What Are Aronia Berry Plants?
- Native to Eastern N. America and have the unwarranted common name of Chokeberry.
- Extremely adaptable plants for sun to shady locations in USDA zones 3-7
- 'Nero' Aronia grows to 3-4 ft. high & wide.
- Low Scape Mound® is a compact selection that only grows 1-2 ft. high and wide.
- Astringent, dark purple berries high in antioxidants, vitamins & minerals prized for preserves.
- First harvests typically 1-2 years from planting.
Aronia Planting Instructions
- Bare root Aronia plants should have roots soaked for 8 to 24 hrs. prior to planting.
NOTE: Potted plants should be hardened off for 7-10 days and then planted out after the threat of frost has passed.
- Dig a large hole 2-3 times the size of the rootball.
- Amend existing soil with a 50/50 blend of compost and aged manure.
- Slightly acidic soils are best.
- Plant with the top of the rootball no more than 1 inch below the natural soil grade, with a crown above the soil.
- Remove any grass or competing weeds from 2 ft. circumference around the new plants and mulch over the root zone with 2-3 inches of fresh compost or mulch.
- Water new plants thoroughly and slowly to ensure all air pockets have been removed.
NOTE: Bare root Aronia varieties should be tip pruned by 1/3 to ½ to help stimulate axillary bud break. Potted varieties do not require pruning unless plants suffer from transplant shock or unexpected late frost damage.
Watering Tips For Your Aronia Berry Bush
- Aronia melanocarpa prefers moist, well-drained organically rich soils.
- Aronia varieties, unlike most fruiting shrubs, can tolerate periodic flooding and wet areas as long as drainage is good.
- New plants should be watered using the 1 inch per week rule, which equates to about 2.5-3 gallons of water per plant, every 2-3 days.
Aronia Care - Maintenance After Establishment
- Aronia sp. is highly resistant to pests and diseases. Maintenance is minimal. Apply fresh leaf compost seasonally to help conserve soil moisture, balance soil temperatures and to help suppress competitive weeds.
- Little to no pruning should be done until plants have been in the ground for at least 4 years. Prune any suckers to help control plant size. Once plants are mature, if necessary, top pruning should be done only immediately after harvest. As with other fruiting shrubs, maintaining an open growth habit to allow for ample sunlight penetration by thinning older growth out once every 4-5 years is beneficial.
- For the best growth, apply compost or aged manure each spring. Once every 3-5 years, blend 1 cup of soil sulfur with manure as spring top-dressing to help maintain proper soil pH.
- Fertilizing with modest amounts of Espoma® 10-10-10 all-purpose food can also be done once in early spring, we caution that too much fertilizer can cause rapid growth with little to no fruit production.