Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa), also known as black chokeberry, is a deciduous shrub native to the eastern U.S. and southern Canada. In spring, small white flowers appear and are followed by dark purple, almost black fruit that draws songbirds to the yard. In fall, the leaves turn an attractive shade of burgundy or red. Aronia grows from 3 to 8 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide. It does best when planted in full sun or partial shade and is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 3 through 8.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Organic mulch
- Balanced fertiliser
- Pruning shears
Remove all vegetation, rocks and debris from the planting site. Choose a location in full sun or partial shade, though the former is best for flowering and fall colour.
Dig a hole that is twice the width and the same depth as the aronia's root system. Plant the shrub at the same level it was growing before and replace the loosened soil.
Water until the soil feels very moist. Add a 1- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch but do not allow it to come into contact with the base of the shrub.
Continue to add moisture any time less than 1 inch of rain falls in a week.
Fertilise once each spring with a balanced fertiliser.
Remove suckers that develop around the bottom of the plant. Thin by clipping the weakest branches off all the way back to the ground. Prune as necessary to control the height of the shrub.
Tips and warnings
- Propagate aronia from seed or cuttings.
- The thick root system of aronia makes it an ideal choice for areas requiring erosion control.
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