Irga Canadian: description and care tips

Canadian irga is a very decorative and abundant fruiting shrub. Its berries are not only tasty, but also very healthy. The plant is appreciated by gardeners for their general simplicity, high productivity, and immunity to many common diseases and pests.

Description of Canadian Irgi

Irga - deciduous tree-like shrub from the pink family. In nature, mainly distributed in North America. There it grows without weed like a weed, including on roadsides, as well as on the edges of forests, mountain slopes. In Russia, some species are found in the Crimea, the Caucasus. The period of the productive life of the shrub is quite long, at least 45-50 years. Moreover, it is characterized by rapid growth and early maturity. The first crop is harvested already 3-4 years after planting in a permanent place, by 8-10 years, the irgi reaches the maximum possible indicators. On average, you can count on 20-25 kg of berries from the bush. They ripen in the first half of July.

The first crop is taken by the irgi in 3-4 years after landing on a permanent place

Since the temperate climate is ideal for irgi, it is intended for cultivation by nature in most of the territory of Russia. High frost resistance allows it to winter without special shelter, not only in the Moscow region, but also in the North-West region. As practice shows, the plant survives and bears fruit even in the forest-tundra, tundra.

Canadian Irga, cultivated by gardeners since the 17th century, is known by many different names. At home (in Canada), it is called a word borrowed from the language of Aboriginal Indians - “Saskatoon”. Other nicknames are “northern grape”, “wine berry” (berry berry is widely used for home winemaking), “shadow shrub”, “nursery”, “healthy” or “June berry”, “cinnamon” (due to the similarity with small black grapes) .

The average height of an adult plant reaches 2–7 m. Moreover, it can have 20–25 trunks. Shoots are long, with smooth bark, slightly nickel under their own weight. Young branches are cast reddish or brick, then gradually turn brown. The crown is spreading, in the form of an ellipse or an umbrella.

Leaves are not too large (up to 10 cm in length), ovoid, soft to the touch. The surface of the sheet on both sides is rough, pubescent with a short soft "pile", because of which it seems to be covered with silver frost. Young, freshly blossomed leaves are painted in olive color with a brown undertone, in the summer they are characterized by a bluish-gray or pinkish tint, and by autumn they acquire a very spectacular crimson shade interspersed with crimson, raspberry, dark purple and orange-gold. The edges are cut out with small “teeth”.

Leaves of Canadian irgi change color during the season

The root system of the irgi is well developed, but superficial. Most of the roots are located at a distance of 40–50 cm from the earth’s surface, some go 90–100 cm deep. But in diameter they grow to 2–2.5 m. The plant very actively forms basal shoots and quickly spreads through the garden plot.

It is completely extremely difficult to uproot the irga, even if you specifically set such a goal.

In autumn, Canadian irga looks very impressive

Flowering occurs in the last decade of April or the first days of May. It lasts 12-15 days. The shrub at this time looks very impressive.

Irga is a good honey plant, attracting bees and other insects to the site. Its name in Latin (Amelanchier) means "bring honey."

Flowers rarely suffer from spring return frosts; they can withstand a short temperature drop to -5 ° C. The buds are collected in beautifully falling brushes of 5-12 pieces. Almost everyone is a future berry. Snow-white or vanilla cream petals.

Canadian irgi flowers attract many pollinating insects to the site

The fruits of the irgi are round, in the shape of an almost regular ball. Ripe berries are painted in ink-violet color with a bluish tinge, slightly unripe - in dark blue, unripe - in pink. The crop does not ripen at the same time, so on the shrub you can see the fruits of all three shades at once. Of all the types of Irgi, it is the Canadian one that has the best taste. Pleasant sweetness is due to the high sugar content and low - fruit acids.

Harvest of Canadian irgi matures gradually over several weeks

Berry berries are suitable for home canning, but apples, red or black currants are added to preserves, compotes, jams to give a slight sourness. Very useful for the heart and blood vessels juice from the berry. But it cannot be squeezed out of freshly picked fruits. Berries should be allowed to lie in a dry, dark place for 5–6 days. If you leave it there for 1.5–2 months, the berry will turn into something similar to raisins.

