The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

poor sambucus growth


By Redrock

West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

Further to query on very poor growth of sambucus, soil is probably alkaline, very stony so 'chalky'?

On plant sambucus nigra




This is a very strong growing plant and should have grown massive amounts each season - by that i mean several feet each growing season/year.
Pruning it 'does' make it bushy but it sounds like there's something making yours suffer, for it to be so stunted.
What type of position and soil is it in ?
Can you show us a picture of it please ?

17 Apr, 2010


I'll take a pic and post and er..find out what the soil is (not a real gardener obviously!) It's in a fairly sheltered spot in a sheltered back garden..will get back..

17 Apr, 2010


Aplogies if I'm threadbutting......I'll be interested in these answers I have an identical problem, although mine is one year old. I did think it should have put on much more growth last year. Mine is in a pot ...problem perhaps?

18 Apr, 2010


Izzy, constricting its growth in a pot will have a big impact on it, in its natural state - in the open ground it would be allowed to flourish and 'then' you'd see it in all its glory !
This plant wants to get big - very big !!!

19 Apr, 2010


Have updated my question with pic (above?)

19 Apr, 2010


Hmmm !
It looks quite dry and hot in that spot, so i originally thought it was suffering from drought but .... mine are also in thin, poor soil that dries out very very quickly - yet it grows like wildfire.

I'm wondering now it its roots are constricted.
If a plant is put into the ground without its roots being 'teased' out of their pot shape, its roots will just circle around themselves and, it won't grow much and most likely die off.
Maybe 'this' is the problem.

If you think it 'could' be this, i'd try and dig it up, tease and move the roots about (a lot) and then plant it again - into a big hole, with lots of manure in, and it just might rekindle the life that's in the roots.

If you did none of the above ..... just prune it back hard, to maybe 12" from the ground. This could also kick start it !

19 Apr, 2010


I'm thinking that too, so might do all the proffered tips!

19 Apr, 2010


Let us know its progress !

19 Apr, 2010


Thank you, Louise! I cut it back...hard to 6" from the top of the compost. I think perhaps I will re-pot it..I was trying to keep some shrubs in pots as we want to move but don't know when so I was reluctant to put everything into the soil!

Have you ever taken hardwood cuttings from this shrub? I cannot rememebr if I teased out the roots or was a very young shrub. Perhaps I'll do that too. It should be in ericaceous compost, I you do so?

19 Apr, 2010


No i don't, i have mine in alkaline soil !!!
I don't think they're fussy about soil types though ..... where's Bamboo, she'll know, Doctorbob's around too, i think, he will awell !

19 Apr, 2010

How do I say thanks?

Answer question

Related photos

  • Sambucus Nigra 'Black Lace' (Sambucus nigra (Black Elder))
  • Round of applause! (Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace')
  • Sambucus Nigra 'Black Lace' (Sambucus nigra (Black Elder))
  • Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' (Sambucus Nigra)

Related products


Related questions

Not found an answer?