Hybridizers are forever coming out with new plants for gardeners to try, which is sometimes like an apple phone—the kinks need to be worked out. Or they tank altogether. Or they stand up to all the hype and make the plant profile page of our blog. Such is the case with Aronia melanocarpa ‘Low Scape Mound’ and ‘Ground Hug.’

Here are a few reasons to love these plants:


  • Native

  • Beautiful spring flowers

  • Groundcover

  • Use for steep embankments

  • Zone 3-9

  • Wet to Dry Soils

  • Drought tolerant

  • Erosion control

  • Fabulous fall color

  • Edible blue berries in late summer

  • Low maintenance

  • Border plantings

  • Containers (use as filler)

  • Great for early spring pollinators

  • Deer resistant

Nope, they are not evergreen but we can’t have it all.

Cultural Needs: Sunlight And Little Else

This native plant thrives on little. It can tolerate many growing conditions from wet soils to dry clay soils, and it grows from zone 3-9—-that’s like Alaska to Charleston and everything in between. So here’s what you need to grow it.

  • Zone 3-9

  • >6 hours direct sunlight— Look up when planting. What’s above you? What’s close to you? Your house? Your neighbor’s house? A forested lot? In Western North Carolina, six hours of direct sunlight can be hard to find in landscapes, and many of us try to “fudge” on this. Aronia’s bloom best and color best in fall when placed in that 10-4 direct sunlight. It’s helpful that they bloom before the trees leaf out, which allows for more choices, but deciduous trees still cast a shadow, and evergreen canopies keep plants shaded all year. And, to get the fall berries and fall color, choose an open sunny spot.

  • If you have a sunny bank you’re worried about soil erosion on, this plant layers its branches to spread and will quickly cover an area. ‘Ground Hug’ is a groundcover that spreads up to 36’ and is 8”-14” tall. Aronia can handle the toughest of situations, from salt to drought, so those steep banks are a perfect fit for it.

Maintenance: 1

Low maintenance is key with Aronia.

  • Prune after blooming if you must, as they bloom on old wood. The point of pruning is to maintain size and clear out interior stems for greater sunlight and air circulation—though this isn’t often necessary for aronias due to their smaller size.
  • There is no need to fertilize as they prefer less, and too much nitrogen makes for a lot of green growth and fewer blooms.
  • They are drought tolerant but as with all new plantings, watering the first season consistently is crucial to establish the plant. After it is established, it is drought resistant.
  • Relatively insect and disease-resistant.