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Black elderflower (sambuca?)

BuffalogalBuffalogal Posts: 23
What do I need to do with this sambuca? I inherited it when I bought the house 8 years ago and  I’ve never touched it. Until last year it has been beautiful, full of foliage and producing tons of lovely pink flowers. Last year it looked as though it was dying and branches snapped off very easily. This is how it looks now and I’m worried it’s just struggling too much. I really don’t know what to do. Please, all advice much appreciated. 


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,205
    You can prune them very hard, although it is a bit late.
    Cut back all the dead branches and they will re sprout from the stubs.
    Give it a good feed and water afterwards.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • BlueBirderBlueBirder Posts: 153
    As @punkdoc says you can prune them very hard but don't expect flowers on the new growth for a while  :)
  • BuffalogalBuffalogal Posts: 23
    Thankyou both for your replies and advice, its very much appreciated.😊
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,108
    Pruning hard results in better leaves but you will have less if any flowers.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,500
    edited 17 April
    I've had one for many years and agree with the advice given above.
    What I do anytime in Spring is to cut some of the branches right back so the whole shrub is no more than about 5-6ft and some are no more than about 2ft.
    If you can bring yourself to do it, in Spring cut one of the main trunks right back to the ground. That will force the plant to send up new stems from below ground that will flower the following year.
    The year after cut the other main trunk back to the ground.
    That will give you a shrub with maybe 15 stems coming from the ground.
    Then each year cut out about 1/3 of the oldest stems.
    That will keep it to a decent height (mine never gets more than about 7ft) and you'll get plenty of lush leaves and flowers every year.

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BuffalogalBuffalogal Posts: 23
    Thank you everyone. 🙏🏼
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