Irga, alone or together with other berries and fruits, is widely used in home canning

Varieties popular among gardeners

Most of the varieties grown in garden plots are bred in Canada, but Russian breeders have their own achievements. The most popular are the following varieties:

  • Pembina. The bush is almost spherical, 4.5–5 m in diameter, very decorative at any time of the year. It is distinguished by a reluctant formation of basal shoots, which, in principle, is not typical for shadweed. The diameter of the berry is 1.4–1.5 cm;
  • Smoky One of the most popular varieties, almost a standard. It is grown on an industrial scale at home. Differs in high immunity. It grows to 4–4.5 m. The shoots are clearly nickel, the crown is in the shape of an umbrella. It blooms only in the last decade of May, when the probability of spring return frosts is already minimal. The average diameter of the fruit is about 1.5 cm. The berries are very sweet, juicy, without astringency. Productivity is high - more than 25 kg from an adult plant;
  • Northline The bush consists of a minimum of 25 trunks, upright shoots. Height is about 4 m, crown diameter is 5.5–6 m. The average diameter of berries is 1.6–1.7 cm, unlike most other varieties, they ripen at a time. Their shape is not round, but rather ovoid. Fruits can be harvested not only by hand, but also in a mechanized way. The formation of basal shoots is very plentiful. For the maximum possible crop, a pollinator variety is needed;
  • Sturgeon. The bush is sprawling, 2.5–3 m high. It is distinguished by high productivity and excellent taste of fruits. Berry brushes are very long, resembling grapes;
  • Thiessen. It grows up to 5 m in height, the crown is wide, spreading. The plant blooms early, the crop ripens at the end of June. The berries are large, 1.7–1.8 cm in diameter, sweet, with a slight acidity. The pulp is very juicy. Fruiting lasts for several weeks. Frost resistance up to -30ºС;
  • Martin. One of the clones of the Thiessen variety. A compact bush up to 3 m high and 3–3.5 m in diameter. The average fruit diameter is 1.5 cm or more. Productivity is not too high, the formation of basal growth is moderate. Fruiting friendly. The variety has a high immunity against diseases, rarely affected by pests. Berries ripen 1.5–2 months after flowering;
  • Sleith. One of the earliest varieties, the berries are almost black. They are distinguished by excellent taste and aroma. The average diameter of the fetus is 1.2–1.4 cm. Fruit bearing is friendly. Winter hardiness at -32ºС;
  • Mandam. Variety of medium ripening, low shrub, up to 3 m. Fruits stably. Berries with a diameter of more than 1.5 cm, sour taste is absent;
  • Ballerina. Shrub tall (6 m or more), the shoots are very nickel. The berries are juicy and very sweet, almond notes are guessed in the aroma. It tolerates adverse environmental conditions, grows and bears fruit even in the city;
  • Nelson Almost spherical bush with a diameter of about 4.5 m. The berries are not too large, 1.2-1.3 cm. The flesh is very juicy, with a tart flavor and a slight sourness. The variety has a genetically built-in immunity to rust, blooms 7-10 days later than most varieties of Shrimp, respectively, less likely to come under return frosts;
  • Honeywood The height of the bush is about 5 m, the crown diameter is 3.5–4 m. The first crop is harvested only 2-3 years after planting. The berries are dark blue, as they ripen, they acquire a purple hue. They can be spherical, and slightly flattened. The average diameter of the fruit is about 2 cm. The brushes are long (in each of 9-15 berries), they resemble grape. The pulp is very fragrant, with a slight tart flavor. Basal overgrown little flowering later. Fruiting lasts for 2-3 weeks;
  • JB-30. Crohn with a diameter of 5.5-6 cm, the height of the bush is about the same. Berries to taste are almost indistinguishable from wild berries, but much larger - about 1.7 cm in diameter. Completely ripe fruits are painted in dark blue color, productivity - about 20 kg from a bush;
  • Bluff One of the latest achievements of Canadian breeders, among amateur gardeners so far is not widespread. The berries are not too large (1-1.2 cm in diameter), but they are ideal for processing due to the fact that their bones are very small. The taste is pleasant, slightly tart;
  • Prince William The bush is compact, with a diameter of no more than 2.5 m. The variety is characterized by high cold resistance and decorativeness. In autumn, orange-scarlet leaves remain on the plant until the first frost. The average diameter of the berry is 1.2 cm;
  • Pierson. Canadian grade. The plant is powerful, multi-stemmed. It differs in intensive formation of basal shoots. The average diameter of the fetus is 1.8 cm or more. Taste is excellent. It blooms late, the crop ripens in early August;
  • Forestbourgh. A bush about 4 m high, at first upright shoots gradually go down. Basal shoots are not formed too much. Berries with a diameter of 1.4–1.6 cm, collected in dense brushes of 8–13 pieces. The fruits ripen together. Winter hardiness up to -40ºС, also the variety is resistant to drought. Immunity against diseases and pests is high;
  • Krasnoyarsk. Russian variety of late ripening. The bush is not very tall, 3.5–4 m. The berries ripen in the last ten days of July or early August. It depends on how warm and sunny the summer is. Differs in winter hardiness at a level of -40ºС and more. The fruits are 1.8–2 cm in diameter, the taste is pleasant, sweet and sour.

