Elderberry: Planting And Care In The Garden, Growing Black, Species And Varieties With Photos

The elderberry plant (Sambucus) is a shrub and belongs to the flowering plant family of the family Adoxus. However, until then, this plant was considered a member of the honeysuckle family, and it was also allocated to a separate family of elderberry. This genus includes about 40 species, some of which are considered decorative, and there are also medicinal, for example, red elderberry and black elderberry. In wild conditions such a shrub is most often found in regions with subtropical and temperate climates of the Northern Hemisphere, as well as in Australia. Man learned about the existence of elderberry in ancient times.

For example, the ancient Greeks used the shoots of such a plant to make musical instruments, and there is a mention of it in the writings of Pliny.

Features of elderberry

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

Elderberry is most often represented by not very large trees or shrubs, but the genus also includes herbaceous plants that are perennials, such as the herbaceous elderflower. In the middle latitudes only 13 species of elderberry are grown. And the most popular among gardeners of these latitudes is the black elderberry, which will be described in detail below.

Black elderberry is represented by not very large trees or shrubs, like most species in this genus.

It can reach a height of 2-6m and in the wild it prefers to grow in the undergrowth of coniferous and deciduous forests and in some cases it forms dense thickets. The branching shoots have a thin, woody sheath, while their white core is soft and porous. The color of young branches is green, changing over time to a grayish brown with many very small lenticels. The large leaflets reach a length of 10-30 centimeters. They are unpaired, with several long-angled, oblong, supropositely arranged and shortly petiolate leaflets.

Large, multi-flowered flat, corymb-like inflorescences are 0.25 m in diameter and consist of fragrant, dark yellow or creamy, undersized flowers (0.5-0.8 cm in diameter). Flowering begins in May or June.

The fruit is a berry-like pit of almost black color, about 0.7 cm in diameter, with dark red flesh and 2 to 4 pips. The beginning of fruiting is in August-September.

Bushingberry is not only an ornamental plant, it also has medicinal properties.

Care for plants: black elderberry.

Types, planting, care // FORUMHOUSE

Planting elderberry in the open ground

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

What time to plant

Planting elderberry is quite simple because this process has few differences from planting other bushes in the open ground. Planting can be done in the spring and autumn. Experts recommend that for planting to choose those seedlings, which was 1 or 2 years old. Despite the fact that this plant is characterized by its unpretentiousness, it can not be grown in poor soil or in the shade, as this will not the best effect on the decorativeness of the bush and on its growth and development. For planting you should choose an open, sunny spot on the east or north side of the garden.

Remember that elderberry varieties with variegated or coloured leaves need plenty of sunshine. Young elderberry shoots have an unpleasant fragrance which even flies cannot stand, so the plant is often planted near compost or cesspool pits and toilets. Such shrubs are recommended for planting in sod-podzolic soil or wet loam with a pH of 6.0-6.5.

If the soil is acidic, it should be lime-treated a couple of years before planting the elderberry by adding dolomite flour.

Spring planting

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

When planting a seedling of such a plant in spring, the preparation of the planting hole should be done 4 weeks before planting. Consider that the depth of the hole should be 0.8 m and its width 0.5 m.

While you are digging the hole, the nutrient-poor topsoil and the bottom poor layer of soil should be tucked away in different directions. In case you want to give the plant the shape of a tree, then find the center of the bottom of the hole and set in it a stake of such length that it rises 50 centimeters above the soil surface after planting. If elderberry will be cultivated as a shrub, you can not do support for it. The top layer of soil should be combined with 30 grams of potassium fertilizer, 50 grams of phosphate, as well as 7-8 kilograms of humus. The resulting substrate should be mixed very well.

Two-thirds of this mixture should be poured into the hole.

When planting the seedling, it is necessary to loosen the top layer of the substrate poured into the hole. Then the seedling itself should be placed in the hole. Its root system should be filled with the bottom layer of soil, and then the hole is filled to the top with the remaining soil mixture. The plant should have its root neck several centimeters above the surface of the ground.

Once the soil in the starter circle is well compacted, you should water the plant with 1-1.5 buckets of water. When the liquid is fully absorbed and the soil settles, the root neck of the seedling should be at the same level with the soil surface. At the very end, if necessary, the elderberry is tied to a peg.

