The Q&A Archives: Fruitless Gooseberry Bush

Question: I have a 5-year-old gooseberry bush that is healthy and vigorous. For the past two years it has produced buds and I think, flowers; however it has not set any fruit. The plant gets 6 to 7 hours of sun a day and is next to a currant bush that produces heavily. Any suggestions on how I can get the gooseberry to bear fruit?

Answer: Gooseberries grow best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. They perform best in cool soil and may refuse to produce if air temperatures are in excess of 85 degrees F. They should be pruned annually to maintain large berry size, and to remove wood that's over 3 years old, as it will not produce. So, if you haven't pruned your gooseberry, you may want to cut it back to encourage healthy, new, fruit-bearing wood. Gooseberries are self-fruitful and if the plants flower, they should produce fruit, providing all cultural requirements are met. Don't fertilize (which may produce green growth at the expense of fruit), but do mulch under the dripline to help keep the soil cool and to slow water evaporation.

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