aronia berries ( chokeberries )

johnnyrazbrix(5)January 29, 2011

I planted an aronia berry bush a few years back for fall color and bird attractant. I have plucked them and eaten them fresh from the bush because i heard they were healthy. I just recently read several articles that say they are the highest in antioxidants. Has any one researched them? They are very easy to grow. Not the tastiest fresh but if they are that healthy i will put my big boy pants on and be more serious about them. And i think they would be good juice. Again , they are very easy to grow and would be easy to put netting on. The Japenese beetles do not bother them.I think they would be easy to propagate. Thanks for any input. Happy and healthy gardening. Johnny

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

People do grow Aronia here, but I really don't see it near as much as I have in more northern areas. They are delicious juiced with a little sugar and heated and then canned. I think they would be nice cooked in many ways similar to many fruits which just taste better to humans when cooked and sweetened.
Have you netted fruits before? We netted blueberries at church last year and killed a bird. It was so upsetting that we decided to simply plant two more bushes and send someone to pick more frequently. Plenty of fruit for us and for the birds :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 11:28PM
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thanks for your response .Although I said they would be easy to net I probably wouldnt either. I do remember netting cherries and having to untangle Robins.And you are right planting a couple would make up for bird loss. And they have beautiful fall color.I am not sure if they would grow in the south but i bet if one had a damp partially shaded spot they would.. Thanks again and healthy happy gardening johnny

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 7:42PM
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onafixedincome(z8-9 CA)

Just bear in mind that the vegetative portion of chokecherry is EXTREMELY toxic to animals which eat it--including children. Wilted leaves are even worse. The toxic principle is cyanogenic glycosides, which when 'insulted' (chewed, wilted, digested) tend to produce cyanide gas.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 12:41PM
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blakrab Centex(8a)

How heat & drought-tolerant are these? I've heard claims that they need moist soil to them being "highly drought tolerant?"

I know below Zone 7 without enough chill hours they might not bear much fruit, but that's less of a concern. I just wonder if the shrub itself can survive a hot 100ð+F summer month with little to no additional watering every year?

Here is a link that might be useful: highly drought tolerant, fruitful and beautiful

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 4:03PM
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dave_f1 SC, USDA Zone 8a(7b)

blakrab... don;t see what zone you are in. Aronias shouldn't have any problem receiving enough chilling in zone 7, may be marginal some years n zone 8 or 9. At least in the eastern US.

I'd disregard one of the comments that say these plants are toxic. We are talking about chokeberries or Aronia melanocarpa (Photinia melanocarpa). Chokecherries are in another genus,Prunus and these are the ones with toxic cyanogenic glycosides. I wouldn;t want that misinformation to keep you from growing it. Just another reason to use scientific names and not common names. They are called aronias in the industry.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 8:46AM
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I don't have any useful comment on the original question, but as someone who grew up with these all over my home town, here is a piece of advice I do have. Keep them far away from any clothes that you care about. The juice stains will not come out no matter how you wash them. Also, when you harvest, wear gloves unless you're ready to have black hands for at least 4-5 days.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:23PM
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