-maintenance shrub that will delight you with its bright green foliage. In the fall, it puts on a show with yellow-tinged leaves. Even the birds will enjoy this little beauty in your yard.

If you want to bring this beautiful green shrub home, make sure to reach out to Arbor Valley Nursery. We can help you find the right tree, plant, flower, or shrub for your landscape project. Our shrub nursery specializes in assisting commercial landscapers, nurseries, and garden centers. If you have any questions or want to order, make sure to fill out the contact form.

Plant Features

  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Watering Needs: Medium
  • Botanical Pronunciation: RI-bez al-PIE-num
  • Deciduous/evergreen: Deciduous
  • Growth rate: Medium
  • Average landscape size: 5 feet in width and height
  • Special features: Even green color, dense foliage
  • Foliage color: Medium green
  • Blooms: Mid-summer
  • Flower color: Yellow-green
  • Flower attributes: Female plants produce yellowish flowers that turn into berries by mid-summer
  • Garden style: Cottage
  • Design Ideas: Makes an exceptional border or hedge shrub. Add the Alpine currant to a small cottage garden. An ideal choice for a small privacy screen near a patio or deck.
  • Companion Plants: Golden currant and gooseberry

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