Grow a Black Chokeberry Shrub for Berry-Loving Birds 

Planting a black chokeberry bush (Aronia melanocarpa) can be a wonderful way to feed yourself with berries and draw berry-eating birds to your yard. Here's how to accomplish it:  

Black chokeberries like full sun to partial shade. Choose a garden spot with at least 6 hours of sunlight. Soil: These plants prefer moist, well-draining soil but may withstand many varieties. Richen soil with organic materials. Ideal pH is 5.5–7.  


Black chokeberry plants should be planted in spring or fall when the soil is workable and temperatures are mild. Avoid severe heat and cold during planting. Spacing: Space black chokeberry shrubs 4–6 feet apart for airflow and growth.  

Depth: Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball. The shrub should be planted at container depth.Deeply water the newly planted shrub to build roots. Maintain soil moisture without waterlogging, especially in dry periods.  

Organic mulch like wood chips or shredded bark around the shrub's base helps conserve moisture, inhibit weeds, and regulate soil temperature.  

Care and Maintenance

Usually, black chokeberry shrubs need little fertilizer. Manufacturer recommends spring balanced fertilizer.In late winter or early spring, prune black chokeberry shrubs to remove dead, damaged, or crossing branches. It improves shrub form and development.  

Protection from Wildlife: If you grow black chokeberries for birds, they may consume them. Bird netting the shrub when the berries ripen deters hungry birds so you can harvest.  

Black chokeberries mature in late summer to early October, depending on climate. Wait until the berries are fully grown and purple-black before harvesting.  


Method: Just pluck the ripe berries by hand, or cut clusters of berries from the shrub using scissors. Take care not to hurt the plant.  

Also See

Your Guide to Growing Fruit Trees Indoors in Pots