Aronia Berry bushes will tolerate most soil conditions including damp sites and poorly drained soils but are not recommended for shallow chalk soils. They do well in full sun or partial shade. The plants are very hardy and flower in May after the threat of frost has passed. The autumn colours of both foliage and fruit are often spectacular.
Plant your bush as soon as possible after receipt, allowing enough space for it to spread 1.5-2.5m (5-8ft). Should weather conditions be adverse (i.e. if the ground is frozen or too wet to plant), it can be left in its pot in a sheltered spot or if bare rooted should be temporarily heeled in until conditions improve. Dig a hole or shallow trench and cover the roots loosely with sufficient soil or compost so that no roots are exposed to the air.
Improve the soil structure by thorough digging before planting and if possible mix well rotted manure or compost into the top soil.
Soak the roots in water for 1-2 hours. Dig a hole comfortably large enough to take the rootball, remove the pot and plant, ensuring the top of the rootball is level with the surrounding soil or up to 1cm (½in) deeper. Apply rootgrow™ mycorrhizal fungi
directly to the roots before planting - this will help the plant to establish quickly. Firm the soil around the rootball and water-in thoroughly.
Improve the soil structure by thorough digging before planting, ideally to a depth of about 45cm (18in) - two spades deep. Mix in plenty of well-rotted manure or compost.
Soak the roots in water for 1-2 hours. Dig a hole comfortably large enough to take the rootball, remove the pot and plant, ensuring the top of the rootball is level with the surrounding soil or up to 1cm (½in) deeper. Firm soil around rootball and water-in thoroughly. Stake the tree and secure with tree ties to prevent rocking whilst the roots establish.
Keep the soil around the bush moist throughout the first growing season. In later years only water during prolonged dry spells, drenching thoroughly no more than once a week. Container grown bushes will need more regular watering and should never be allowed to dry out.
Weeding & Mulching
Keep the area around the bush free of weeds, particularly during the first year. An annual mulch of well rotted compost will greatly improve moisture retention and soil structure, and help suppress unwanted weeds.
Aronia Berries naturally form large multi-stemmed bushes which will grow to a maximum height and spread of about 1.5-3m (5-10ft). To encourage vigorous new growth and help establishment cut all stems back to 30cm (1ft) above ground at planting time. For the next 3-5 years whilst growth is vigorous no further pruning will be necessary other than a quick tidy-up in early autumn after fruiting to shape or restrict the size of the plant if necessary.
Your fruit will mainly come on the previous season’s shoots so it is essential to encourage vigorous new growth every year. To prune therefore in later years remove each winter about 10% (one tenth) of your bush, cutting out from its base the oldest and lowest branches that will be carrying the fewest fruit buds.
Most garden soils contain sufficient nutrients for healthy growth although applying a balanced top dressing (such as Fruit Feed
) in spring can be beneficial especially on light free-draining sandy soils.
Pests & Diseases
Aronia Berries trees are generally trouble free.