Autumn planting

To plant a seedling of this plant in autumn, it is necessary to plant it in the same way as in spring.

The planting hole should be prepared in advance, with the necessary mineral and organic fertilizers. When planting the seedling, remember that after watering and precipitation of the soil, its root neck must necessarily be at the same level with the surface of the ground.

Buzyna black. Planting instructions. GardenWithYourHands

How to care for elderberry

How to care for it in spring

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

In March, sunburn on the surface of elderberry bark is highly likely to occur.

The fact is that during the day, due to very bright sunlight, the bark heats up strongly and cools down sharply at night. To avoid the appearance of burns, it is enough to paint the base of the skeletal branches and the bark of the plant with lime. If the bark of the plant has been injured by rodents during the winter time, such places should be disinfected with a fairly strong solution of manganese potassium, then they should be treated with garden varnish.

Select a warm enough sunny day and prune the elderberry. Then spray the bush with a solution of Bordeaux liquid or Nitrafen as a prophylactic against diseases and pests.

Remove any warming material and last year's fallen leaves from the surface of the root zone. If there was very little snow during the winter and the spring was dry, the plant will need watering.

How to care for in summer

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

When the plant blooms, it should be treated for powdery mildew and pests.

In the first summer weeks, elderberry starts to form ovaries and grow intensively. Because of this, it is very important that the plants have enough water and nutrients at this time.

Remember that the surface of the bed should always be kept moist and crumbly. If the plant has been damaged by frost during the winter, it will have quite a rapid growth of rootstock in the spring. This growth should be removed as soon as it appears, as it can quickly outgrow the plant. To prevent uncontrolled spread of elderberry on the garden plot, it is necessary to depart from the bush 1.5 meters and dig old sheets of slate in a circle, having buried them in the soil by 50 centimeters.

In August, some elderberry varieties begin to ripen the fruits, so you should be ready for harvesting. Start preparing the plant for the winter season as early as the last weeks of summer. If there has been a lot of rain in the summer, this can cause secondary shoots to grow. To stop this, remove the mulch layer from the surface of the root zone and prune the tips of the growing stems.

Autumn care

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

In autumn, it is very important to prepare elderberries for winter.

The berries are picked in September and then the plant is sanitary pruned. In the last days of September, it is necessary to carry out recultivation of the soil in the root circle, during which fertilizers are applied. If it rains little in the autumn, the plant will need winter watering. In case the planting of seedlings is only planned, in the last days of September it is necessary to make a planting hole and make all necessary fertilizers into it.

The bark of elderberry and the surface of the root circle should be sprayed in October in order to destroy pests and pathogens.

Large branches and boles should be whitewashed with chalk mixed with carpenter's glue and copper sulfate or freshly slaked lime. In this way you will protect the plant from spring burns and rodents. The surface of the root zone should be covered with a layer of humus, peat or dried leaves.

To protect the shrub from frost, a layer of freshly fallen snow should be placed under the plant.


Preventive treatment of shrubs and the surface of the root zone against diseases and pests is done twice a year, namely in the spring time before the buds open and in the fall when all the leaves fall off.

A solution of Nitraphen (2-3%) or Bordeaux liquid (1%) is used for spraying. These products can be replaced with copper sulfate solution (1%) or other drugs of similar action. In springtime elderberry should be sprayed with urea solution (7%), which will not only kill pathogens and pests but also provide nitrogen nutrition since the plant needs this substance at this time of year.

How to water properly

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

If it rains a lot in summer, elderberry does not need watering. A mulch layer on the surface of the bedding circle also greatly reduces watering, since it prevents rapid evaporation of water from the soil.

It is recommended to use decomposed manure or compost as mulch. If there is a prolonged drought in summer, such a plant should be watered once every 7 days, and 1-1.5 buckets of water should be poured under 1 bush. If it rains a lot in summer, elderberry can do without watering. Young bushes will need more frequent watering.

Remember that the soil in the root zone should never dry out. When the elderberry has been watered or it has rained, it is necessary to loosen the surface of the planting circle, pulling out all the weeds.


If the soil on the plot is rich in nutrients, the elderberry can do without fertilizer. If the soil is poor, then in the spring and summer, experts advise making nitrogen-containing fertilizers in it, which will have a positive effect on the growth and development of the plant. Elderberry can also be fertilized with organics, and the best way to do this is to use the infusion of chicken manure and slurry.

