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How to Care For Your Bare Root Elderberry Plant

Updated: Apr 1

Elderberry bushes make useful and attractive additions to the home landscape. Abundant white flowers cover elderberry in the spring, with dark, red to black berries following pollination. One shrub produces as much as 15 pounds of berries once it reaches maturity.

How To Grow Elderberry Plants


# 1 | Our elderberry plants are shipped bare root & dormant, so the tops may appear dry. But they will come out of dormancy when the spring temperature gets warmer.


# 2 | If you feel unsure that your plant is alive, please do a gentle scratch test. Gently scratch a small amount of bark about one inch up from the base of the plant. If it is white or green under the bark it is alive!

# 3 | As you prepare your planting site, allow the base of the plant to be kept moist, but do not submerge them in water. A bed approximately 3 feet in diameter should suffice for a bare root elderberry. If you plant more than one, space the shrubs 6 to 10 feet apart.


#4| Dig a hole deep enough to sit the elderberry in up to its crown. Make the hole wide enough to spread the roots out in. Place the shrub in the hole, spreading the roots and adjusting it as your go. Check that it sits level and straight.


#5 | Backfill the hole a few inches at a time. Tamp the soil down with care so you don't damage the roots. Finish backfilling all of the way, leaving a small berm, or hill, around the root zone to hold water in and direct it.


#6 | Water the elderberry thoroughly. Keep the soil moist the first growing season to help the roots establish.


#7 | Spread a 3-inch layer of wood, pine or bark mulch over the planting bed. Keep the mulch about 6 inches from the base of the plant to avoid introducing any disease or insect problems.


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