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Juneberries Growing Guide

juneberries

The Juneberry tree, scientifically named Amelanchier, is a type of tree belonging to the rose family. Juneberry is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Many varieties grow in every country, so this shrub is easy to find.

Different species of Juneberry are hard to identify because of their asexual seed production. The Juneberry can grow anywhere between 0.7 and 65 feet (0.2–20 m) tall, depending on the variety. The bark of said shrub is gray and, on some occasions, brown.

The leaves are soft and thin and turn a bit hairy as the tree ages. The flowers of Amelanchier have a color range of white, pink, yellow, and red. The flower length is between 0.1 and 0.9 inches (2.6 and 25 mm). The shrub blooms in early spring.

The Juneberry fruit is colored red or purple and sometimes even black, with a diameter of 0.2 – 0.6 inches (5 – 15 mm). Fruit matures in the summer and has a sweet, sometimes insipid taste. The fruit is often harvested to make pies, wine, muffins, and jams.

The bark of the shrub can even be used to make handles for a variety of tools. This plant is perfect for placing near hedges up to 9.8 feet (3m) tall. The first crop usually appears after two years of growth.

Varieties

Thiessen: This variety has large fruit and an open shape. Can reach up to 14 feet (4.3m) in height.

Honeywood: This variety’s fruit ripens for a longer period but has a richer flavor in the end. Can reach up to 8 feet (2.4m) in height.

Smokey: This variety has a vigorous bush that may need more tending. Is mildly fruited and can reach up to 8 feet (2.4m) in height.

Regent: This variety has the most ornamental flowers. The fruit is of good quality and taste. Can reach up to 6 feet (1.8m) in height.

Juneberry plant blooming
Juneberry plant blooming

How To Grow?

Juneberries will be able to produce a crop in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 through 5. A great trait this plant has is that it is very cold-hardy, tolerating temperatures down to -4°F (-20°C). Although it is best to keep them from extreme cold to help keep them producing fruit, the juneberry, however, does not tolerate high humidity levels as it can lead to diseases.

Light

The best berry production will occur when the plant gets full sun. Although the Juneberry is also a shade lover, for best crop results, the plant will need at least six hours of full sunlight per day.

Watering

Another good trait of this plant is its ability to tolerate drought. If grown outside and the plant gets an average amount of rainwater, you shouldn’t need to water the shrub yourself. However, if you are dealing with a very dry season, make sure to water now and then.

This quality comes from its natural growing spaces being shallow soils in dry ridges. This plant does not tolerate standing water, so make sure to not plant it somewhere where water collects.

Soil and Fertilizer

This tree likes soils with even moisture levels, so good drainage is important in the soil. The shrub will tolerate soils ranging from coarse sand to silty clay. The most recommended soil is sandy loam. Will tolerate soil pH levels anywhere between 4.8 and 8.

For fertilizer, you should use a balanced mix; organic fertilizers like manure can also bring good results. Fertilizers should be worked into the soil evenly, according to the instructions given with the fertilizer.

Ripe juneberries
Ripe juneberries

Pruning

The best time for pruning would be in the spring before any new growth starts and after any harsh cold weather. You can remove any old branches from the shrub if you want to have the plant thinned or envigorated.

However, during the first three years of growing this plant, only prune any damaged branches. After the first three years, you can prune more vigorously to maintain shape and size.

Propagation

The best way to propagate a Juneberry plant is by cutting shoots.

  • Use clean and sharp tools.
  • Make sure the shoot you choose has roots attached.
  • Cut a shoot from the main plant.
  • Wash off and clean any debris and old soil.
  • Plant the shoot in the ground or a new pot.
  • Make sure to plant it at the same level as it was in its previous spot.
  • Water thoroughly after planting.

From there on, grow the plant as usual.

Repotting

The best time for repotting would be in early spring, before any new growth or flowering. As the plant matures, you may come across it being rootbound; this means it is time to repot it or move it to the ground.

If placing it in a new pot, make sure to use fresh soil and a new, clean pot slightly bigger than the original. Planting it outside in a pot will require you to clean off any old debris and soil to make sure any disease won’t accompany them into their new habitat.

Diseases

The most common disease you might come across when growing the Juneberry is rust. When you notice the leaves falling off rapidly and brightly colored yellow-orange lesions on the leaves, then you are dealing with a rust disease. To treat your plant for this, you must remove any infected leaves and branches.

Because this is a tough plant, it can also help to just leave the plant alone for a season. This way, the plant should be able to fight off the disease and regain its power for the next season. If leaving the plant alone for a season does not work, you can use fungicide sprays as well. Keep an eye on your plant to discover the disease early on for easy treatment.

Pests

When growing this plant, you may come across a pest such as the wooly elm aphid. This pest feeds on the roots of the tree in the summer. Use pesticides to rid the Juneberry of any pests, or pick off bigger insects by hand. The biggest problem can be caused by birds that eat the berries. Keep an eye on your plant to discover the problem early on for easy treatment.

Conclusion

Juneberry plants can almost survive any hardship, making it perfect for beginners. Not only does it bloom beautiful flowers, but it will also bless you with berries if cared for the right way. The many varieties give you a wide range to choose from. The elegant and subtle fall look of this plant can blend into any garden or home, bringing coziness right along with it.

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