Compound fertilizer and urea can also be used. Remember that you should not feed the plant in the fall.

Elderberry pruning

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

Sanitary and formative pruning of elderberries should be done every year. Rejuvenating pruning is done once every 3 years and all branches should be shortened to a height of 10 centimeters. Pruning is recommended when the plant has a dormant period.

This time falls at the beginning of the spring period (before the buds swell). In some cases sanitary pruning in autumn after the berries are cut and all foliage has fallen off.

Spring pruning of elderberry

The seedlings planted in the open ground should be shortened by 10 centimeters by the strong outer bud on the same day. The natural shape of the crown of such a plant is oval and rather neat, so the gardener will only have to remove in time those branches and shoots that are growing in the wrong direction or inside the bush. All dried out, weak, frost-damaged or diseased stems should also be cut out.

As soon as the root shoots appear on the soil surface, they should be cut out straight away. Every year ΒΌ of the old branches should be cut back to the base of the plant. Don't forget that the cutting places should always be treated with garden varnish.

Olderberry pruning in autumn

When the fruit harvest is finished, make an inspection of the plant. If there are a large number of injured branches, sanitary pruning will be necessary.

In doing so, you can cut out the branches that are growing inside the bush and that have been damaged by disease along with the injured branches. But remember that autumn pruning is done only when necessary.

Elderberry multiplication

Elderberry can be propagated by seed as well as vegetative - bush division, cuttings and grafts. Gardeners usually choose vegetative propagation because seedlings raised from seed almost never retain the varietal or species characteristics of the mother plant.

How to grow from seed

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

In fall (mid-October), you will need to extract the seeds from the ripe fruit by rubbing them through a sieve.

The seeds should be sown in rows with a distance of 0.25 m between them. The seeds should be buried 20-30 centimeters into the soil. By the next autumn, the grown seedlings will reach a height of 0.5-0.

6 m.

Elderberry propagation by cuttings

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

Green cuttings are prepared in June or in the first days of July. Cuttings should be 10 to 12 centimeters long and have two to three internodes and one pair of upper leaf blades, leaving only two paired segments on each petiole. They are planted in a substrate consisting of peat and sand (1:1). For rooting cuttings will need greenhouse conditions, so they should be covered with a plastic bag from above.

To 2 or 3 times increase the ability of cuttings to form roots, you should immediately before planting in the substrate to dip the bottom sections of the drug that improves root formation. During the first 4-6 days the cuttings will need very high humidity, so you will need to systematically moisten the inner surface of the bag with a fine sprayer. At the same time, try not to get water droplets on the surface of the leaf plates, as this can cause the appearance of rot on them. By the onset of the autumn period, the cuttings will have to root, and they can be planted in the open soil in a permanent place.

If there is a desire, then you can propagate elderberry with annual single-tree cuttings.

They are harvested at the end of the growing season. In winter they can be stored in the basement or buried in the snow. In spring they are planted in nutritious loose soil in the garden. Cover each of the cuttings with a clear glass jar or a cut plastic bottle. This is only done after the cuttings have taken root.

Blderberry: propagation by cuttings - 7 Dachas

Blderberry propagation by grafts

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

This method almost always results in 10 of 10 grafts. A two- or three-year old, woody or young green shoot should be selected for grafting. It should be bent to the surface of the plot and placed in a groove, which is made in advance. Secure the shoot in this position with a metal hook. Then the shoot is buried so that its top remains free.

We should remember that the one-trunked shoot at the base must necessarily be tied with a wire. If the shoots are placed in grooves in May or in the first weeks of summer, the rooted shoots can be cut from the bush in the autumn and planted permanently. Do not wire the green shoots and do not cut them off from the parent bush until the following year after they have become woody.

How to propagate by bush division

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

Elderberry can be propagated by bush division in the fall. To do this, you will need to remove a large adult bush from the soil.

It is divided into several equal parts. Cutting the root system of such a plant is quite difficult, so it is recommended to use a saw or an axe. All divisions should have well-developed stems and roots. The places of splits and cuts should be covered with wood ash, then the pieces should be planted in permanent places. If desired, they can be planted in large containers, and transplanted to the garden only the next spring.

With this method of propagation, the gardener gets several large bushes at once.

