Description Black Elder Black Elder Elderberry, planting and care
Modern selection made it possible to obtain original varieties from childhood of familiar plants. Black elderberry Black Lace (sometimes the name Eva / Eva) surprises with its color, both leaves and flowers. An attractive shrub is gaining recognition from an increasing number of gardeners around the world. The following are the characteristics of the variety, the basics of planting and care, as well as the use of the plant in landscape design and its fruits for various purposes.
Botanical description of the plant
Elderberry (Latin: Sambúcus nígra) is a deciduous shrub, which in the wild is often found in undergrowth, on roadsides and city wastelands.
Did you know? Elderberry is a honey plant and attracts various pollinators to the site, increasing the yield of other crops.
The Black Lace variety (Black Lace) is distinguished by the following botanical features:
- height 2–2.5 m, width 1.5–2 m;
- the crown is wide;
- annual growth of about 50 cm up, 15 cm wide;
- branched root system;
- leaves are dark crimson, pinnate and shiny;
- milky pink flowers with a strong smell are collected in large inflorescences with a diameter of 10–20 cm, flowering occurs in May-June;
- small berries are red-black, shiny, ripen in late summer - early fall.
The original color of the foliage lasts all season until the fall. The fruits of this elderberry variety are edible, used both in cooking and for medicinal purposes. The variety, like the culture as a whole, is unpretentious and winter hardy, average drought tolerance.
The site for planting shrubs should be selected based on the future size of the adult plant. It is better to place elderberry in the sun or in light partial shade, in a section protected from strong winds. In order for the plant to please with lush flowering and berries, the soil must be nutritious, for hedges, you can plant a bush on depleted soils. Elderberry does not like acidic and moist soils. The pit for the seedling should be slightly larger than its root system. When planting, add 50 g of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers and a bucket of humus.
The sequence of further actions is as follows:
- Pour a layer of fertile mixture into the bottom of the pit.
- Set the seedling in the middle of the pit and sprinkle with the rest of the earth.
- Gently compact the soil around the trunk, making sure that the root neck remains above the soil.
- Pour elderberry and mulch the trunk circle with peat, sawdust or bark.
Both spring and autumn are suitable for planting, and container seedlings can be planted in the summer. It is advisable to carry out an autumn planting 1–1.5 months before the frost so that rooting can take place.
Despite the general unpretentiousness of the culture, the plant needs careful care. This is especially true for young seedlings in the first year after planting. Observing the correct agricultural technology, it is necessary to protect elderberry from pests and diseases.
The plant needs moderate soil moisture. An adult bush will have enough natural rainfall (excluding periods of prolonged drought). A young seedling should be watered once a week.
The plant is easily formed by pruning at the beginning of the spring period, before the start of the growing season. Be sure to carry out sanitary cleaning of the shrub, cutting sick and dry branches. Black elderberry loves annual pruning of shoots with a quarter cut. Every 4-5 years, the plant is rejuvenated, leaving only shoots about 15 cm long. The red-leaved bush quickly grows, restoring the volume.
Important! According to some sources, in the first year after anti-aging pruning, the plant will not bloom and bear fruit.
When planting in fertile soil, further fertilizing of the plant can be carried out with annual spring mulching with compost. Extra feeding is usually not required. The use of mineral mixtures is recommended only in case of obvious depletion of the bush, a significant slowdown in its growth. Then in the spring elderberry is shed with a solution of fertilizers in a standard dosage, according to the instructions.
Ornamental shrubs are recommended to propagate vegetatively. This method will ensure full compliance of the plant with the selected variety. Cuttings are harvested in spring, pruning 30 cm long annual shoots from the uterine bush. After treatment with the root, they are planted in a designated place to a depth of 15 cm.
The earth on such a bed should be loose, and its location must be protected from the wind and direct sun. Cuttings need to be regularly moistened. If semi-lignified shoots are used as planting material, they should be cut in the middle of summer and planted to a depth of 5 cm. They should be rooted in one place until the fall of next year.
Possible diseases and pests
The plant has a pest-repelling odor, but aphids and ticks can attack the elderberry itself. In the case of a significant number of insects, insecticide treatment is used. For preventive purposes, early spring treatment of the bush with Bordeaux fluid is permissible.
Important! Root rot can occur with regular flooding, so a drainage layer is required in areas with high groundwater levels.
Use in landscape design
In addition to single plantings, elderberry can serve to create a hedge, thanks to the growth rate and unpretentiousness. The plant looks spectacular near buildings and fences, in decorative groups with other shrubs. They practice planting elderberries near sanitary facilities and compost sites, because the smell of the plant repels insects. This property is also important when planting a bush near recreation areas.
What to do if the bush does not bear fruit
Perhaps the reason for the lack of flowering and fruit is a radical pruning of the plant. Another reason may be the depletion of the soil, then you should make the introduction of organic matter or mineral mixture at the beginning of the growing season. Wrong planting location can also lead to a problem. Being in complete shade, elderberry will not bloom and, therefore, will not produce fruit.
Did you know? Poisonous are the fruits of red elderberry, which in some periods is difficult to distinguish from black varieties. Her berries do not darken in a state of ripeness, and the color of the adult bark is grayish-white.
The fruits of black elderberry are used for making juices and compotes, jam, and toppings for baking. Plant flowers are an excellent flavoring, including for alcoholic beverages. Syrup is made from them. Berries, flowers, and even the bark of the plant have medicinal properties. They have anti-inflammatory and tonic effects, are a natural laxative. Elderberry juice is used as a persistent natural dye.
Video: using elderberry
By planting a Black Lace elderberry bush on the site, you can get not only a plant with original foliage and spectacular flowering, but also collect a harvest of healthy fruits. Due to its unpretentiousness and frost resistance, the culture can be recommended for cultivation by novice gardeners and for low-maintenance planting, including in the suburbs.