The Grow System
Elderberry seeds (native blue variety) have just become available through the following Canadian supplier.
Apparently they are best sown in the fall.
They also root super easy from a branch cutting. A friend pulled some pop up shoots from the yard and was able to plant them along her drive pretty easily.
@monica197 I have even purchased dormant "sticks" and then planted them! Worked great.
A member here took some cuttings and shared some by mail with me. Unfortunately, neither of us had any luck in getting them to root. Will be looking to find something come springtime.
Thanks for the info, also good to know about rooting from branches. Definitely will be looking into this.
I looked around me and found someone on a Facebook group that was able to give me cuttings. He recommended that I put them in water and change it every few days until roots appeared. He gave me numerous cuttings to ensure I had enough to root and survive. Then plant them in the ground. It worked beautifully. I received the cuttings from him in the fall and had them sitting in water until spring when I planted those that sprouted roots in the ground. I had five make it. And when we move here this spring I intend to do the same, thing take cuttings with me.
if you purchase dried elderberries you may be able to get the seeds from the dried fruit to grow.
We start cuttings each late winter. We are going to be taking cuttings in just a few weeks. We reside in Western North Carolina. Not sure if you are close?
We start all our cuttings in a sterile medium. While compost is great for the garden. All those hungry microbes can start to consume the stick. Keep them humid, even a plastic bag over the pot it good. Mist them often. water with willow tea. They'll start to root quickly. We transplant the cuttings in early summer.
Hope this helps. Happy growing.
@Hassena Thanks for the info on starting cuttings. I have two bushes that are about 15 years old. I have hopes that they won't die back to the ground this year as it has been a very mild winter for us. They usually survive but we have had a couple of years of very cold temps that killed all of the main growth. They come back but no flowers or fruit unless there is old wood. I won't know if they have survived for almost 3 months yet. I didn't choose a very good location for them when I planted. They get a lot of icy wind in the winter coming up off the frozen lake. I think that is mostly what causes the die back. I might try to dig up the root balls and move them but they are pretty big. I think I'd need a machine.
I will try this method, though, even if I have to leave them in pots for the first winter and keep them in a protected site.
The ones mentioned in the initial article are the native (to this part of the world) blue elderberry. With these good instructions, I might try to take cuttings from the wild. We are just a wee bit north of their natural range.
I am on the opposite side of the continent. Central BC.
I have had huge success taking small new branches (or suckers) when they first appear in the spring on the bush.
One of my friends told me to go out in the early spring and look for new branches on an elderberry bush that would be about 3 inches long and have about two or three leaf sets. Take off all the leaves except the top set. The new roots will develop wher you pinched off leaves. Place in a potting soil mix. Doug would use a plastic tray and put in about 50 to 100 little starts. If he felt they needed it he would cover with plastic to keep humid and moist.
I do the same. I usually cover them the first week. The first time I when I plant I make sure the soil is damp. I usually just mist them after that.
@torey If you have a microclimate mon your property you might e able to give it that little bit more warmth that it might need. I wish you luck. I just love having elderberries on tehr property (so do the birds. They can wipe out an entire crop in half a day)