Elder (Sambucus canadensis) is a perennial. We are cultivating several elderberry shrubs on our property. It’s more commonly wildcrafted than it is cultivated, but today, I’m going to give you tips on growing them.

When planting elder, you’ll want to place it in an area where it will get full sun or partial shade. They’re best planted in early spring after any threat of frost is gone.

Elderberry shrubs can grow up to 15 feet tall (crazy), so they need lots of space! If you’re planting multiple plants near each other give AT LEAST 6 to 10 feet in between. Overcrowding an area won’t allow for each plant to grow and operate at its max capacity. Not only will they block each others’ shade on the surface, but they’ll be battling for nutrients down below. Let’s respect their personal space. I would, however, recommend planting multiple elderberry shrubs within 60 feet of each other. The cross-pollination will boost fruit production. (and who doesn’t want that??)

They also need to stay nice and hydrated. If they are located in a more dry area make sure to water them. Mulch helps to maintain moisture around the plant wards off weeds. Keep the mulch 2-3 inches away from the base of the plant to prevent rot.

Let us know what YOU are cultivating!

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