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Problem with sambucus?

just noticed this strange ‘growth’ in several places on the stem of my sambucus. From a distance I thought it was a mass of ants but nothing is moving and seems to be a dark purple color. Is this something I should be concerned about? If so, has anyone got any suggestions for treating it? I have tried looking online and also in gardening books but can’t find anything that looks like it so would really appreciate any info / suggestions on this please. Many thanks


  • gavpregavpre Posts: 33
    edited June 2018
    Looks like aphids/black fly. Just squish them with your fingers or wash them off with hose pipe.

    Natural predators will eat them if you leave them. Ladybird larvae, hoverfly etc.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,621
    Yes, it's blackfly. I have them on my carpenteria this year for the first time.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Standen1Standen1 Posts: 65
    Thanks very much everyone- glad it isn’t anything more serious that can’t be dealt with 🙂- may try the hose although with all the exceptionally heavy rain we’ve had recently would have thought that would have washed them off anyway. 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    They resist water from above quite well.  Not so good when it comes to a fairly powerful hose spray setting from the side though!   :) 
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,318
    Wow. That's a lot of blackfly!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,997
    The soft young tips of Sambucus seem to attract a lot of blackfly at this time of year ... as has been said, natural predators will reduce their numbers ... if they don't get rid of them all a jet from a hosepipe usually does the job.    Attracting bluetits by hanging feeders in the area is a good longer term strategy which works for us. 

    It happens to wild Sambucus too and doesn't seem to cause major problems for them ... they soon outgrow the infestation. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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