How to Grow
Elderberry cuttings are only available during the winter dormant season till very early spring. If something is out of stock, to get a reminder when they become available sign up to newsletter (scroll to bottom of page).
Elderberry is one of the easiest plants to start from cuttings out there.
So easy in fact that buying a rooted plant is hardly worth the hassle and higher cost. Cuttings want to live and will grow roots quickly!
HOW DO I STORE ELDERBERRY CUTTINGS?
Place cuttings in the fridge until planting time. Ensure bags remain sealed so that they do not dry out. Check periodically. There should be at least a little bit of condensation inside the bag. You may add a drop or two of water as needed.
HOW LONG CAN I STORE ELDERBERRY CUTTINGS?
Cuttings can be stored for a few month if stored properly in a fridge. Ideally, as close as possible to 1 degree C and ensure they do not dry out.
HOW DO I START ELDERBERRY CUTTINGS?
Best time to plant cuttings is first thing in spring as soon as ground can be worked.
1. Start them directly in the soil in their permanent location or start them in pots in a greenhouse environment or indoors. Starting in pots can have higher success rate than starting directly in the ground.
2. Place cutting "angled cut side" down with bottom (or middle node if there is one) buried 3 inches or more below the soil; top node must stick out above soil. Alternatively just stick the cutting 2/3's of the way into the soil.
3. If starting in pots use the best soil you can get. Promix sells a very good organic myco innoculated soil mix. Elderberries love myco (myco = mycohorrizal beneficial fungi).
4. Protip: You can make a biochar slurry mixed with mycohorrizal innoculant powder to dip the base of cuttings at planting time.
5. Yes you can put them outside even in cold spring weather. Elderberry cuttings will not be damaged.
6. Elderberry does not require any rooting hormone.
DOES ELDERBERRY NEED WATER?
Cuttings need a lot of water, especially while they root. Ensure soil is always sufficiently moist during the rooting period. Established elderberry bushes need 1-2 inches of water per week.
SHOULD I MULCH ELDERBERRY?
Honestly, first year elderberry bushes do not compete well with grass and weeds. So yes, make sure there is a some kind of ground cover like black plastic to entirely stops weeds from interfering with root development. On second or third year - if you used plastic, once elderberry roots are more established you can remove plastic and replace with biological mulch like wood chips or straw.
DO I NEED TWO ELDERBERRY VARIETIES TO GET FLOWERS AND BERRIES?
It is now reported that elderberry bushes do not require two varieties for good pollination and good berry set. Some varieties may specifically benefit from growing with other varieties. Regardless we always suggest planting several varieties. It may improve pollination, and you never know which variety will grow best in your unique microclimate! That's why we have 28 varieties!
HOW BIG DO ELDERBERRY BUSHES GET?
Elderberry can grow to 5-11 ft high and wide or more if left unpruned, so plant 6 ft apart or every 2-4 ft for a hedge.
SHOULD I PRUNE ELDERBERRY?
Prune to desired size during winter dormancy for ease of harvest. We suggests cutting out two year old stems and pruning back the new shoots (primocanes) down to 2 feet.
WHEN & WHERE CAN I GET ELDERBERRY CUTTINGS?
Best time is during winter dormant time before early spring bud break. You can take your own elderberry cuttings from your bushes, or your neighbours bushes or properly identify some wild ones. You can also buy some elderberry cuttings from us here.
Lastly, have fun and be well! Plus let us know how it goes!
Your elderberry syrup farmers,
Jed & Louise