This post shows How to Propagate Aronia melanocarpa Viking using softwood cuttings and a mist irrigation system. The process involves taking cuttings during the summer, dipping the cutting in rooting hormone, and putting the cutting into a soil that drains very well. Then you mist the leaves every five to ten minutes during daylight hours.
A Little About Aronia
The Latin name is Aronia melanocarpa and it has a nickname of choke berry because it is so astringent that it makes you want to choke. It is a member of the rose family and is a deciduous cold hardy shrub, which is hardy from zone 8 down to zone 3. It is a native to eastern North America.
In late May it has fragrant flowers giving way to fruit that matures in August. The fruit is edible, but is very astringent. Aronia is self-fertile and is pollinated by bees. The Viking variety is a little shorter than some other aronia, only growing 3 to 6 feet high.
Propagating Aronia Viking is very easy and I have had about a 95% success rate.
To Start Do This….
To start, pick the right time of year and the right wood. Aronia does good with softwood and semi-softwood cuttings. These are cuttings that are taken from this year’s new growth in mid to late summer where the wood snaps when bent.
Then you cut the branches down so they have two to four internodes. These are any place a branch or leaf comes out. I usually go with three or four. You then leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs. If the leaves are large, cut them in half so they do not transpire too much and dry out.
Now the Hormones
You now dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone. I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like. You use more solution on harder wood and less on softer wood. Powder rooting hormone will work, but you may need to get several different products for different concentrations.
Into the Ground
Now it is time to put the cuttings into the ground. Push them into your planting medium about two inches down. Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily. You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.
These little cuttings will die if the dry out. You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet. The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on. I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off. This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.
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Check out our YouTube video on this subject titled Propagating Aronia Viking.
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