Photo gallery: varieties of Canadian irgi, popular among gardeners

Irga Pembina practically does not need to form a bush

Irga Smoky at home is one of the most popular varieties grown on an industrial scale

Iringa Northline can be cleaned mechanically

Irga Sturgeon is a fairly compact shrub, suitable even for small garden areas

Iries Thiessen may fall under spring frost due to early flowering

Irga Sleith is one of the first to keep up

The weather during the summer has little effect on the harvest of Jiri Mandam

Irga Ballerina - a very tall shrub

Bluff - a relatively new variety of iergi

Irga Martin - a clone of the second generation of the Thiessen variety

Irga Nelson protected by the creators from rust

Irga Honeywood - a variety characterized by large-fruited

Berries of Jiri JB-30 taste almost indistinguishable from wild Jirgi

Irga Prince William - a compact and very decorative bush

Irga Pierson - a powerful, sprawling plant

Jirga Forestbourgh is appreciated for the one-time fruit ripening and very high winter hardiness.

Irga Krasnoyarskaya - a successful achievement of Russian breeders

There is irga Lamarca, which is often characterized as one of the varieties of Canadian irgi. But in fact, this is a separate species of plant. Irga Lamarca is most often used in landscape design, a flowering plant looks very beautiful.

Irga Lamarck is widely used in landscape design

It differs from the Canadian one in a larger flower size, abundant flowering and a copper-red tint of young leaves. Irga Lamarka also bears fruit, but her berries are small (up to 1 cm in diameter), and the yield is not too high - 5-7 kg from an adult plant.

Planting procedure

Irga is an unpretentious plant. This applies, among other things, to the choice of a place for planting and the quality of the soil. It tolerates shade well, does not suffer from cold northerly winds, therefore hedges are often formed from high bushes along the perimeter of the site, thus protecting other plantings. Other berry bushes - raspberries, gooseberries, currants - can be placed next to the irga. In an open place, culture also grows well, but does not like direct sunlight.

Canadian Irga will easily tolerate partial shade, the bright sun for her is not the best option

Irgi are planted both in spring and in autumn. It depends on the climate in a particular region. If it is moderate, then spring is more suitable. Over the summer, the plant will definitely have time to adapt to new living conditions. In areas with a subtropical climate, landings can be planned for September and even for the first half of October, being sure that at least 2–2.5 months are left before the first frosts.

Seedlings bought in the fall can be preserved until the next spring without compromising on quality. They are planted in a container filled with wet sawdust or a mixture of peat and sand, which is cleaned in a dark place with a temperature just above 0ºС. There are other ways - to plant the seedlings in the garden, placing them at an angle, and then pour a high snowdrift on top, or simply wrap them in several layers of breathable covering material and throw it with snow.

Seedlings of Canadian irgi are most often purchased in the fall, at this time there is more choice

A pit for the irgi is prepared in advance, at least a few weeks before the planned landing. Enough about 50 cm in depth and 60–65 cm in diameter. From fertilizers, humus (15–20 l), simple superphosphate (200–250 g), and potassium sulfate (70–80 g) are added to the upper layer of fertile soil.

Coarse river sand (about 10 l) and a layer of drainage at the bottom will help to make the soil more loose.

A deep landing pit for the irgi is not needed

With the simultaneous planting of several plants, at least 2–3 m are left between them. If hedge formation is planned, irgi are planted in a checkerboard pattern with an interval of 50–70 cm. Sufficient area for feeding an adult plant is 6–10 m².

Irga does not impose special requirements on the soil quality, however, an ideal option for it is light but fertile loamy or loamy soil. If the soil is completely poor, the bush in search of food will begin to grow very actively in breadth, forming a huge amount of basal shoots, which is almost impossible to eradicate. The acid-base balance for irgi does not matter, but it does not treat the acidifying soil very well. If the groundwater lies closer than 2–2.5 m from the surface, it is advisable to find another area, otherwise the roots may begin to rot.

When planting daisies, the root neck should be deepened by 5–7 cm, and the seedling itself should be tilted at an angle of about 40–45 °. This contributes to the active formation of subordinate roots. The tree must be abundantly (10-15 l) watered. Then the soil in the near-stem circle is mulched. The seedlings are cut off, shortening by about a third. Each should have 5-6 growth buds.

Video: landing Irgi

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Crop care

Care consists in keeping the near-stem circle clean, periodically loosening the soil, applying fertilizers and watering. The need for shelter for the winter depends on the varietal qualities of a particular variety.


