Ribes with ‘root’ or ‘collar’ rot

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Q: I have a large flowering currant bush, which is lovely. It came into bud, but then stopped growing and the buds have died, although the plant’s stalks are not dead. The plant is about 6 years old. Do you have any idea what may have killed the flower and leaf buds and if might it grow again next year? The bush is in partial shade/sun.

I will assume the plant in question is red flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) which is native to the Pacific Northwest.

This plant is usually free from most problems. I suspect yours has succumbed to “root” or “collar rot” fungus which may explain the sudden collapse.

Flowering currant requires a well-drained soil and once established is very drought tolerant. Plants are usually found in disturbed sites or near forest thickets on somewhat gravelly soil. Additional watering once the plant has established is not recommended.