Sambucus


QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE

1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full sun to part shade.

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 'Lemony Lace' - 3 to 7. 'Black Tower' -  4 to 8

3. Planting Distance - 3 feet apart in ground. One plant per 12 inch or larger container.

4. Mature Height/Spread - 'Lemony Lace' - 3 to 5 feet tall with a similar spread.'Black Tower' - 6 to 8 feet tall with a 3 - 4 feet spread.

5. Bloom Time - 'Lemony Lace' - Early summer.'Black Tower' blooms in the spring with berries in the fall.

6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot in which your plant was grown. Please note that many of our pots are biodegradable. If your plant is not in a traditional plastic pot then you may place the entire biodegradable pot in the ground; otherwise, gently remove the root ball from the pot. Partially backfill the hole with soil and place the plant into the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the ground surrounding the hole. Refill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant with your fingers. Check to be sure that the plant is not planted too deeply. If it is, raise the plant carefully and refirm the soil. Water thoroughly.

SOIL PREPARATION

Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office.  These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance.  See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:

1.  Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.

3.  After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.

CONTINUING CARE

Water - Adequate and consistent watering is essential during the plant's first year in your garden.  Infrequent, long soakings of water that thoroughly saturate the soil surrounding the root zone are more effective than frequent light applications of water that may wet the top of the soil only.  

Due to individual plant needs, geographical, and environmental conditions, a specific watering schedule is hard to define; however, as a rule of thumb you should not allow the soil to completely dry out.  During periods of drought and extreme summer heat, you may need to water as often as every day.

Overwatering can be as damaging as under watering.  Be sure that the area surrounding your plant does not become a water-holding bog and that there is adequate drainage to move excess water away from the plant. .

Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.

Grooming - Clip off dead or unsightly growth to maintain attractive form and shape.  Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible.  As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season.

Pruning - Prune vines back lightly (for shape and size) for the first two growing seasons. After the third season, vines should be pruned back at least ½ way each fall after the plants defoliate. Any vines that climb on nearby trees and shrubs should be cut back immediately.

Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.

Winterizing - A thorough watering in late fall will greatly enhance the plant's cold tolerance.

The time to protect your plants in the garden is after the ground has frozen. At that time, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straws or leaves to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.

For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area, be sure to check the soil moisture every 2 to 3 weeks and water as needed.

In spring, remove the mulch from in-ground plantings.  Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.

 

CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.