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sambucus nigra

peteSpeteS Posts: 964
Does anyone know if it is possible to start off growing a Sambucus nigra "Black Lace" in a pot which measures about 15" wide and about the same high. I think the plant will be delivered, according to the blurb in a 1 litre pot. Many thanks.

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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    Yes, it will be OK for a year or two in a pot that size as long as it is then planted into the ground or into a large container (think half barrel or larger.)  They grow very quickly and are a challenge to keep in containers.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • peteSpeteS Posts: 964
    I'm after something which will grow to about 3 metres, but I've read such a wide range of sizes for this, from 3 metre, way up to 6 metre. Are you able to give me a more precise height.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    They will grow according to conditions, so 6x6m would be possible when planted in the ground.  They will grow smaller in containers because of the root restriction but that will lead to other problems later on, such as becoming root-bound.  The good news is you can cut them back hard if necessary and they will quickly grow again.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • peteSpeteS Posts: 964
    So by cutting them hard back each year you can contain the growth. The last thing I want is a 6x6m monster on my hands.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    I wouldn't do it every year unless it happens to be very vigorous, but you could remove 1/3rd of stems (ie the oldest) each year which should keep it in bounds.  You won't really know until you see how it grows in your chosen spot - it may grow slowly and stay fairly small for several years.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • peteSpeteS Posts: 964
    Thank you very much for that useful advice.
  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003
    Also if you cut back whole plant every year, you won't get flowers.......
  • Anna33Anna33 Posts: 316
    I just hack away at mine on and off throughout the whole year, to keep it to size. I'm mindful of keeping some of the older branches for flowers, but it survives perfectly happily being hacked at (mostly) indiscriminately. I have it in a small garden, ain a back corner, to hide the compost bin, and it does grow very quickly. But I've managed to keep it to more or less 2-3 metres (depending on how frequently said hacking is done).

    When it's threatening to get too big, I give it a really hard prune in the dormant season to get it back down to a much smaller framework. It's not the ideal plant for my garden, due to its size, but I like so much about it and on the whole it is a really easy plant...!
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