Sambuca Nigra

Chris9Chris9 Posts: 92

I have the above plant and I badly pruned it last Autumn, is it to late to prune it back hard, i have read that I can prune it back to about 20cm in March so was wondering should  I leave it until next spring.  I didn't realise that it grew so big and it is at the front of our house and grew to the window, so thought I would move it to the back garden, when will I be able to do this.  

regards Chris



  • I pruned mine back early last month and it's already showing lots of new buds.  I don't have any experience of pruning this late, but elders are very tough....

  • I have never got one to live more than a year yet, and that is without even showing them the pruners !

  • Sheila4Sheila4 Posts: 1

    I prune mine back every spring, but haven't had any flowers yet.

    Sheila Cule

  • lilweadlilwead Posts: 32

    I've got one in a pot which was stood on the garden......had to take a saw to the roots that came through the bottom so that I could move the pot! Opportunist little beggar! Shows how good elders can be at settling in. Mine flowered last year, only half a dozen clusters, but I think that was more because it was in a pot and the roots were constricted (mostly!). If it's too big, I cut the elder back at anytime of the year, and it's lasted 4 yrs so far.

  • Do they flower on the previous year's wood?  I cut mine down last year, not touching some small/young shoots.  Those were the only branches that flowered.

  • I forgot to mention - they take easily from cuttings.  I'm an absolute novice at propagating and managed to get three cuttings to survive last year.  I'm planning on planting all three in a windbreak area.

  • Chris9Chris9 Posts: 92

    I am a bit of a novice with gardening and really couldn't say what they flower on, I cut my plant down by half and it is sprouting leaves so I think I will leave it for this year and see if it flowers, I will try and see if I can take cuttings when I have researched how I do it! perhaps you can point me in the right direction!

    Thanks for the responses.



  • I have taken a couple of cutting from mine, which is the black-leaved variety. I think I did it last summer or autumn (I have a feeling it was demonstrated on GW on TV at the time). I think I just pulled off a small shoot and cut its top growth back to two main leaves, then put it at the edge of a pot of compost with some perlite added for drainage. Both cutting have rooted, although I nearly lost one because the pigeons pulled off the new growth. I have now put old hanging-basket frames over them both for protection.

    Elder is very strong and persistent. You can cut it right back to near the ground and it will shoot back up again in the spring/summer. I don't know how you'd get rid of it, but I am told it is lucky to have elder in your garden.

  • Paul NPaul N Bearsted, KentPosts: 300

    I was given a neglected potted example a while ago. How tall will they grow, as tall as a common Elder, and what are the flowers like? I presume they don't fruit?

  • My purple-leafed elder (I don't know what variety - I inherited it) has pink elder-shaped flowers.  It grows six or seven feet in a year, so I'm guessing it would make a good-sized tree if I didn't chop it down.  I think some of them are smaller....

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