Has anyone had success in growing wild elderberry cuttings in containers? I would like to grow a couple of bushes for my back yard.
Any help will be appreciated. thanks.
Come back after the leaves fall & I'll share an easy way to propagate from dormant cuttings.
Leaves are falling here. Would you please talk more about propagation of elderberry cuttings? Thanks!
Oh man! I almost forgot this thread. I was at work and had typed a long description of how I treat elderberry cuttings, and somehow it vanished when I hit 'send'. I was too frustrated to write it a second time. ;o)
Take several hardwood (wood from last year) 5-6 node cuttings after leaves fall and bundle them so the proximal ends (ends that were closest to the roots) are together. You can cut the proximal ends at a 45* angle and the distal ends at 90*, so you can tell them apart, but don't forget which is which. Bury the cuttings proximal end up in a full sun area of your garden/beds that gets good drainage, so the end is covered by 3" of soil. Be sure to mark them so you can find them in spring. The ends will form callus. The warmth from the sun in the spring will stimulate root primordia (the beginning of roots) or actual roots, while the cool temperatures deeper in the soil will inhibit bud movement.
When elderberries in the landscape are starting to leaf out, dig up the bundle and reorient them so the distal end is up and at least three nodes are buried and 1-2 nodes are above ground. Be sure any roots that have formed don't dry out.
The ground is cold enough at this time that fungal issues are not a problem. The proximal end up warms the rooting end, which promotes rapid callusing & gets roots growing. The cooler temps deeper in the soil keeps the shoots from developing until roots have formed, which is when you'll be digging them up & planting or potting them.
I do a lot of temperate trees this way, and a few years back, I did it 2 years in a row with a half dozen cuttings of Sambucus nigra 'laciniata', the EB with black cut-leaf foliage everyone thinks is a Japanese maple. They all struck.
Thank you, Al. I am embarrassed to say I became sidetracked with building a new home and failed to come back and check this thread until now. I am definitely saving a copy of your reply.
We still have at least a foot of snow on the ground, and a month until the ground begins to thaw. A neighbor has offered to let me take cuttings from her elderberry fence row. Now I have to figure out how to get those cuttings to grow at this time of year, if possible. I also have a small greenhouse, if growing the starts in it is an option. Any further suggestions/instructions would be greatly appreciated.
Oh gosh - no problem! ;o) I would EXPECT that building a new home would take priority over wild elderberry cuttings. Hey - if you grow wild elderberries in your yard or garden, are they still wild?
I would take pencil thick cuttings of year before last year's wood in mid-Feb. Bundle & stick them in a well aerated medium that you can keep barely damp. It would be ideal if you could treat with IBA rooting hormone, and set the cuttings on a propagation mat in a cold room - garage. You want the roots warm enough to grow, but the air cold enough to inhibit bud development (32-40*)
Alternately, take cuttings now, bundle with basal ends together and marked as basal ends, then wrap in damp newspaper or put in damp peat (neither should be wet), store in fridge. Plant out as soon as frost is out of the ground. It must be cold in the fridge to prevent bud development (32-40*) or the cuttings will die from dessication when planted out.
Oops, sorry for the duplicate posting. Al, thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge. I will make a point of visiting my neighbor's elderberry fencerow for cuttings this week.
Lol - I just chalked it up to being an extra key-stroke from the department of redundency department. ;-)