elderberry, elderflower, and everything in between
I will give you a few tips for growing elderberry's that come from years of experience, along with what will work and what will fail. And believe me, I've had failures.
First: There is no real need to purchase elderberry plants from retailers. They grow quite well from cuttings. If you take a cuttings from 2nd year growth in very early spring and stick it in the ground where you eventually want a elderberry bush, the success rate is somewhere around 70%. That's right... if you stick 10 elderberry cuttings in the ground, up to 7 will take hold. Which is probably why elderberrys are so prolific in the wild. I don't believe it has anything to do with seeding, but rather how tender the canes are.
Second: I have NEVER had success planting or transplanting elderberry bushes in any other season but spring. I don't know why. Elderberry roots dry out quick and lead to failure just as quick. Some retailers will NOT ship young elderberry plants in any other season but spring because of inconsistant success.
Third: Elderberry Plants love fertilizer. I have a 5 yr old bush out front that has turned into a monster. Not less than 12 feet high and 10 feet across, all because of proper fertilizing I believe. 10-10-10, Manure or even Hollytone will give you plants with leaves 2 1/2inches wide and almost a foot long, with Flower Clusters near 10 inches wide.
Fourth: Elderberry Pie is probably better if you don't use whole berrys in the recipe, which means use a recipe that you cook and strain before the pie shell is loaded.
Finally: You'll never have any trouble getting rid of Elderberry Wine or Jelly. Nor will you find a way of removing the 'purple' from your fingers when preparing them. It will wear off eventually.
(I found out by accident that elderberry juice does a dandy job of cleaning the copper bottom of RevereWear pots and pans. I somehow placed a empty pot in a puddle of elderberry juice and the bottom got sparkling clean after only a couple if minutes of sitting in the spilled juice)
Just got my first elderberry. Any likelihood that I'll get fruits with only one plant and none known anywhere nearby?