Elderberry, American Black (Sambucus nigra var canadensis) packet of 50 seeds

$4.95

Family:  Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)

Hardy to Zones 3 to 9

(Common Elderberry, American Elderberry) Perennial, deciduous, multistemmed woody shrub native to Eastern and Central North America, including Canada and the US, from Nova Scotia all the way to Florida, and west into Iowa and Illinois.  This is the wild form that may easily be seen flowering in low places, moist ground and swails in the midwest.  It makes very large flowers and is quite common.  The berries are considered equal to the European black elderberry in terms of taste and activity, although the great majority of studies have been conducted on the European form, which has been shown to contain a unique antiviral protein.  Traditional us of American Black Elderberry (TWM, Native American): Colds, flu, immune enhancement.  Source of anthocyanins, bioflavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants. The syrup, tincture or glycerite of these berries is traditionally used (TWM) for treating the common cold and for overall increase in immunity.  Cultivation: Plant the seeds in moist, shady area–it is best to plant in flats or in gallon pots, as they take a long time to come up, and control is needed.  Seed  best planted in the fall to early spring for germination in the midspring.  Plant in cool, moist, shaded pots.  If the ground has already warmed, put the seeds in moist sand or peat in a sealed container in the fridge, not the freezer, and refrigerate for 90 days, then sow in cool, moist shade.  If you endeavor to separate the seeds by flotation, do not be alarmed when the seeds float–floating elderberry seeds are viable!  Outdoor conditions are preferred–do not try to grow indoors in a bright window–oscillating temperatures are required. Sow seeds in very rich and composty soil medium.  Once germinated, the seedlings grow very rapidly.  Seedlings and adult trees are Nitrogen lovers–give chicken manure or copious amounts of compost for best results. Grow out in a shaded place in pots for a year before transplanting to final location.   These elderberries are fast-growing but short-lived.  Once they mature enough to make berries, they may be cut down to the crown every fall, and will regrow, flower and fruit the following year.  This is the way to maximize yields.   Space trees at least 15 feet apart.
50  seeds/pkt, in dried berries, certified organically grown

 

 

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  1. Question

    Brynn Seaton

    Hello! I have about six elder plants in gallon pots that I started from your seeds earlier this winter/spring. I have read through a lot of the comments here and am planning on keeping them in their pots over winter (I live in MD) but am unsure how to prep them for the winter temps. We have plenty of options for sheltered location (barn, covered structure) but do not have a bonafide greenhouse where they would be covered and exposed to sunlight. Do I need to cover them or can I just let them go dormant outside unprotected? Thanks in advance!

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    • One person found this helpful
      Mayche Cech

      Mayche Cech

      Hello Brynn, Thanks for reporting success with the elderberry seeds! Yes, you’re thinking in the right direction. It is very important to let the young plants take on their standard dormancy by keeping them in outdoor conditions. Hopefully they’ve put on a bit of wood which helps assure winter survival. It is best if they are kept somewhere where they will receive rainfall and snowfall. You might want to bury the pots or at least mulch up around them to protect the roots from too much frost. Richo

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    • Brynn Seaton

      Awesome! Super helpful! Do I need to cut them back at all? 5/6 of them are woody, so that is wonderful news!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Brynn,
      The leaves will die back to the bud on the wood. Not recommended to cut back in first year.
      Richo

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  2. Question

    Sarah

    How many seeds per pot should I plant? Will the plants bear berries in the first year while they’re still growing in the pot? Should I allow the plants to overwinter in the pots, before transplanting, if I live in a cold area? Thanks

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Sarah,
      I would put the entire packet in a gallon pot. The plants will not bear berries in the first year, these are long-lived woody perennials that may take years to get established. Yes, you need to plant the seeds now, they germinate in the spring, and then must be worked up in successively larger pots before transplanting–this takes at least 2 years. Planting elderberry from seeds can be very challenging, I direct you to our potted plants, and suggest purchasing in the spring in order to avoid the issues of overwintering.
      Richo

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  3. Question

    lcwisher

    I have read that there are several varieties of American Black Elderberry (Adams, Johns, Nova, York) and that planting a variety is best for pollination. Which variety are these seeds? If I get the elderberry set, will the European and American help pollinate each other or will I need other varieties? Thanks!

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello there, Our American black elderberry is wild-form Sambucus canadensis from the midwest. Varietals do not come true from seed. My experience is that our open-pollinated types are self-fertile.

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    • Susan

      Can I keep the seeds in the packet just as they are (they just arrived) and then soak the seeds and plant them in the fall, or because they are fresh seeds, do I need to refrigerate them for 90 days right now and then plant them out in 3 months?

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Susan,
      You can store them in the packet until you are ready to soak and stratify them. Seeds in the dried berries are dormant and stable.
      Richo

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    • Rohit

      how big do these grow , can i grow Elderberry in a pot ?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      They get to 15 feet more or less. They don’t make good potted plants.

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