Because of the benefits they offer, elderberry plants are a favorite of many permaculture gardeners. They are easy to grow, and propagation is the best way to produce a new plant. Find out how and when to transplant elderberry bushes and use the fresh berries to make a healthy recipe.
There are different varieties of elderberry shrubs, including European elderberry (Sambucus nigra), American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), red elderberry, Nova elderberry, and black elderberry cultivars. They add beauty to the space with their foliage and elderflowers, and the fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Elderberry bushes grow wild throughout North America, and propagating elderberry from elderberry cuttings is a great way to grow a new elderberry shrub in your garden. You can regrow a plant from either hardwood cuttings or softwood cuttings and transplant them in a sunny yard area. Before you know it, you have a beautiful berry-producing shrub of your own.
Propagating and Transplanting Elderberry Bushes
Plant propagation is the most inexpensive way to grow new flowers, shrubs, and other plants, and propagating and transplanting elderberry bushes is easier than you may think. The key is to plant them at the right time and give them what they need for a healthy root system.
Learn how to propagate and plant elderberry cuttings in a few simple steps. Discover the best time to transplant an elderberry tree for optimal growth, plant care tips to help it flourish, and how to use the elderberries to make juice.
Choose the best companions for your elderberries and learn what not to plant with elderberry bushes so they won’t compete for nutrients in the soil.
Best Time to Transplant an Elderberry Tree
You usually transplant new plants in the spring to promote root growth before the winter. However, the transplanting time varies depending on the plant type. Explore the best time to transplant an elderberry tree vs elderberry cuttings.
Elderberries grow ideally in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7, and the best time to transplant elderberries from cuttings is in early spring. Planting them at this time promotes root growth throughout the first year.
However, if you are transplanting elderberry bushes, it’s better to wait until the fall after the shrub loses its leaves to lessen the plant’s stress.
How and When to Transplant Elderberry Bushes and Cuttings
Elderberry plants are an excellent addition to the yard, whether you propagate them or transplant a bush. The best time to plant elderberries is in spring or autumn. Here is how to transplant elderberry bushes in late fall and propagate cuttings for transplanting in early spring.
When moving a whole shrub, prepare the new growing area before transplanting elderberries. The sun requirements for elderberry bushes are a full sun location and a hole two to three times the size of the bush’s root ball.
If transplanting more than one shrub, make the holes eight feet apart. Place the elderberry plant into the hole, backfill it with dirt, and water the shrub deeply.
To grow and transplant an elderberry plant from a hardwood cutting, prune a stem from a mature elderberry shrub while it’s dormant. Cut the bottom at a forty-five-degree angle and the top straight. Place the cutting in a jar of water with the angled side down and set it in a sunny window for eight weeks. Grow elderberry indoors this way until springtime.
When the roots are strong in the spring, transplant the cutting into a peat pot of potting soil and water it gently. Set it outside in a sunny location for a couple of hours each day for one week to harden off the young plant.
Dig a hole in the yard twice the size of the peat pot and plant it directly in the hole. Cover it with dirt and water it well. Do not remove the plant from the container since elderberries have shallow roots.
Spread mulch around the shrub’s base, and water well during the first season. The elderberry shrub is a self pollinator, but planting two shrubs for cross pollination encourages more fruit production.
The plant grows new canes each year with lateral branches, and the second year canes are most fruitful. After three or four years, pruning away older canes encourages healthy growth.
A 10-10-10 fertilizer is sufficient for elderberry plants. Feed your shrubs a liquid fertilizer for elderberries in the early spring, with three more applications before the plants set fruit. Keep an eye out for aphids, borers, and other common pests during the growing season, and use insecticidal soap if necessary.
Diseases are an issue to watch for with this plant, including cankers, powdery mildew, and leaf spots. These are caused by fungus or bacteria, and the best way to prevent them is to sterilize your pruning shears after each use and water your plants at the base to avoid splashing soil on the leaves.
How to Use Fresh Berries after Transplanting Elderberry Bushes
After transplanting elderberry bushes, you may end up with more elderberries than you know what to do with. This quick and simple elderberry juice recipe is a great way to use up those berries, and it’s packed with healthy goodness.
After transplanting elderberry trees and picking the berries, clean them with water and remove the stems. Pour 12 cups of berries into an instant pot and add the water and cloves. Put it on high pressure for ten minutes, strain the berries, and press out the juice.
Pour the elderberry juice into a saucepan, add the sugar and honey and cook over medium heat. Stir often to dissolve the sugar, and then let it cool before transferring the juice to a container.
What’s not to love about the elderberry plant? This deciduous shrub is easy to propagate, it provides you with many benefits through its foliage, flowers, and berries, and it adds appeal to your home. To top it off, the fruits are delicious and packed with vitamins.
Now that you understand how and when to transplant elderberry bushes, why not share our elderberry shrub transplanting guide with the plant-lovers in your life on Pinterest and Facebook?