Frequent and plentiful watering is not needed. The plant has a developed root system, so it can well do with natural rainfall. The exception is very hot and arid weather. In this case, Canadian irgus is watered every 7–12 days, spending 20–30 liters per adult plant. The preferred method is sprinkling. It allows you to simultaneously flush dust off shrub leaves while watering.

If technically possible, irrigation is irrigated by sprinkling, simulating natural rainfall

The optimal time for the procedure is early morning or late evening. If the bright sun is shining, the drops of water remaining on the leaves can play the role of lenses, the shrub will get sunburn.

Fertilizer application

If all the necessary fertilizers have been introduced into the planting pit, in the first 3-4 years of being in the open ground, the Canadian irga can do without additional fertilizing. Then each spring in the near-stem circle during the first loosening, 15–20 g of any nitrogen-containing fertilizer is distributed (a solution can be prepared by diluting the same amount in 10 l of water). At the end of September, the plant is fed with phosphorus and potassium so that it can properly prepare for winter. For this, simple superphosphate and potassium sulfate (20–25 g each) or complex preparations (ABA, Autumn) are used. A natural alternative is wood ash (about 0.5 l).

Wood ash - a natural source of potassium and phosphorus

Irga responds with gratitude to any fertilizer, especially organic, by an increase in growth rate and an increase in yield. Starting from the moment when the flowering ends, it is advisable to water it every 3-4 weeks with infusions of nettle leaves, dandelion, fresh cow manure or bird droppings. Directly under the roots, the nutrient solution is not applied; it is better to make several annular grooves, departing from the trunk for about 0.5 m. About half an hour after feeding, the bush is abundantly watered so as not to burn the roots. When moisture is absorbed, the soil is gently loosened.

12-15 days after flowering, foliar dressing can be carried out using trace elements. 1-2 g of copper sulfate, zinc sulfate and boric acid are dissolved in 10 l of water.


Irga is characterized by its growth rate, therefore, it needs periodic pruning. But this should not be abused; culture does not tolerate the procedure too well.

Most often, it is formed as a multi-stem bush. This configuration is provided by nature itself, it only needs to be slightly corrected. To do this, during the first 4–5 years after planting in the soil of the Canadian irgi, all shoots are cut to the point of growth, leaving only 2–3 of the most powerful and developed ones. Thus, an adult shrub should consist of 15–20 branches of different ages.

Canadian Irgi has a long productive life, so she needs a rejuvenating pruning about once every 10-12 years. A signal for this is a sharp decrease in the growth rate of the bush - not more than 10 cm per year. In this case, it is necessary to get rid of all the fruitless, weak, deformed, elongated shoots. All other branches are shortened to 2–2.5 m. There is another option for rejuvenation - each year to completely cut off the two oldest shoots.

A radical way to prune Canadian irgi is to leave some stumps from the shoots

If the cut diameter is more than 0.5 cm, it must be disinfected with a 2% solution of copper sulfate and carefully coated with garden varnish.

All Canadian shoots growing in hedges annually shorten all available shoots by 10-15 cm. This stimulates the shrub to more intensive branching.

Every spring, sanitary pruning is carried out. It is needed to get rid of broken, dried, frozen branches over the winter. They also remove those that grow down and deep into the crown, thickening it, violating the neat outline of the bush.

Winter preparations

Canadian Irga is a frost-resistant culture. Therefore, in regions with a subtropical climate, she definitely does not need shelter for the winter. There you can limit yourself to cleaning the near-trunk circle from debris and updating the layer of mulch.

But in the European part of Russia, for example, in the suburbs, the situation is different. Winters there are quite warm, snowy, and abnormally cold, with minimal rainfall. Therefore, it is better to play it safe and protect young seedlings by covering them with suitable-sized boxes filled with hay, sawdust, shavings. Adult specimens at the base of the shoots are poured with a layer of peat or humus about 25 cm high. As soon as the snow falls, a high snowdrift is built at the roots.

Common Diseases and Pests

Canadian irga is naturally highly immune, therefore it rarely suffers from pathogenic fungi and pests. The main threat to the crop is birds. The only way to reliably protect berries from them is a fine-mesh net thrown over the bush. But this is not always possible due to the size of the plant. All other methods (scarecrows, shiny ribbons, rattles) give only a short-term effect, for 2-3 days, no more. Birds quickly realize that these objects are not able to do them any harm.