Diseases and pests

Busina is very resistant to pests and diseases. Very rarely, a green aphid may settle on the bush. To prevent this from happening, the plant is preventively treated with Carbophos in the spring, and the instructions on the package must be followed.

Elderberry species and varieties with photos and names

As mentioned above, black elderberry is the most popular among gardeners in the middle latitudes.

In addition to this plant, there are about 10 other different species of elderberry cultivated in these latitudes, which will be discussed below.

Blue elderberry

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

This plant is decorative. Under natural conditions, it is found in North America and prefers to grow in mountain pastures and along the banks of rivers and streams. The trees of this species do not exceed 15 meters in height. Occasionally there are also shrubs with thin branches that are red when young.

The color of the trunks is pale sandy. The leaf laminae are composed of 5 to 7 coarse greenish-blue leaves that reach about 15 centimeters in length. The calyx-shaped inflorescences are about 15 centimeters in diameter and consist of fragrant cream-colored flowers. Flowering lasts about 20 days. The fruits are spectacular, spherical in shape and jet-black in color because there is a bluish streak on the surface.

This species is less hardy than average in wintertime.

Siberian elderberry

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

In natural conditions this species can be found in the European part of Russia, in the Far East, in Eastern Asia and in Western and Eastern Siberia. This plant prefers to grow in dark coniferous and mixed forests, and can be found up to 2200 meters above sea level. This ornamental shrub reaches a height of up to 4 meters and is moderately hardy.

Grassy elderberry

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

In nature this species can be found in Belarus, Ukraine, the Caucasus and the south of European Russia, such elderberry prefers to grow along riverbanks and on rocky screes.

This herbaceous plant reaches up to 150 centimeters in height and gives off a foul odor, but it looks very impressive during flowering and fruiting. The fruits on the tops of the stems form shields. Remember that fresh fruits are poisonous because they contain hydrocyanic acid. In some cases, such a plant is planted around currants, because it can repel the bud mite and all harmful butterflies. But it is worth considering that if you then want to get rid of elderberry, it will be extremely difficult to do so, since it has a creeping thick rhizome.

The dried flowers of this species have a pleasant fragrance and are often used to pepper apples during storage.

Canadian elderberry

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

Wild this species is found in eastern North America, and it prefers to grow in nitrogen-rich, moist soil. This elderberry is highly ornamental and is often used for garden landscaping. The height of the bush is about 4 meters. The color of the stems is gray-yellow.

The large leaf lamellae are about 0.3 m long. The slightly convex, umbrella-shaped inflorescences are 0.25 m in diameter and consist of small, fragrant whitish-yellow flowers. The glossy, spherical, dark purple berries are edible.

Cultivated species since 1761. Externally the bush is similar to the black elder, but this species is more adapted to growing in the middle latitudes. Ornamental forms:

  • Maxima, the strongest type;
  • Acutiloba, dainty bush with strongly dissected leaves;
  • Chlorocarpa, green fruits and a greenish-yellow colouring;
  • Aurea, green leaves in summer and deep yellow in autumn and spring.

Busine tassel-shaped, or red

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

Native to this species are the mountains of Western Europe. This species is represented by a small tree, not exceeding 500 centimeters in height, and a deciduous shrub with a dense ovoid-shaped crown.

The non-panumerous leaflets are about 16 centimeters long and pale green, with 5 to 7 cuspidate and elongate leaflets with sharp teeth on the edges. Lush inflorescences of oblong shape are about 60 mm in diameter and consist of yellow-green florets. The fruit is a small, deep red berry. The branches and leaf plates of the plant have an unpleasant fragrance. This elderberry looks most spectacular during fruiting.

Cultivated since 1596. Ornamental forms:

  1. Low. Shrub compact, dwarfed.
  2. Thin-leaved. When open, the leaf plates are colored purple, they are split into narrow segments, and the graceful appearance of the bush is due to this.

  3. Purple. The color of the flowers is pink or purple.
  4. Yellowish. Yellow berries have barrels colored orange.
  5. Russet-leaved.

    This variety of tasseled elderberry is the most popular with gardeners. The large leaf plates open very early and consist of 2 or 3 pairs of finely dissected leaves.

  6. Serrate. At the time of opening, the dentate leaves are colored purple and are dissected almost to the middle. Popular varieties of this variety:
  • Plumosa Aurea - the aura leaf plates are green in the shade and yellow in the light;
  • Sutherland Gold - the yellow leaf plates are even more split.

