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Growing Elderberries

Growing Elderberries

Elderberry Offer


 A small fruiting small tree reaching 6 to 8 feet tall with attractive flowers. Hardy in zones 4 to 8. Fruit is used in making pies, jelly, and wine. Named varieties were selected for larger, sweeter fruit than wild types. Sometimes grown as a wildlife plants, as birds readily eat the fruit. Store bare root trees in a cool place out of direct sun until ready to plant, and ensure roots remain moist. Can hydrate by soaking roots in water for 2 to 3 hours before planting. Plant outdoors in spring 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost, 7 to 8 feet apart. Loosen the soil 12 to 18 inches deep and wide enough to fit all roots without bending. Add compost or other organic matter to loosened soil, trim off any broken or damaged roots, and spread out evenly. Plant so that roots are slightly deeper than when grown in the nursery.


Vigorous plants that prefer fertile, well-drained, moist soil, but grow in any well-drained soil. Shrubby, multi-stemmed growth habit. Plant two varieties for good pollination and strong fruit production. Harvest by removing the entire fruiting cluster, then strip off the berries. Berries should be cooked before using. Annual winter pruning keeps plants vigorous and productive. Cut out dead wood and stems 4 years old or more to promote vigor and strong fruiting.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use Gromax Fertilizer Tablets 20-10-5 (51165) or full rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085) or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Other small fruits include Currant, Gooseberry, and Leikora Sea Berry / Sea Buckthorn (30439).

Complimentary Products

Benefits from annual fertilization. Bird-X Netting will protect fruit from birds. Treat powdery mildew with Serenade Garden Disease Control (50296).

Product Recommendations

Can use Scarecrow Ribbon (52102) to repel birds from plants.

Elderberry Facts

Easy-to-grow and usually free of pests and problems. Powdery mildew disease occasionally affects plants. Flowers can be battered and deep fried to make fritters or used to to flavor drinks.


Growing Tips