Grow a Black Chokeberry Shrub for Berry-Loving Birds
Looking to add fall interest to your yard? Learn why black chokeberry is a perfect choice, both for you and for your backyard birds.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Black Chokeberry Shrub Wildlife Benefits
A lovely and low-maintenance year-round shrub, black chokeberry develops bluish black fruit that songbirds eat in fall and winter. Birds like cedar waxwings, chickadees, eastern bluebirds, gray catbirds and tufted titmice might eat black chokeberry’s late-season crop. But the shrub offers additional benefits for berry-loving birds, including dense thickets that provide shelter and nesting sites. Butterﬂies are attracted to the spring ﬂowers, and some coral hairstreaks use the shrub as a host plant.
Check out more trees and shrubs with berries for birds, including firethorn, winterberry and more.
Are Black Chokeberries Edible?
Humans can also eat the black chokeberries. They’re high in antioxidants, but you’ll require sweeteners to make them palatable. Nonetheless, they’re a popular food crop for jam, jelly and wine.
Interested in growing more berries for you? Try these berry plants you can grow in pots.
How to Grow a Black Chokeberry Shrub
Adaptable chokeberry shrubs tolerate full sun to shade, and wet to dry soil once established. In fact, chokeberry is an ideal pick for wet areas in your yard. The shrub brings gorgeous color in autumn, and it welcomes spring with white flowers. In summer, it boasts glossy green leaves.
Scientific name: Aronia melanocarpa
Attracts: Birds, bees and butterflies
Zones: 3 to 9
Light needs: Full sun or part shade
Size: 3 to 6 feet tall and wide
Grown for: White spring blooms and black fall fruit
Foliage: Leaves turn purple or red in autumn
Learn how to grow a native American beautyberry bush.
Cultivars to Try
Viking blooms earlier than other chokeberries. Autumn Magic is known for fragrant flowers. Low Scape Hedger and Low Scape Mound offer shorter, narrower options to expand your design possibilities.
Next, learn how to attract birds with a mountain ash tree.