What is a Red Chokeberry?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Those looking for ornamental shrubs that are low maintenance and colorful even during the winter may be interested in the red chokeberry. Also known as Aronia arbutifolia, this plant is considered low maintenance and highly attractive year round. Though its white flowers bloom in the spring, its red berries are present even in the winter, adding color to any garden at any time of year. The red chokeberry can grow quite tall for a shrub, and tends to attract bees and birds, particularly in the spring.

This shrub has been known to grow up to 10 feet (3.05 m) tall when mature, and spreads out to about 5 feet (1.5 m) across. The shrub itself is oval, with shiny leaves that tend to stay green year round, though they take on a hint of red in the fall. The red berries add lots of color to this bush, especially in the fall, when it is covered with them. The small white flowers that bloom in clusters every spring add a second layer of color to the upright stems of this shrub. Homeowners looking for deciduous shrubs that offer a pleasant fragrance without requiring a lot of maintenance are likely to be pleased with this colorful plant.

The red chokeberry shrub can do well in either full or partial sun, though direct sunlight tends to increase the number of berries on it. The soil can be either dry or moist, though the latter is preferred, as long as it is well drained. Though it is drought tolerant, it should be watered regularly for best results. For these reasons, the red chokeberry is often seen in nature growing along streams and ponds, where there is an abundance of moist soil.

Homeowners seeking a natural border for their yard or garden may consider planting several of these shrubs close together. One benefit of this plant is that although the flowers tend to attract birds and bees in the spring, the red berries are not usually eaten by them since they are somewhat acerbic. Therefore, the berries are usually plentiful no matter what time of year it is, though they tend to increase in number during the summer and fall. It should be noted that the red chokeberry has a tendency to spread easily, so it should be planted in a spot that offers plenty of room to grow, unless the homeowner has time to prune it frequently.

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