Most are grown in the landscape but growing elderberries in containers is possible. Late winter or early spring is also the best time to fertilize elderberries in pots. Growing elderberries is not all that difficult. Trust me, you don’t want to try lifting a container of this size that’s full of soil. The plant’s leaves will curl, wilt and turn brown. Third-year canes … Be sure to leave the top nodes located near the flat end of the cutting exposed as this is where the new elderberry plant … Most other elderberry species prefer a full to part sun location, and will fruit better in full sun. According to Linda Chalker-Scott, Extension Horticulturist and Associate Professor at the Puyallup Research and Research Center at Washington State University, rocks or other coarse material placed in the bottom will actually impede the flow of water through the container, potentially causing the soil to become waterlogged. This makes it ideal for container growing, since it won’t suffer if you forget to water. Her passion is focused these days on growing ornamental edibles, and foraging for food in the urban and suburban landscape. The elderberry is a perennial shrub that is hardy in USDA growing zones 4 and higher. How to Grow Elderberry from Seed Elderberry seeds need the coldness of winter, or stratification, before they will germinate. Allowing the roots to spread also provides a more stable base, and will help to prevent the plant from falling over. Depending on the variety, these plants thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9. A large container with a heavy base will keep your plant stable as it matures. You can also work composted manure into the soil. A heavy-duty planter, like one made out of cement or rock, is a smart choice to prevent tipping. To propagate elderberry from an offshoot or sucker simply dig up an off shoot of the main plant and make sure it has some roots of it’s own. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Most thriving wild-growing elderberries can be found growing on creek banks and drainage ditches for this very reason. Root rot causes leaves to turn yellow or red, and roots may have black or brown lesions. You’ll either need to harvest or prune the berries as they ripen, or be diligent about picking them up. I like to bring that scent close so I can enjoy it frequently, right on my patio. This causes stunted growth, reduced harvests, and curling and discolored leaves. Choose a large pot with several drainage holes in the bottom. That’s why it’s important to provide good drainage, with plenty of drainage holes in your container. Thrips are tiny winged insects that are black or brown with red, black, or white markings. Gardener’s Path and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Obviously, the flowers will look great in any part of your yard or garden (especially a landscape setting), but you'll get the most practical use out of the … This is a plant that likes to spread out and it won’t do well in a small pot. Remove all of the third-year canes and enough first and second year canes to leave a total of about five canes in the pot. Cut canes at the base near the soil level. This native cultivar of Sambucus canadensis goes by the common name “Adams.” It is one of the most common elderberries grown in North America and is similar to those found growing wild.Adams ElderberryThe signature white flowers, and large clusters of dark purple fruits, make it easily identifiable as a beautiful yard accent.At full height, this beautiful bush can reach between 6 and 10 feet tall. Good luck with it, they are such wonderful plants. Some varieties grow up to 12 feet tall, but the shorter types that grow no more than 4 feet high are best for containers. Give plants at least an inch of water each week from the time they start blooming in spring until the berries have finished and have either been harvested from the plant, eaten by wild birds, or fallen to the ground. As with red elderberry, the fruit of this type also causes stomach upset in … Others will not set fruit at all without another plant for cross-pollination. Place in an indoor sunny warm location. This large, square planter would be ideal. It’s 28 inches by 28 inches and is available from Home Depot in black, espresso, and white. Since elderberries are grown in the pots, leave 5-8 canes per pot (depending on the size of the pot) and spread those canes evenly on first-year (produce a light crop of flowers and fruit) and second-year (produce large crop of flowers and fruits) canes. Thread blight is a fungus that attacks growing elderberries. Learn more about how to fertilize your elderberry in our guide. Regular fertilization is especially important for plants grown in containers, as the roots are unable to spread beyond the container walls in search of nutrients, and regular watering will flush them from the soil. Never fear, these lovely plants lend themselves well to container growing, as long as you keep a few tips in mind. Also, be aware that birds might pick up and drop berries in places where you don’t want them. If you don’t have room in your garden beds, don’t despair. … They can tolerate different conditions like poor soil or overly wet areas. Second-year canes produce a heavy crop, and they decline in their third year. You’ll notice whitish-gray powdery mold on leaves, buds, and twigs. The US native species, Sambucus canadensis, thrives in shade or part shade, with about four hours of sun per day being ideal. A wide container allows the roots to develop and spread out in order to support and feed the plant. Soil dries out much more quickly in containers, and a large pot can hold more moisture without leaving the roots standing in water, which can cause root rot. This disease affects a whole range of plants, including elderberries. Large containers are often not recommended for plants with a small root structure, but elderberry likes moist soil with good drainage. Tapiro is the common name of the Mexican species, S. mexicana. Most pests will give your elderberry plants a wide berth, but keep an eye out for these: The elder shoot borer is the larvae of a red-brown moth, Achatodes zeae, that tunnels into the new shoots, and causes the tips of the canes to wilt. Dwarf elderberry, S. ebulus, also known as dwarf elder, danewort, dane weed, and dane blood, is native to southern and central Europe and has naturalized in the eastern US. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Sandy soil usually dries out too quickly and doesn't have enough nutrients … This is particularly true for plants grown in container. Fill your chosen container with an organically rich potting soil. Humans apparently recognized elderberry as a useful plant even in prehistoric times: Evidence of its cultivation is found in Stone Age village sites in Italy and Switzerland. If growth appears sluggish and only a few new canes pop up come spring, increase nitrogen by half. For best results, you need to pick one that is at least 24 inches wide and 20 inches deep. You can also transplant suckers from existing plants, or propagate stem cuttings. Container-grown elderberries need severe pruning every year in late winter or early spring to keep them from outgrowing their pots. If you notice your plants are producing an excess of new leafy growth, reduce the amount of nitrogen you’re giving them by half. That’s why I love growing currants, gooseberries, and my all-time favorite: elderberries. Germination is tricky and plantings will sometimes produces nothing even though … Prune regularly after the third year to maintain a short, bushy shrub. Although they like moist soil, if their roots become waterlogged, elderberries may suffer from root rot. That said, bigger is better. It does, however, need protection from freezing temperatures below -5°F. Perhaps the biggest challenge in growing elderberries, and particularly those in containers, is that they need a lot of moisture. or one big tub as I did here. Aim for six hours or more of direct sunlight per day. You can learn more about the pros and cons of different container materials here. S. nigra ‘Black Lace®’ is a real beauty, with delicate, dark reddish-purple lacy leaves and light pink blooms. See our TOS for more details. The dark foliage, especially when contrasted with the delicate pink flowers in springtime, makes a bold statement on your patio or as a feature planting. Elderberry plants need a fairly sizable container to thrive. Aim for at least five holes in a 24-inch-wide container. If your container doesn’t have several large drainage holes, you’ll need to make some. I’m excited to watch it grow. Second-year canes produce best and production drops off after that. Although they are mostly grown on permanent locations, elderberries in pots and containers grow … Even if you don’t plan to cook the berries or make your own home remedies, elderberry shrubs make a lovely ornamental addition to outdoor spaces, both spacious and more compact. Tapiro grows well in Zones 6-10 and reaches a mature size of only 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide – just right for a container. In the ground, elderberry bushes grow into dense masses similar to a thicket, and over time they spread to cover a wide area. You can determine how much water your plants are getting by using a rain gauge. Take care … Suckers from a … Problems often arise in plants that are not pruned regularly enough to maintain proper airflow. It isn’t just the fact that they taste delicious, but there’s something so satisfying about growing a plant that popular culture has recently rediscovered, to the point of obsession. Are you tempted to try? This plant needs to be planted in well-draining soil, because standing water can lead to root rot. Many types of elderberries grow best in Zones 3-8, all of which experience winter freezing. With its more upright growth habit, ‘Lemony Lace®’ is perfect for smaller spaces, with a mature height of just 3-4 feet tall. Make sure the pot you choose does not taper towards a narrow base. It has green foliage, and delicate yellow or cream-colored flowers give way to clusters of light purple or blue berries in the fall. This self-fertile species produces large clusters of reddish-purple fruit that ripens in early fall. It is fast-growing, tolerant of a number of climates and moisture levels once established. Elderberry used to be classified as part of the Caprifoliaceae, or honeysuckle family – maybe because the flowers smell so nice. Water the plant, then place it in the hole, and tamp the soil down gently before watering it in well. Or take the lazy approach and sow … Remove the canes by cutting them off at soil level. How to grow hundreds of Elderberry plants in two square feet. Elderberry bushes are very easy to propagate from cuttings, and you can often just cut some pieces off a growing tree and push them in the ground and they will grow. The shrub produces a white scented flower and small purple berry in the summer months. You’ll know you likely have an infestation if just the green shoots on your plant start to wilt. You can increase nitrogen by selecting a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen ratio. You’ll need to remove the plant and free up the drainage holes. If your plant has root rot, it’s toast. The flowers can be snipped and placed in vases to freshen up your home, and some varieties can be used to flavor cordial, tea, or wine. Thanks! Commonly known as Mexican elderberry or Tapiro it will grow to about twenty feet tall. If you notice black or brown spots on the undersides of leaves, your plant may have leaf spot. Each spring the plant … While they aren’t a good choice for a small balcony or patio, you can grow elderberries as a potted plant if you have a large container and plenty of room. While you don’t need to divide elderberry plants, pluck out any suckers that pop up next to the main plant, or you’ll end up with several plants trying to compete for nutrients and water in one container. Left unchecked, it can cause leaves to turn yellow and fall off the plant. But if you do decide to do so, conduct a soil test and amend with compost or well-rotted manure as needed. Elderberries need a lot of moisture and won’t survive if you allow the soil to dry out. You can also spray plants with a targeted fungicide. Make sure the temperature is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit so the seedlings can germinate. In early spring, plant seeds in 1/2- to 1/4-inch-deep containers and then transplant to your desired location when they're about 6 inches tall or sow the seeds in your garden. During the winter months, the plant will be dormant and only occasional watering is needed, to ensure the soil does not dry out completely. Choose varieties that fruit well on 1-2 year old shoots, such as Wyldewood and Bob Gordon. Even with a large container, your plant will probably never get as large as it would if it were growing in the ground, and this can also affect your potential harvest. With additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison Sidhu. Root rot is caused by Phytophthora rubi, a fungus-like organism that thrives in waterlogged soils. Suitable for Zones 4-7, it grows in a compact form, with a mature height of six feet. Using soil taken directly from your garden is not recommended, as it can harbor disease and weed seeds.