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‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry

Vaccinium vitis-idaea 'Red Candy' (PP# 22,105)

‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry

Vaccinium vitis-idaea 'Red Candy' (PP# 22,105)

How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

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The ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry is a wonderful and unique berry bush that is hardy even in zone 2. Popular with native and ethnic peoples around the Arctic, it is also a beautiful groundcover shrub resembling a cotoneaster. It has glossy foliage, a low, mounding form, white flowers and beautiful candy-red berries. These make delicious tangy juices, jams and pies. Easy to grow in suitable soil it is perfect for covering banks and slopes, planting among rocks and growing in damp soils.

  • Beautiful groundcover with clusters of white flowers
  • Large red berries are beautiful, and great for juices, jams and pies
  • Attractive evergreen leaves like cotoneaster
  • Vigorous, giving a big harvest
  • Prefers moist, acidic soils

The ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry is hardy in zone 2, preferring areas with cooler, damp summers. It grows best in moist to wet soils that are peaty and acidic, but it can be grown in neutral soils with peat added and regular watering. It doesn’t have any pests or diseases, needs no special pruning or pollination partners, and is very easy to grow in suitable conditions.

Plant Hardiness Zones 2-8
Mature Width 1-2
Mature Height .5
Soil Conditions Grows in Acidic Soil
Sunlight Full Sun to Partial Shade
Drought Tolerance Poor Drought Tolerance
Zones 2-8

There are times when growing fruit seems out of reach for gardeners in cold areas, with so many fruit trees and bushes needing warmer zones. For inspiration we can reach out to ethnic peoples around the poles, and there we will discover a favorite berry – the Lingonberry. Eaten all through Scandinavia and Russia, it is also a popular treat for Native Americans and Canada’s aboriginal peoples. In Alaska, Newfoundland and even above the Arctic Circle, these delicious red berries have been harvested and eaten fresh, frozen and even with fish eggs and seal oil. Widely recognized for its healthy properties, Scandinavians eat it as jam with meats and fish, or as pies and desserts. It is packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, and B3, as well as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. The raw berries are tangy and acidic, but with sugar they are delicious and refreshing, and perfect for spicing up your meals. They also make great cordials and fruit drinks.

The wild berries are fine, if you can get them, but for growing in a garden you can’t beat the ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry. Its large berries are bright red and packed with juice and delicious flavor. The plant is a great garden shrub too, making a long mound on the soil, and often grown as a groundcover on slopes or among rocks. If this plant is new to you, be ready for an exciting addition to your garden and kitchen that is easy to grow even in the coldest zones.

Growing the ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry

Size and Appearance

The ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry is a low evergreen shrub that will be about 4 inches high and a foot across within a couple of years, and then growing no more than 8 inches tall when mature, but spreading wider. It grows at a moderate rate, and it has an attractive spreading form that looks great on slopes and around rocks. The slender branches are produced freely, making a very bushy, dense plant. Each side-branch is about 4 inches long, slim and slightly hairy. The leaves are packed tightly along the branches, and they are smooth, glossy, oval and about ¾ of an inch long. They are dark green, sometimes turning dark red in winter. The overall appearance is a bit like a spreading cotoneaster. The flowers are produced anytime from June to late September, with flowers opening slowly over weeks. The flowers are in clusters at the ends of the branches, about 14 blooms in a 4-inch spike. They are white with some pink overtones, and like inch-long hanging bells. They have a faint fragrance, and a plant in bloom is very attractive. After flowering berries develop rapidly, and within about 3 weeks they are ripe and ready to harvest. They are about ½ inch across, glossy and rich, candy red. Each stem produces 20 or 30 berries, and a mature bush can give 1,500 berries in a season. You can harvest them from a single bush and freeze them until you have enough to bake a pie, or grow several bushes and have a bumper harvest.

Using the ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry in Your Garden

This is a great dual-purpose shrub, because it is a beautiful groundcover and a great berry-bush. The berries are beautiful, even if you don’t harvest them, and popular with birds and wild mammals. Grow it on slopes, among rocks, on terracing, or in a row in a fruit garden. Use it in the foreground of beds, or planted in the spaces of a paved terrace.

Hardiness

The ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry is very hardy. So hardy it grows in icy zone 2. Yet it grows in all zones including zone 8, doing best in areas with damp, cooler summers, like the Pacific Northwest. Some winter cold is needed to develop the flowers properly. There is some confusion about hardiness, with some sources giving zone 5. This is because the lingonberry is a unique variety that is much more hardy than the species itself.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

The ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry grows best in full sun, but it will grow with a little shade too. In full sun the soil must be moist, as it is not drought-resistant. The soil should be damp to wet, and preferably acidic and peaty. It will also grow well in neutral garden soils with plenty of peat moss added to them. Water regularly for best results.

Maintenance and Pruning

No particular care is needed if the soil is suitable, and there are no pests or diseases of particular concern. Water regularly and remove any dead branches in spring – that’s it, and of course enjoy the bounty of nature it gives you.

History and Origin of the ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry

The lingonberry, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, is also called cowberry, partridge berry and mountain cranberry. The species as a whole is found all around the Arctic, from Russia and Alaska across Canada and through Scandinavia. The actual lingonberry is a variety – var. minus – that is lower growing and more cold-resistant than the general species. It has been harvested for thousands of years by ethnic people, and eaten in Russia and Scandinavia for centuries as a traditional food. It has been a commercial berry crop in the Netherlands since the 1960s, and it was there that the variety ‘Red Candy’ was created. It is the result of pollination of some seedling plants with the pollen of a commercial variety called `Aalshorst`. This was done in 2004 at the Van Son & Koot Nursery in Kaatsheuvel, the Netherlands. In 2006 a single plant was selected that was more vigorous, more compact, and with more flowers and larger, redder fruit than the parents. It became ‘Red Candy’ and was registered in the European Union in 2008, and patented in the US in 2011.

Buying the ‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry at the Tree Center

It is great to expand your fruit-growing – or branch out into something different and beautiful, even if fruit isn’t your first priority. The beautiful ‘Red Candy’ is a lovely plant and makes delicious jam – enjoy both, but order now, because something this special is going to sell-out really, really quickly.

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‘Red Candy’ Lingonberry

Vaccinium vitis-idaea 'Red Candy' (PP# 22,105)