Very healthy plants but no gooseberries??

by tony

I planted my gooseberry tree years ago. i have yet to see one berry !!!! i,m not even sure when they are supposed to fruit? Would any one be able to tell me what i am missing??

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Jun 06, 2015
Wild gooseberry variety?
by: Chitown yard grower

Hi there,
I planted a gooseberry bush in Chicago, IL, USA. It is quite prolific, pruned and well taken care of. However, no gooseberries. I thought i saw the starts of many over a week ago, but I kept checking on the microscopic fruit buds weekly until one week they just vanished.

I originally thought it was a black currant cutting that had rooted at my families orchard. However the thorns led way to suggest it was either a completely wild gooseberry or one seeded by the birds from a nearby domestic gooseberry bush.

I am wondering: a) if it is a wild cultivar, might it just not be a productive variety at all?, b) I don't bird net because the flowers/berries I thought I saw were tiny and unformed. Could the birds have eaten all these unripe berry buds before nearing maturity?

If you saw fruit forming, and they are no longer there, then I would think that the birds have got to your fruit before they matured and ripen. It happens so often. Quite maddening, but if you don't protect your fruit with netting, this is sometimes the result.

Jan 04, 2015
No Gooseberries
by: Interested

Not sure which variety you planting but from my own experience growing cape gooseberries is the easiest. Just use one berry for seeds, when seedlings are about 200mm high transplant and within four to five months you have abundant gooseberries. Cut back end of season (I cut everything down) keep watered during winter and summer will reward you.

Nov 10, 2014
Growing Gooseberries in Tasmania
by: Jill

I have 3 Gooseberry plants and none of them have fruit.

The oldest one is 3 years and this had abundant fruit the first year (eaten mainly by the birds) then nothing in the second or this year (2014). I took cuttings from the first one and they took very well, and so now have 3 but no fruit on these either.

At first I thought that I might have been overfeeding the plant as it has a lot of green and is very bushy.

Maybe our winter has not been cold enough this year? I do grow blackcurrants as well and these are very successful.


Jill, if you see my first reply to Tony you can't go wrong. Out of all of that advice the two that are most important for gooseberries bearing fruit and that is pruning and feeding.

You must prune your gooseberry plants for them to give you good fruit the following season. Open up the center of the plant so that it gets air and sunlight into the plant.

Feed well. You can never go wrong with blood and bone. It is my favorite fertilizer.

Once you have done those two things, your gooseberries shouldn't look back.

If you live in Tassie there is no reason why you wouldn't be able to grow gooseberries successfully. Once you get the hang of it, you will realize just how easy they are to grow!


Aug 03, 2012
Bedankt over tips en advies over Kruisbesen ...
by: Anonymous

Tony ...

I am on t'other side of the planet in Middle Limburg, the Netherlands. Our winters are robust and our summers are mild (in comparson with the Antipodal summer). But my gooseberry ('kruisbesen' in Dutch) plant meets all the requirements you point out.

I have been trying to figure out why she has not borne fruit since I planted her from a pot bought at the local market two years ago. Not even blossoms. Meanwhile her neighbour, a black current is a prolific fruiter. I can three harvests from that plant!

Your note that goosberries will not fruit at such a young age has answered my dilema. I did not notice this advice anywhere else on the Web.



Jan 17, 2011
no fruit on goosberries in Ferntree Gully, victoria
by: Anonymous

I too have been growing gooseberry plants for over 10 years waiting for the likelyhood of fruit.

I grew them successfully when I lived in Monbulk, Victoria, but now am closer to the city and don't think its gets cool enough in winter because I don't even get buds.

Does anyone know if they are being successfully grown at a lower altitude than Monbulk? I live in Ferntree Gully, Victoria, just on the outskirts of Melbourne.

So far I've been told too much feed; not enough feed; too much sun; not enough sun; more phosphate; and finally a colder winter.

Can't do much about that! The bushes are large and healthy and pruned and fed every year but no fruit.

Nov 22, 2010
Why are my Gooseberries not Fruiting
by: Anonymous


There are possibly a number of reasons why your gooseberry bush isn't fruiting.

1) It is too young a plant. You said you planted it years ago, but until a gooseberry bush is 4 years old is really won't bear much, and what it does bear the birds will probably get the fruit before you do.

2)Your gooseberry bush may need feeding. You didn't say if you feed it, or have just left it to fend for itself. Gooseberries are heavy feeders and need an annual application of well-rotted farmyard manure and blood and bone dug around the bush every autumn. In the spring you can put some pellets of chicken manure around the plant. However, if you over-fertilize your gooseberries you can end up with a loss of leaves, and again no fruit. So a good balance is required.

3) Never let the soil around your gooseberry bush dry out. Australia's climate is harsh, with long spells of drought. Make sure that you have a good layer of mulch around your plant, keeping it away from the trunk. Replenish this as soon as you see it breaking down to maintain a constant moisture level in the soil. This will also help reduce mildew in gooseberries.

4) Your gooseberry bush may need pruning. You did'nt say if you had ever pruned your gooseberry bush. Although gooseberry plants can fruit without pruning, pruning will improve the crop. Thin out the centre of the bushes; fruit is produced both on the young wood, and from spurs on the older branches; cut out closely all shoots removed, and do not shorten the points of the young shoots unless your aim is to produce wood. See my page on growing gooseberries for details.

5) Birds love gooseberries, as mentioned before. Protect your gooseberry plants with a fruit cage or cover with a net.

6)Do you have the right climate where you are? If you live in the Adelaide Hills you will be fine, as gooseberries need cold winters and mild summers. If you don't get the chilly winters and your summers are hot and dry then you won't be successful with your gooseberries.

If you can grow red currants where you are, then you will be able to grow gooseberries. If that is the case, then you will just need to pay attention to your feeding program, mulching and pruning as above.

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