The grid is the only reliable way to protect the harvest of the berry from birds

But still, occasionally, if the summer is very cold and rainy, the following diseases can develop:

  • tuberculosis. Leaves and young shoots acquire an unnatural red-purple hue, quickly dry and fade. Small reddish-pink “warts” may appear on the branches. All branches, even slightly affected, are cut and burned. The shrub is sprayed twice with an interval of 7-12 days with a 1% solution of Bordeaux fluid or copper sulphate;
  • gray rot. On the shoots at the base and in the places of attachment of the petioles of leaves, on the fruits “weeping” black-brown spots creep out, gradually dragging on a fluffy light gray coating with small black patches. The most common cause is heavy watering, so it is immediately stopped. Shrub and soil in the near-stem circle are dusted with sifted wood ash, crushed chalk, colloidal sulfur;
  • leaf spotting. Spots can be of various shades, from almost white to dark brown. It depends on the particular type of fungus that causes the disease. Any copper-containing preparations (Topaz, Skor, Chorus) are used to fight. Usually, if the problem is noticed at an early stage, 2-3 treatments with an interval of 5-7 days are enough.

Photo gallery: Canadian diseases affecting irga

Tuberculosis is easily recognized by the unnatural red color of the shoots

The development of gray rot is most often promoted by improper care of the irga

Spotting symptoms vary greatly depending on which particular fungus causes the disease.

Самые распространённые вредители ирги обычно не в состоянии нанести кустарнику существенного вреда. Но это не означает, что с ними не нужно бороться.

  • семяед. Взрослые особи откладывают яйца в плодовые завязи. Вылупившиеся личинки выедают семена из ягод и окукливаются в них. Повреждённые плоды сморщиваются и опадают. Для профилактики растение сразу же после цветения опрыскивают Карбофосом, при обнаружении подозрительных симптомов проводят обработку Каратэ, Актелликом или Фуфаноном;
  • моль-пестрянка. Гусеницы питаются тканями растения, выедая в листьях узкие ходы. Повреждённые листья желтеют и опадают. После сбора урожая для профилактики иргу опрыскивают Лепидоцидом или Битоксибациллином. Также для борьбы с пестрянкой применяют Кинмикс, Моспилан, Конфидор-Макси;
  • leaflet. Чаще всего вредитель проявляет себя в начале лета. Взрослые особи откладывают яйца в листья, сворачивая их трубочкой. За 3–5 дней до цветения куст опрыскивают раствором Нексиона либо настойкой полыни, табачной крошки. Со взрослыми особями борются с помощью Алатара, Битокса, Бинома.

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Заражённые личинками семяеда плоды опадают с куста намного раньше срока

Гусеницы моли-пестрянки питаются тканями листа

Основной вред ирге причиняют не взрослые особи, а гусеницы листовёртки

Gardeners reviews

А вы попробуйте из ирги изобрести изюм. The charm! У меня лет пять назад получился он случайно. Сок из ягод ирги получить можно после подвяливания в течение 7–10 дней этих самых ягод. Однажды я, как положено, собранный урожай положила на подсушку для того, чтобы извлечь сок. Когда пришло время взять сок, у меня этого времени не оказалось, так она и подсохла. Я её сухую собрала в баночки, а зимой грызла как изюм. Получилось классно и вкусно. При варке компотов добавляла в них как сухофрукты.

Baba Galya

Я, кроме нескольких дней поедания с кустов, сделала варенье из ирги в смеси с ягодами черёмухи (крупной, похожей на мелкую вишню). Потому что и той и другой не очень много, и созрели в одно время. Liked. Жидкости получилось много в варенье. Не приторно. У меня посажено несколько растений ирги в разных местах. У дороги я её формирую как дерево. В других местах свободно растёт кустами.


After flowering, before the appearance of the ovaries, the irga somewhat loses its decorativeness. The taste is for everybody: fresh, children like it. Ripens gradually, so collect chore. The main thing is to uproot almost impossible (you need either a strong man or a bulldozer), is reborn from the overgrowth, grows to the sides (not like sea buckthorn, but still).


We eat fresh berry berries, but, since the ripening of berries is not simultaneous, they are always lacking for everyone. While I was looking for the characteristics of varieties of irgi on Canadian sites, I found not only the sale of seedlings, but also products from berries: wine, jams and marmalades, dry, fresh and frozen berries, berries glazed with chocolate, various berry sauces for ice cream and yoghurts, alcoholized berries ( such as cocktail cherries) and so on. In addition, in Canada they make pies and pies with berry berries.

Irina Kiseleva

Canadian igra in nature grows mainly in the northern hemisphere, that is, it is ideal for cultivation in most of the territory of Russia. The plant looks very attractive throughout the growing season. Even a beginner gardener will cope with his care, you won’t have to wait long for the first harvest. Berries, the taste of which is very popular with children, are very good for health, and also distinguished by the universality of the purpose.


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