Fruit and Nut
Shrub native to Northern Asia and North America, long bred for its richly flavoured berries used in fruit juices and jams, or eaten raw. Important bee plant. Now known to be one of the richest sources of antioxidants, even superior to blueberries, sea buckthorn or gojiberries. Planted commericially in North America, Russia, Poland, Germany, the Baltic States and Scotland (mainly for juice production). Yields are among the highest of any berry: three times that of blueberries and ten times that of goji berries.
Aronia juice is starting to appear in health food shops in Ireland, where it often sells for outrageous prices.
Easy to grow with good yields from the second or third year. An established bush can produce 10-15kg of berries per annum, with production continuing for thirty years or more.
When used as hedging, plant in single rows or staggered double rows, 1-1.5m between plants (0.7-1.2m with Hugin).
For better yields plant as stand-alone bushes 1.4-2.4m apart with 3-5 m between rows (the wider spacing if vehicle access is needed).
For large scale plantations, it is best to plant out well-developed two year or three year old plants. This ensures rapid berry production at a level that should keep ahead of the blackbirds. Plants should be kept weed free for the first two to three years. Younger plants are generally best grown on in a bed for one year before planting out in their final position. Rich, slightly acid soils are best.
The picking season extends 4-6 weeks (longer if a number of different cultivars are grown), from late August.
Aronia is very frost hardy (won't be killed off by a repeat of December 2010), tolerant of most soils. However, it is not suitable for very exposed maritime situations or waterlogged ground.
Aronia is very suitable for container-growing, though eventually - perhaps at around ten years - it will outgrow even the largest container. Unlike many fruits, it is tolerant of occasional drought. In order to ensure plants do not become pot bound, plants should be repotted every year.
Barerooted items and P9 plants can be shipped by post or courier. Larger container-grown plants have to be collected from the nursery
Aronia melanocarpa Hugin
Aronia prunifolia Aron
Aronia prunifolia Nero
Aronia prunifolia Viking
Aronia prunifolia Galicjanja