Elderberries are known for their fast growth, reaching their full height within a few years. If you’re in a state where elderberry bushes tend to become too tall, regular pruning is required to keep them in a manageable size. Pruning is typically done in late winter when the plant is dormant, allowing for better shape and production in the following growing season.

If you wish to propagate elderberry plants, you can take hardwood cuttings in the winter when the plant is dormant. Willow cuttings are commonly used to stimulate rooting hormones and increase the chances of successful propagation. Once the cuttings have rooted, they can be transplanted into larger containers or directly into the ground.

Elderberry Cuttings

If you’re interested in starting your elderberry bushes, taking elderberry cuttings can be a great way to propagate them. Elderberries are easy to grow and are known for their long lifespan, with some Ohio elderberry bushes living for over 20 years.

The best time to take elderberry cuttings is in early spring when the bushes are still dormant. You’ll want to start by pruning the elderberry bush, removing any dead or diseased wood. Then, find a healthy stem about one year old and about a foot long. Cut this stem in a diagonal shape above a bud, and remove any leaves or side shoots.

Once you have your elderberry cutting, you can dip the bottom end in a rooting hormone, although unnecessary. Many growers have success without using any synthetic hormones. Then, plant the cutting in a flat or container with fertile soil. Leave a few inches of the cutting above the soil line.

Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged to ensure the best chance of success. You can also cover the flat or container with plastic to create a greenhouse effect, which will help the cutting root better. If you’re starting your elderberry cuttings in April, it will take about 30-40 days for roots to form.

Once your elderberry cuttings have rooted, you can transplant them to their final location. Make sure to choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Elderberries like fertile soil, so you may want to add amendments like compost or organic matter to improve the soil quality.

The most important thing to remember when growing elderberries is that they are not a frost-tolerant plant. In colder regions, it’s best to wait until after the last frost to plant the cuttings.

To keep your elderberry bushes healthy, mulch around the base of the plants to suppress weeds and retain moisture. Pruning can be done in the early spring to remove dead or damaged wood and shape the plant. After a few years, you may need to prune the elderberries more heavily to encourage new growth.

Preorder Elderberry Cuttings

If you’re interested in growing elderberries but don’t want to start from cuttings, you can also order rooted elderberry plants from a reputable nursery. This is a good option if you don’t have a greenhouse or the time to start cutting yourself. Reputable nurseries offer healthy and well-rooted elderberry plants ready for planting. Simply place an order and have the plants shipped to you.

Transplanting elderberry bushes from a nursery is straightforward. Just make sure to choose a healthy plant and follow the nursery’s instructions for planting and care. Often, it’s best to plant elderberries in the spring, after the last frost has passed.

Whether you decide to start elderberries from cuttings or order rooted plants, having these versatile and beneficial shrubs in your garden can provide you with delicious fruit, beautiful flowers, and various health benefits.

How to Root Elderberry Cuttings

If you wish to grow elderberry bushes in your garden, rooting elderberry cuttings is one of the easiest and most economical ways to start. This method allows you to reproduce the exact genetic form of the parent plant and ensures that the new plants will have healthy and vigorous roots. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to root elderberry cuttings.

1. Select the Right Time

The best time to take elderberry cuttings is in late winter or early spring while the plant is still dormant. Ideally, it would be best to take the cuttings in April before the buds break open.

2. Prepare the Cuttings

Choose healthy, well-formed wood for your cuttings. Cut a section of the stem at a length of about 8-12 inches. Cut just above a node or bud. Remove the leaves from the lower two-thirds of the cutting, leaving only a few at the tip. This will minimize water loss and redirect energy towards root development.

3. Apply Rooting Hormones

Applying rooting hormones to the base of the cuttings can help stimulate root development. You can use a commercially available rooting hormone powder or gel. Follow the instructions on the product for the best results.

4. Potting Material and Location

Prepare a potting mix of fertile, well-draining soil. You can also mix some amendments like compost or organic matter to improve fertility. Fill a flat or a pot with the potting mix and moisten it slightly. Place the cuttings about 2-3 inches deep into the soil, leaving one or two buds above the surface.

5. Provide the Right Conditions

Place the flat or pot in a greenhouse or a sheltered spot where the cuttings will be protected from frost. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause excessive drying of the cuttings. Water the cuttings regularly to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy.

6. Wait for Root Development

Root development can take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the variety and environmental conditions. Check the cuttings periodically by gently tugging on them. If you feel resistance, it means that roots have formed. Once the cuttings are well-rooted, you can transplant them into individual pots or directly into the garden.

By following these steps, you can successfully propagate elderberry through cuttings and enjoy a bountiful harvest in the years to come. Taking elderberry cuttings is an easy and cost-effective way to expand your elderberry production or start a new patch.

Elderberry Cuttings Preorder

If you want to propagate and grow elderberry bushes, now is your chance to get started. Ohio residents can preorder elderberry cuttings to kick-start their elderberry journey.

Elderberry cuttings are wood sections taken from the mother elderberry plant. These cuttings can be rooted and grown into new elderberry bushes. In Ohio, April is the best time to take these cuttings and start rooting them.

We have detailed instructions for those unsure of how to go about rooting elderberry cuttings. All you need to do is email us; we will provide you with a step-by-step guide.

It’s important to note that not all cuttings will successfully root. Some may take days, while others may take weeks or even longer to show signs of growth. This is because elderberry cuttings are bound to what is known as “dormancy”, a state in which they do not grow.

When rooting elderberry cuttings, it’s essential to provide the right conditions. Choose a well-drained and fertile soil. Adding amendments such as compost will improve the soil quality. Make sure the cuttings are positioned with the previously rooted side facing down, and leave about two-thirds of the cutting above the soil.

It’s better to start rooting elderberry cuttings in a greenhouse or a flat. This will protect them from extreme weather conditions while they establish roots. Willow extract can also be used as a natural rooting hormone to encourage faster root growth.

As the cuttings begin to grow, remove any weeds or synthetic materials hindering their growth. Only once the cuttings have reached a height of 5-6 feet tall should you consider transplanting them to their permanent spot in the garden.

This is a great opportunity for Ohio residents to grow their elderberry bushes. Elderberries have many health benefits; growing them at home gives you easy access to these nutritious berries.

✿ Read More About Berries and Vine Fruits.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.