Elderberry is a whole genus of deciduous shrubs, or small trees. One of the types of plants used in culture is also grassy. In total, there are about 40 different species, but only some of them are cultivated.
This plant is not only a wonderful decoration of any site, but also an excellent protector of it from pests. That is why elderberry is often planted near barns, and its young branches are often used as a “scarecrow” from pests and insects.
In natural conditions, elderberry has chosen the European part of the CIS for growth. In addition, it is found in the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. It prefers to grow in the undergrowth of mixed and coniferous forests, at their edges or in thickets of shrubs. Today, more and more gardeners are planting this beautiful plant in their plots, using it as a decorative and healthy plant.
Choosing a site for planting elderberry
If you decide to plant an elderberry on your site, then initially you need to take care of the place where it will be planted. This genus is quite unpretentious to growing conditions, but very poor soils, strong shade can adversely affect the growth of the plant and, of course, its appearance. Your shrub when choosing the wrong place for planting may not be so attractive to the eyes. To avoid this, he recommends choosing a well-lit area, this condition is especially important for those varieties of plants that have variegated or colored leaves. Loamy moist sod-podzolic soils are desirable for planting, while their acidity level should correspond to an interval of 6-6.5.
If your site still has exclusively acidic soils, then in a couple of years, before planting elderberry, it is necessary to produce liming, for which the use of dolomite flour will be a good option. Subsequently, a month before planting a bush, it is necessary to prepare the soil: destroy all weeds, make mineral fertilizers.
Which elderberry variety to choose
In Russia, black elderberry and red elderberry are the most popular. Both forms of this plant have very decorative varieties that are great for gardens. But it should be noted that red elderberry is poisonous, and therefore it is not recommended for planting in places accessible to children. It is because of this property that black elderberry is still much more common with us.
There are several forms of bushes of this plant:
- Low This form of shrub is equipped with a spherical crown, while the total height does not exceed one meter.
- Weeping. Such a plant has distinctive branches "drooping" to the ground.
- Pyramidal. According to the name, the crown has the shape of a pyramid.
- Fern leaf. The leaves of this type of plant are equipped with beautiful, elegant cuts, its height reaches 1.8-2.4 meters.
- The Porfirolifolia elderberry has a wide range of color of leaves, which varies from purple to black.
- Powdered elderberry has leaves covered with small dots and specks of white color.
The most popular elderberry varieties used in horticulture are: Marginata Pulverulenta, Madonna, Aurea, Linearis, Laciniata, Purpurea Guincho, Beauty Black, Purple lack, Eva, Lace.
Elderberry can be propagated using seeds and cuttings. If you chose the first method, it is worth noting that all the main features and properties of the variety will be lost. And the process itself is quite simple: the seeds are harvested in the fall (approximately mid-October), after which they are sown in beds with a row spacing of 25 cm. The sowing depth should be 2-3 centimeters. Already at the end of the season, seedlings will reach 50-60 cm in height.
In order to grow elderberry by means of cuttings, it is necessary to choose still green or woody annual shoots. Planting material must be cut into cuttings of 20-30 cm, each of which should have 2-3 internodes. After the green cuttings must be planted in the greenhouse. The topsoil is sprinkled with a small amount of a mixture of sand and peat. If already woody shoots are used as material for planting, then in winter they should be stored in the cold, for example, in snow or in the basement. After spring, they land in fertilized and loosened soil.
How to plant elderberry
One-, two-year-old plants should already be planted on the site. To do this, select the northern or eastern edge of the site. For good pollination, it is desirable for the plant to have other diverse plants nearby. Landing itself is carried out in spring or autumn in fine, warm weather. Before planting, a pit is prepared, whose width and depth should correspond to the root system of the plant (about 50 cm). After mixing with the upper fertile soil layer, 7-8 kg of humus, 30-50 g of potash fertilizers and 50 g of phosphorus should be added. Shrubs are buried to the root neck. As a stem, you can use a stake, which should not reach the lower branches in height. Tie bushes do not need. After planting, the plant must be watered and it is imperative to monitor the moisture of the soil until good survival.
Caring for elderberry, in fact, is not so time consuming. It is enough at the beginning of the summer season to feed it a little with organic fertilizers. Additional watering is necessary only in arid or hot weather. In spring, it is desirable to cut elderberry, which stimulates the growth of new shoots. Sometimes elderberry can be attacked by aphids or ticks, as a result of which its leaves begin to curl. In this case, it is recommended that the plant be treated with a voloton (20 g per 10 liters of water). You can try another method: treat the plant with infusion of bitter red pepper or onion peel.
Elderberry - planting, care, properties
Elderberry is a wonderful decoration for any garden plot, while possessing remarkable properties and unpretentiousness in care. It is ideal for those gardens that are created as an imitation of living "corners of nature", made in the landscape style.
Natural, elderberry species are often used as elements of decorative groups, as well as as tapeworms. Dwarf elderberry is great for creating an alpine slide.
Red and black elderberry flowers are used as an aromatic additive to tea drinks, and they are also used in folk medicine to combat a variety of diseases.
In some cases, elderberry may not bear fruit, but here we will explain for what reasons!