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Sambucus woes

Ok, I've had with Sambucus 'Black Beauty'.  For the third year in a row, this year's new growth has collapsed after one day last week of high winds.  It seems it has a fundamental weakness at the point where this years growth emerges from the woodier stems of previous years.  I grow it beside a Spirea for the nice colour contrast but now determined to get rid.  Unless anyone knows of a solution short of moving house to a less windy spot!  What purple foliage plant could I replace it with - Cotinus?


  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Hi, yes cottinus would be good - needs hard pruning to give of its best copper leaves and smoke.  Physocarpus 'diabolo' is good too, more upright than cottinus, with little pink flowers.

    Can you move your sambuccus?  It is such a beauty when out of the wind, but it certainly does get severe wind burn.  I grow mine in a pot and it is very good, though of course it will never get to the larger size I might have liked, but my garden is also a wind tunnel in places, so that was the only realistic option, so I could move it around until it was happy.  Where it is happy I cannot put it in the ground, about right huh? 

  • Thanks Bookertoo, the Physocarpus looks like a possibility.  I'll try to salvage the Sambucus..perhaps by moving to a pot this winter.  Another one for my 'to do' list image



  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,626

    Sambucus varieties with fancy foliage don't like wind.   I have them along the northern boundary of my garden and they definitely need a windbreak to do well.  However physocarpus is tough as old boots.  You could also try a prunus such as cerasifera which has purple foliage and winter blossoms and can be grown as a large shrub or small tree.


    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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