Does anyone know what this shrub is?
Sambucus nigra - The Black Elder think this one is "Black Beauty", there is also "Black Lace". I grow both of them, my fave plant!!!
17 Jun, 2010
Have seen loads of them today and they are all in good condition and flowering well they must like the dry !
I planted 4 small ones last year Dido and the rate of growth has astonished me, one especially which has now reached approx 7-8 feet, all have produced beautiful pink flowers and should be full of berries later in the season.
I did a silly thing last year, because of their growing rate I chopped one hard back, and that was at the expense of flower this year.. what a numpty I am!
It looks superb grown next to a white Iceberg rose, the perfect companion.
Thank you everyone. Another related question, how do you deal with the Aphids? I sprayed them with diluted washing up liquid and it has killed a lot of the flowers. Any suggestions?
Use a systemic insecticide for aphids, don't spray the flowers, and only spray at dusk, when the bees have stopped working.
If you must spray with a soap then look for a horticultural soft soap insecticide. The washing up liquid soap contains more toxic chemicals than even the worse insecticide sold.
Try not to spray,(only use soap) let things happen naturally, there should be ladybirds around!! also the birds will eat them.
Yes I would be nice not to have to spray as it was really unhappy with the washing upliquid!!
How do I encourage ladybirds?
I did read somewhere, that I need to encourage hover flies as they love to eat aphids. I can't remember what flower encourages them. Is it Chrysanthemums?
I never grew Chrysanths but my garden was always full of hover flies - think its just quantities of plants and flowers, really. The trouble with Sambucus (Elder) is that it always gets tons of aphids all over it, every year, and even planting a sacrificial plant like nasturtium or English marigold (which also attract aphids like the devil) does not stop them clustering in their hundreds on Elder. Hence why I said systemic insecticide...
I don't really have many flowers in my garden. Quite a few evergreens. We bought the house with some mature ish plants and I am hoping to add more stock although as I am quite new to gardening I haven't really got a clue what I am doing! I am reading books and magazines to try and educate myself but there seems so much to learn!
Anyway, I have not heard of systemic insecticide.... are you able to suggest a brand? Don't know if that is against the forum rules or not? I can always ask at the garden centre.
Thanks anyway though for your help.
Well I'm told the brand I usually recommend is temporarily unavailable! Systemic means it gets into the sap stream of the plant, thus keeping insects away for up to two weeks, after which the product is cleared from the sap stream. Contact insecticides kill on contact, no residual effect, just the same as soapy water. So you'll be back out spraying again the next day if you use a contact one.
Provado make a wide range of bug sprays, check the bottles and look for "aphids" and "systemic" on the label.
The blue tits/robins etc. will eat the aphids and they have hungry babies at the moment, please dont spray, Elders are very tough and will bounce back again next year, I never spray anything in my garden and never have, If you garden naturally that is the big encouragement for ladybirds to reside!!
When iv had them in the past i have just tried to wash them off with the hose and just keep an eye on them and this seemed to work
I agree, my Black Lace got tons of aphids and their attendant farming ants probably fended off any predators so their numbers became huge. All the plants beneath got covered with sticky honeydew which then turned black with sooty mould....what a mess.
Black Beauty is the better of the two anyway. Black Lace doesn't flower so well and looks "lost" whereas Black Beauty makes a good bold statement and if unpruned, produces plenty of lovely contrasting pink flat-topped sprays of sweet scented flowers.
Fractal, maybe the flowers would encourage butterlies as well, if sweet scented? I would plant one but have no more room.
18 Jun, 2010
Can't say I have seen an exceptional number of butterflies on the flowers though they do visit them. Maybe not so high on their list of favourites.
19 Jun, 2010
It could be just a little too early for certain butterflies and it's cold at the moment too!
How do I say thanks?
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