How to Grow Chokecherries in your Garden


Chokecherries scientific names are Prunus maackii and Prunus virginiana. Common names include western chokecherry, bitter-berry, virginia bird cherry. They are small trees that grow 6 m tall, leaves oval 5cm wide, 9cm long.

The flowers have racemes and emit a strong heady aroma. The fruits have an astringent bitter taste, unripe-red, ripe a darkish color. They measure 12mm long, 10mm across. The seeds are toxic and dangerous to goats, sheep and horses.

Things You Need

There are a few things you need to propagate chokeberry. You need a rooting medium, plastic bag.

Others are sharp knife or shears, glass covering, container or pot. More include sawdust, damp peat moss, rooting hormone and buy a spray bottle, mister.

  • rooting medium
  • Plastic bag
  • Sharp knife
  • Shears
  • Glass covering
  • Container or pot
  • Sawdust
  • Damp peat moss
  • rooting hormone
  • buy a spray bottle and mister
  • health benefits of aronia berries

Uses of Chokecherries

Chokecherry is very toxic to animals with segmented stomachs. The fruit is made into jam or syrup however the bitter taste requires lots of sugar. The bark are used in traditional medicine to treat stomach maladies.

  • Made into jam
  • Syrup
  • Treatment of stomach maladies

How to Grow Chokecherry from Wood Cuttings

Chokecherries are small tree or shrubs with dark bark and white flowers. Propagating from seeds is slightly challenging with little guarantee of good result. However wood cutting is a better option for successful germination and rooting.

The first step is to use a sterile rooting medium in a sterile pot. The medium can contain peat moss, perlite, sand and vermiculite. Then select a parent plant and cut.

Use a sterile shears to remove 5 inches slant cut from shoot tips below a node. It prevent drying out place the cutting in a plastic wrap. Make sure you remove leaves from bottom of cutting at least 2 inches.

Then trim the base of the cutting. Dip cutting end in rooting hormone to encourage speedy rooting. Then insert the lowest leaves and stick cutting in rooting material. It is better to place in the rooting medium of sawdust or peat moss.

To prevent the soil drying out water regularly to maintain moist soil. Place the pot were it will receive sun with slight shade. Ideal temperature for growth is 65F. Use heating coils to encourage faster rooting in slighter warmer soil and It takes several weeks to root.

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Growing Chokecherries from Seeds

Once you obtain the seeds refrigerate for 3 months. The best time to plant them is early spring. Select a well-drained potting container and fill with potting soil. Soil preference is loamy, medium to light soil.

The seed requires full sun to germinate and regular watering. Bury the seed 1 inch deep and keep soil moist. Once they grow 9 inches transfer outdoors and leave adequate space for mature plant.

It takes about 20 months to germinate. Weed regularly to avoid competition for soil nutrients. Control the infestation with benomyl spray and prune dead or fungal infected branches.

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