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Winter propagation of sambucus

Posted by ego45 6bCT (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 18, 06 at 16:55

Last summer I was trying to propagate sambucus by using soft and semi-hard wood cuttings with no results. All cuttings either didn't root or rot.
On one warm day at the end of the January of 2006 when I made a stroll around the garden I noticed that buds on my 'Sutherland Gold' substantially increased in size and I said to myself, 'what the heck, anyway I have to prune most of those 6-7 foot long branches in a spring' and I took tree cuttings.
Without much hope, just out of curiosity I put them in a 1G pot filled with 1/3 sand +1/3 native clay + 1/3 potting mix (whatever leftover was hanging in garage) and brought home. No rooting hormone was used.
Two weeks later those buds start opening and produced flower buds and leaves. I didn't dig down to see if roots are formed, but cuttings sitting pretty firmly in a soil and not pulling out with ease.
I'll be cutting those flower buds today, but would like to share a picture where they are present.
As of 02/16/06.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Winter propagation of sambucus

Elder is usually very easy to propagate from hardwood cuttings like this, as I know to my cost, having used some cuttings as plant stakes and have quite a number of them turning into plants! I think the roots will take a while longer to form, even if top growth is present.


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RE: Winter propagation of sambucus

Thanks. I may try a few cuttings too. I have Pulverulenta and I cut it back in late winter anyway.

How do you normally prune yours? I have been cutting mine way back like a buddleia as that is what I was told to do. The first year, it grew all over the place like an octopus. I was wondering what the fuss was about the plant. But the following year, it grew upward nicely.


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RE: Winter propagation of sambucus

Loretta, I don't prune mine to the ground, though it could be done. In colder areas it may die to the ground as buddleia, but will resprout.
In March, when shrub 'sceleton' will still be clearly visible I'll see where to prune it, but basically i'm very pleased with its natural upward and arching habit.
It grow so fast and so large that I have to prune it again in July:


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RE: Winter propagation of sambucus

Loved your comment about it growing all over the place "like an octopus"! I have a first-year planted S. nigra 'Purpurea' which has done just that. I intend to chop it back quite hard in a month or so. I think that the deal with pruning these plants is that you need to decide whether you're growing it for foliage or flowers/fruit. If for foliage, then you'll get larger, more brightly coloured leaves if you cut it back hard in spring. However, you'll lose the flower-producing wood that way.


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RE: Winter propagation of sambucus

Did you bring your cuttings into a warm house or leave them in a garage? I tried softwood cuttings last summer and it didn't work, so I might run out and take some cuttings now and see how they do. thanks for the post.


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RE: Winter propagation of sambucus

Is it possible to keep sambucus in greenhouse during all winter in veg stage by increasing day longitude and other springtime conditions'i live in central Europe and would try to propagate sambucus by softwood cuttings during all year?


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