Anyone who wants to stay healthy, fit and vital nowadays relies on the power of berries. The small all-rounders not only provide a vitamin-rich addition to any menu, but also beautify the gardens with their fascinating shades of color and their extremely lush growth. In its mode of action, the aronia berry in particular stands out from all other types of berries. This medicinal plant, which is still somewhat unknown in our latitudes and is also called chokeberry because of its appearance, has preventive and health-promoting properties and at the same time comes up with attractive color impressions that offer the viewer an extremely magnificent eye-catcher and skilfully set the garden in scene.

origin and discovery

The aronia plant is originally native to eastern North America. Since it is used to a harsh climate and is considered not very demanding, it grows on stony slopes, in swamps, on stone banks of water bodies and in dry dune areas and was considered a vitamin-rich food by the natives in the winter time. The plant was already being cultivated in Canada and the United States at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1834, the Aronia plant made its way to Russia, where it was the most popular exhibit in the botanical gardens. A few years later, the use of aronia berries in fruit cultivation began in what was then the USSR. Even then, Russian breeders knew about the effects of the berries on the human body and tried various crossbreeds. Other countries like Bulgaria,

Botanical key data and characteristics

The aronia berry is considered a pome fruit and belongs to the rose family. The evergreen shrubs impress with leathery, elliptical leaves that have a slight tip and a finely serrated edge. The inflorescences can be described as umbrella panicles and consist of up to twenty flowers. The diameter of the fivefold, hermaphroditic and radially symmetrical flowers is 1 centimeter. The plant has 5 sepals and 5 petals, which can range in color from white to pink. Externally, the apple-shaped berries bear a strong resemblance to blueberriesbecause their coloring changes from red to black. In the wild, the plant can sometimes grow 15 meters high. Breeds grown for gardening, on the other hand, tend to grow as shrubs or semi-stems.

Perfect growth ensures a productive harvest

Until recently, the aronia plant was completely unknown in our European climes, but word of its healing power has spread over time and in some places veritable aronia plantations are springing up. Anyone who has ever heard of the wonderful effects of berries would like to try them. In order to get a high-yield harvest in the late summer and autumn months, a few basic rules should come into play when caring for and growing the plant.

  • sunny to partially shaded location,
  • the best time to plant outdoors is autumn,
  • planting in buckets all year round,
  • fertilization is not required
  • loves well-drained, humus-rich soil,
  • watering only necessary in dry periods,
  • Tubs or pots need winter protection,
  • Outdoor plants are hardy.

Fresh harvest from the garden

Even if the skin of the aronia berry is already shimmering dark purple, this state says nothing about the degree of ripeness of the berry. Depending on the climatic conditions and the location, the harvest is between August and September. It can happen that some berries on a panicle appear overripe, while others are still completely unripe. The best way to recognize the degree of ripeness is to subject the fruit to a test.

Some berries are either tasted or cut in half with a knife. In this way it can be seen whether the juicy interior is also colored dark purple. The fruit should also have a certain sweetness. However, it is quite conceivable to let the fruits hang on the bush and ripen until winter. However, since the birds also appreciate the aronia berry, the bushes need protection in the form of a net or curtain during the season when there is little food.

After picking, the aronia berry should be processed quickly, if possible within 2 weeks. It keeps a little longer in the fridge. The fruits can be eaten fresh, but not everyone likes the tart taste, which is due to the tannic acid it contains.

Undemanding plant for any location

The Aronia plant is considered to be extremely adaptable. It copes perfectly with dry subsoil, but also likes acidic, moist soil. For a beautiful overall horticultural picture, it makes sense to plant the plant in groups. When planting, a distance of one and a half meters should be planned, because the plant can reach a considerable size and a height of up to 1.80 meters. However, if you are planning to plant a hedge, you can leave the planting distance at 0.50 meters. When planting outdoors, no separate winter protection is necessary, as the aronia plant can also cope well with the deepest sub-zero temperatures.

The location is essential for perfect growth and a high-yield harvest. This should be sunny and have well-drained and moist soil. The aronia plant does not have any problems with shady places either, but the harvest is then somewhat poorer. The roots of the shrubs dig very deep into the ground, so it is advisable to dig it up before planting or, if necessary, loosen it up a bit and dig in some sand. To promote faster growth, the plant should be overwatered. Otherwise, the aronia can do without or with sporadic watering.

Fertilization is largely superfluous, only older plants can be given a helping hand with a dose of compost. The plants are well armed against harsh winds or longer periods of frost, they even tolerate harsh winters with temperatures down to -20 degrees Celsius and more. In winter, however, potted plants should be protected against the cold with coconut mats, but the soil must not freeze. This would otherwise result in the plant dying of thirst and dying.

The right cutting technique

In the first two years it is completely sufficient to give the Aronia plant a pure growth cut. The cutting should always be done with a sharp tool and start just above a bud. Only when the plant gets older can it be rejuvenated and individual shoots removed. If a bushier appearance is to come into play, then only the basic shoots have to be shortened. About four to seven years should elapse before a radical pruning takes place. Winter is the best time for this gardening project. However, you then have to do without flowering in the following spring. If you don’t want to do without the delicate flowers that appear in May, you should only thin out the plant gently. The aronia plant not only spreads quickly on top, but also in depth and therefore belongs to the so-called strong roots. With a root barrier, the root suckers can be successfully put in their place.

Successful propagation

The Aronia has self-pollinating inflorescences, but numerous insects also ensure the development of an extremely rich inflorescence. The plants can be propagated by seeds. However, since this procedure takes a lot of time, the more common way of propagation by cuttings is used. If the root base is sufficient, root shoots can also be dug up and used to grow new plants.

Propagation from cuttings is often successful and relatively simple. First, the soft shoot is cut off down to the lower eye. At the same time, the leaves should also be cut slightly. Then the cutting is planted in a pot with soil and watered. It takes about a year for the little twig to grow into a stately young plant that can now find its new home outdoors or in a bucket. Once the plant has gotten used to its new environment, it will show flat umbels with small individual flowers as early as May. In the course of the summer, the plant initially comes up with reddish and then later with violet to black flowers, which, like the rowan berries, can be enjoyed well into the winter.

Mode of action and possible uses

If you have an aronia plant in your garden, you can benefit from Mother Nature’s treasure chest. Their active ingredients have a lot to offer, because they not only support cell renewal, but also have a positive effect on

  • Heart,
  • cycle
  • joints
  • internal organs

Furthermore, their ingredients provide the human body with countless minerals and roughage, multiple vitamins and are also cholesterol and blood pressure-lowering. Because of their antioxidants, chokeberries are considered a silver bullet against cancer. Aronia berries are used as dried fruits in morning muesli or as a juice mixture, liqueur, jam or jelly.

The aronia plant is not only a feast for the eyes in terms of color, but its fruits are small berries with a big effect. The unique-tasting, vitamin-rich delicacies house an extraordinary protective potential inside, which serves to immunize against diseases and susceptibilities of all kinds. The many positive effects of the aronia plant are supplemented by the modest care properties of the plant. Like a silent helper, she only wants to do good and claims almost nothing for herself. Well into winter, the eye of the beholder can delight in the tender, dark fruits and enjoy the culinary delights just as long. Anyone who has ever had the privilege of admiring the bright red of the eye-catching foliage on glorious autumn days,

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