Ribes 'Welcome'

Common Name: gooseberry 
Type: Fruit
Family: Grossulariaceae
Zone: 4 to 6
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Red/green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Other: Thorns
Tolerate: Rabbit


Best grown in organically rich, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained clay or silt loams in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun, but some part afternoon shade is appreciated in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Gooseberries generally do not perform well in the hot and humid climates south of USDA Zone 6. Plants are best sited in locations protected from strong winds and frost pockets. Plant bare root bushes in October or November. Apply a good compost mulch to the root zone. Water regularly as needed to keep soils uniformly moist. Avoid overhead watering however. Plants are self-fertile. Renewal prune in late winter to early spring each year. Younger branches produce the most fruit, so older, weakened and/or damaged branches should be removed to open up the bush and promote more abundant fruiting.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ribes is a large genus of around 150 species of shrubs native to northern temperate regions and extending south to mountainous areas of South America. Commonly known as currants or gooseberries, they are mainly cultiavted for their edible berries.

The genus name Ribes is derived from the Arabic ribas, the name used for Rheum ribes (Syrian rhubarb), an unrelated, wild rhubarb species. European herbalists possibly connected the two due to the acidic flavor of the flowering stem of R. ribes, or the visually similar panicles of red fruits.

'Welcome' is noted for its high fruit yields. Insignificant flowers appear in April followed by medium to large, tart, red gooseberries that ripen in July. Vigorous growth habit.


In wet, humid conditions, anthracnose, powdery mildew and fungal leaf spot can be troublesome. Currant aphid, scale, currant bud mite and currant fruit fly are potential insect pests in some areas. Currants are an alternate host for white pine blister rust, a usually fatal disease for white pines. Ten states primarily in the eastern United States currently maintain various types of bans on Ribes species plants. Contact your local Extension Service to verify if these plants can be grown in your area. Missouri has no restrictions.


Fruit or vegetable gardens. Grow as shrubs or train as an espalier. Can also make an attractive hedge in the landscape for property lines or remote areas. Berries may be eaten ripe off the shrub or used to make jams, jellies and pies.