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Blackcurrant Big Ben


Ribes nigrum Big Ben

Has possibly the biggest fruits available

Big Ben chimes in with huge and delicious fruits, which can be nearly three times the size of other varieties of blackcurrant. Ready to pick by midsummer.


Big Ben fruits particularly well after a cold winter, so is great for colder areas of the UK. Happiest in full sun in a sheltered spot in any well-drained garden soil.


Add homemade garden compost or well rotted manure to the soil before planting. Water well during dry periods. In winter apply a mulch of compost and cut out older stems, leaving the young stems which will carry fruit the following year.

Big Ben was developed in Scotland at the Scottish Crops Research Institute in Dundee.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Fruit shrub
Foliage colour
Typically available March - September
Season of interest Winter
Flowering April - April
Evergreen No
Plant height 125 cm - 150 cm
Plant width 120 cm - 150 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies Yes
Plant height in 5 years 140 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Clay, Loam, Sand
Light exposure Full sun
Soil drainage Well drained, Medium
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden

Additional Information for Fruit, Veg and Bulbs

Property Value
Sowing March - June
Fruiting May - August
Cropping June - August

Typically available

From March to September