Aronia melanocarpa problem

Asked May 24, 2018, 11:01 AM EDT

I planted A. melanocarpa "Autumn Magic" about a month ago. I had removed a holly stump and amended the clay soil with peat moss and Leafgro before planting so it's a raised bed. The site gets full sun. It can get damp since I have run a drain from the gutter out to that area. I had read the plant can tolerate boggy conditions so I assumed this characteristic and the combination of raised bed and amended soil would be ok with all the rain we've had. You can see from the attached picture that the plant looks stressed, with colored, dying leaves. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the potential problem and a solution. thank you

Montgomery County Maryland

3 Responses

Black chokeberry naturally grows in swamps and bogs, so water should not be the problem, assuming it was not allowed to dry out before it was planted--or afterwards before the rains started.

We cannot give you a definitive diagnosis based on this photo. Photos of the entire plant, including the base of the trunks, and close-ups of dying (not dead) leaves may be helpful. You can attach them to a reply.


I kept the plant well-watered before the rains and it looked healthy going into the rains. I have attached 3 pictures that I hope will help.

Thank you for the additional photos. Our plant pathologist looked at them and doesn't think there is any disease problem. Most likely it is a failure to establish. Was the plant rootbound in the pot when you purchased it? Did you spread the roots out in the planting hole when you planted it? You could pull up the plant and check the roots to see if there are any healthy looking roots left (white, fleshy roots), and if so, try spreading out the roots and replanting it. Unfortunately, it looks like it might be too far gone, though, for it to really take.