A low-maintenance plant by nature, the golden currant (Ribes aureum) adds color, produces fruit and attracts wildlife without needing an excessive amount of care. This deciduous shrub produces sunny, yellow flower clusters in spring against a background of lush green, lobed leaves. It grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 7, thriving in full to partial sun and any fast-draining soil. A suitable plant for busy homeowners or beginning gardeners, the golden currant requires no fertilizer and only occasional watering and pruning.
Clear all weeds and debris from the ground surrounding the golden currant. Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the area with a rake. The mulch will reduce weed growth and slow soil moisture evaporation.
Water the golden currant when less than 1 inch of rain falls over the course of seven to 10 days. Water the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches using a garden hose to moisten the entire root ball. Water the ground around the roots, rather than the leaves. Water the plant in the morning, if possible, to allow the leaves time to dry before nightfall. Never allow the soil to become soggy.
Trim back dead, dry, broken canes with a pair of pruning shears as soon as you notice them. Cut through each stem horizontally, 1/4 inch above ground level.
Prune the currant once blooming finishes in spring, cutting out canes that cross or rub against others with a pair of pruning shears. Remove all canes 3 years old and older. Cut back vigorous or unsightly canes to ground level. Remove no more than one-fourth of the golden currant's canes during a single pruning.