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How to Grow Sambucus


Position – Full Sun or part shade

Soil – Well-drained

Flowering Period –Summer

Hardiness –  Fully hardy

About Sambucus

Sambucus are herbaceous perennials or deciduous shrubs and small trees. Displayed on stunning ovate or pinnate foliage are clusters of small creamy-white flowers that are followed by red, white or black berries. Sambucus can release intense fragrance whilst the berries are both appealing to wildlife and are a good ingredient for wine and jam making – although please check this is the case with individual varieties. They are best suited as use for hedging and screening within coastal or wildlife gardens. You should expect to see Sambucus grow to an approximate height and spread of 4m (13’). Please take care when handling Sambucus, as they are highly toxic if ingested into your system.

How to plant Sambucus

Sambucus are best planted in well-drained soil of chalk, clay, sand or loam within an acidic, alkaline or neutral PH balance. At the time of planting you may wish to amend the soil with plenty of organic matter to improve overall drainage and growing conditions. Choose a site that will accommodate the mature size of your Sambucus and dig a hole that is as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Spread the roots evenly and backfill the planting area, watering thoroughly and deeply. Sambucus are best positioned in an area of full sun or part shade.

How to care for Sambucus

During the spring, feed Sambucus with a slow release fertiliser. You may wish to prune Sambucus once the flowering period is over by removing older branches, cutting back young shoots by half. During early spring, apply a generous layer of mulch consisting of well-rotten manure or compost and place this to the base of your Sambucus.

How to propagate Sambucus

It is possible to propagate Sambucus by softwood cuttings or hardwood cuttings.

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