Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to Grow Your Own Elderberry Trees

One of the nicest things about running a blog, is all the new people you meet! They sometimes ask questions, and when I try to answer them, I learn new things also! So this post is dedicated to my friend Arya, who asked if I knew how to grow Elder from seed. She only sees the bush in areas that might be contaminated. I had the same problem a few years ago. They are all over my county, but many times they are a long creeks that are too near crop fields or roads. I am real fortunate that my friend Valorie bought a new home that had a huge old Elder stand growing already, in her garden area. I have been able to harvest there the last few years, but two years ago I did start some saplings from Possum Creek Herb Farm, and was amazed that the year after planting them, they flowered and later had berries! They are just two years old now, so not harvesting from them yet, but soon I will just be able to go into my own gardens for elderflowers and elderberries!
A few other sources I found are for buying Elder plants:
at Dave’s Garden site I found a seller in Florida
Elderberry Life - Missouri
Horizon Herbs - Oregon
Nature Hill – Nebraska
Raintree Nursery - Washington
Willis Orchard - Georgia
Thanks to my friend Anke of Herbology, I can now include a couple of Australian sources!
The Diggers Club
All Rare Herbs
Well, I have never grown an Elder from seed so I went off on a search and found some information.
At I found this article for those of you who want to give it a try! I think I will try it also:) has planting and growing tips. Take time to look around the site for lots of information, discussions, and individuals who have Elder plants for sale also.
Now I am very sorry these sources for plants are for the US and Australia only.  I would love it if readers from other countries would give me the links to their favorite sources, and then I will revise this post to include them!
                                             Cecily Mary Barker picture
 Herbal and Honey hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx


Lisa said...

L- I vividly recall driving down the county roads where I grew up in my youth with my mom and Grams and big five gallon buckets...looking out for wild elderberries!

One person would be the lookout while/get away driver while the others hopped out and picked, picked, picked. I don't really know why we had to be so hush hush about our picking. I am pretty sure the farmers around us cared less.

I also remember later on having elderberry jelly on toast! :) Hootie

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

I love my elderberry! Thanks so much for the candied ginger recipe. Looks easy and if you can do it, I know I can! With lemon verbena joy for you, Nancy

Comfrey Cottages said...

Nice memory, Lisa! That is so funny about the getaway car bit! You are right, the farmers probably cared les! Yum, elderberry jelly!!! Thanks for visiting sweetheart! xxx
You are so welcome Nancy! I am certain you can do it! thanks for the lemon verbena joy!! xxx

jill said...

Love the fairy picture.Love Jill xx

AnkeB said...

We dont have elders growing wild in Australia and most of the ones people do grow is not the one traditionally used in recipes and remedies.

Here are two sources for elder plants in Australia...I would love the purple one!!!!

Comfrey Cottages said...

Thanks Anke! I will add those to the post! xx You are a doll!

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Hey Leslie, I have become the Pinterest herbal police. There is a photo of Spanish lavender being pinned out there that someone called culinary! It's right on the website that it is used for potpourri or wreaths. Hey, it won't kill them but it can be dangerous with a poisonous plant! Monkhood is a beautiful flower, but certainly NOT an edible flower. See what you started! Now I'm going to be chasing these repins down until they are correct! Of course, no one has responded to me. Typical. I put a comment on Facebook and the comments die! Thanks for getting me hooked, I think! xxoo Nancy

Comfrey Cottages said...

lol Nancy! Too funny! They needed an herb police on that site:) You are right, folks just repin stuff blindly! lol! You are welcome:) xxx

Anonymous said...

Leslie, you always have very informative information to share.
The fairy picture is adorable. I'd love to get my hands on some elderberries.
Hugs Rosemary...xx

Comfrey Cottages said...

Thank you, Rosemary:) the nice thing about working with elderberries, as you can easily work with dried ones, they retain all flavor and food/medicinal values when dried. Here is a link to purchasing organic dried ones if you are interested:)
big hugs and thanks for visiting xxx

(Arya) Paige said...

Thanks so much! This was terribly helpful. :) I was surprised how affordable the sapling were.

Comfrey Cottages said...

You are welcome, Arya! Yes, they are so very affordable:) xx

Steve Flanagan said...

Elderberries are great. The Fruit makes excellent jelly and the flowers are both edible and medicinal. My wife and I are lucky enough to have a few of these growing on our property.

Comfrey Cottages said...

Thank you for visiting Steve! Elder is a fabulous plant with so many parts usable in so many ways!

Danielle said...

Here in Vermont I got a few nice saplings from Zach Woods Herb Farm and they are now in their 4th year, doing fantastically. Their hasn't been enough berries to really harvest these past few years so I've been leaving them for the birds, hoping that they will spread some elderberry love around :)

Nicole said...

You didn't go into detail about what time of the year you planted, how deep you planted, what food you used, how often you watered or if you had to do any pruning.