Busina Zibolda

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

In the wild, this species can be found in the Kurils, the Far East, Sakhalin and Japan. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in Western Europe. This species is a spreading shrub or tree, reaching a height of 8 meters. Its appearance is similar to that of the red elderberry, but the Zimbold elderberry is more powerful. Its leaf blades are made up of 5 to 11 parts.

The leaves are about 20 centimeters long and 6 centimeters wide. Compared to red elderberry, the inflorescences are larger, but less dense. It has been cultivated since 1907.

The black elderberry, described at the beginning of the article, also has several ornamental forms:

  1. Guincho Purple. The shrub is 200 cm tall.

    The young leaf plates are green and the more mature ones are purple-black, with a reddish tint in the fall. The buds are colored in deep pink, the opened white flowers have only a slight pinkish hue. The color of the stems is purple. It should be taken into account that when growing in the shade, the bush will be green all the time, so a well-lit place should be chosen for its planting.

  2. Marginata.

    The shrub is about 250 cm tall and is characterized by rapid growth. On the surface of the leaf plates there is a fragmentary fringe of creamy-silver coloration.

  3. Pulverulenta. This is a slow growing plant with very beautiful white stripes, spots and streaks on its surface.

The ornamental forms are less resistant to frost but are more decorative in appearance and can be planted in the garden as a solitaire or in a group with other plants.

Black elderberry properties: benefits and harm

Elderberry: planting and care in the garden, growing black, species and varieties with photos

Therapeutic properties of black elderberry

The following beneficial substances can be found in the elderberry inflorescences: Valerian, acetic, caffeic, malic and chlorogenic organic acids, tannins, semi-solid essential oil, choline, carotene (provitamin A), mucilage and paraffin-like substances, sugars. The flowers of this plant have unique properties.

The fruits contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C), carotene, malic acid, resin, glucose, fructose, amino acids and coloring substances.

The fresh leaves of black elderberry contain carotene and ascorbic acid, essential oil, tannins, resinous substances, while the dried leaves contain provitamin A1.

The bark contains choline, essential oil and phytosterol.

An infusion (1:10) is prepared from dried fruits. It helps stimulate biliary excretion, intestinal peristalsis and diuresis. The flowers of this plant are used to prepare a tea that is used for laryngitis, flu, bronchitis and neuralgia. It is also used to gargle the mouth as an anti-inflammatory.

In alternative medicine, elderberry bark, leaves, fruits and flowers are used.

Decoctions and infusions made from elderflower are used as an antibacterial and diaphoretic and are still used in the treatment of flu, colds, sore throat and other upper respiratory diseases.

In order to prepare an infusion of black elderflower, 1 tbsp hot water is combined with 1 big spoonful of dried flowers. The mixture is boiled over low heat for a quarter of an hour. The cooled infusion should be strained and squeezed. It is taken 100 mg 2 or 3 times a day with gout, rheumatism or arthritis.

Flowers are used to make lotion, which has a rejuvenating and toning effect on the skin. Tbsp. freshly boiled water should be combined with 5 elderflowers, let the mixture infuse for 24 hours. The strained lotion should be kept in the refrigerator.

The leaves of this plant are sedative, laxative, astringent, diuretic and antipyretic.

Boiled leaves are used externally for hemorrhoids, burns, diaper rash and boils. Leaves boiled in honey are used in the treatment of constipation.

Boiling made from the bark of such plant is used in the treatment of gout, arthritis, rheumatism, skin and kidney diseases.

Also elderberry is used for making kissel, jam and wine.

Black elderberries Medicinal properties


Member that red elderberries are not suitable for eating, moreover if you have touched them with your hands, wash them well with detergent.

If the juice of these fruits gets into the cracks in the mucosa or wounds on the skin, you need as soon as possible to seek medical attention.

From eating the fruit of the black elderberry experts advise to refrain from women during pregnancy, as well as people with diabetes, colitis or suffering from chronic diseases of the stomach. Also elderberry should not be consumed if you are hypersensitive and have Crohn's disease.

If you do not know which type of elderberry is in front of you, be sure to remember that in a certain degree of maturity the fruits of black and red elderberries can be very similar.


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