How many people grow elderberries?

xentar_gwFebruary 16, 2010

This year will be the first time I try to grow elderberries. I remember as a kid having elderberry jam and a bit later on in life making elderberry and muscadine wines but have never really thought about intentionally growing the plants myself, because so many came up wild alongside of railroad tracks and ditches.

Now, I see that there are many named varieties out there and really wanted to see how well they'd do compared to wild ones, with some TLC.

First, I took two elderberry plants from the wild, in separate places so that they would be genetically different. Then, I recently decided to order these varieties: John, adams, nova, thundercloud, variegated, nova, black beauty, and korso, along with two genetically different blue elderberry seedlings from the pacific northwest. These are a mix of PNW blue, American, and European elderberries I believe.

I've also noticed that there are some other varieties out there, like: allesso, black lace, goldbeere, haschberg, sambal, emerald lace, and guincho purple. Goldbeere is apparently the only one that has gold berries.

What's everyone's opinion on growing your own elderberries?

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I love growing my own elderberries. The cultivated varieties that I grow are tastier than the wild ones around here. I still harvest wild berries for wine making. Sounds like you'll have quite the patch when it all gets going!

Good Luck,
Little John

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 2:10PM
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We grow our own elderberries too. Elderflowers and elderberries are yummy. You can make elderflower fritters. Elderflower tea is great if you have a fever. Elderberries make terrific syrup, jelly and pie. Can't imagine going through cold and flu season without elderberry syrup. Remember that elderberry seeds have a, well, laxative effect. In syrup and jelly, the seeds are strained out. In pie, whole berry is used. One slice of pie = good. Two slices of pie = good + library time.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 8:48AM
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Does anyone know how well the European varieties will do in Florida?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 10:07PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I would caution you about caerula to try to keep it in check. Mine grew very tall and the wood is very weak, so when the big snowstorm hit in 2008 many tall branches broke off in a circle all around. The berries got too far up to pick, too. It does attract the magnificent Pileated Woodpecker, though- Woody Woodpecker. York has been very slow growing and has nice berries but not very many. The ones developed for leaves apparently need coddling and have not been good for berries either, if not given a lot of water and fertilizer.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 5:51PM
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