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Sambucus Cerulea or Blue Elderberry is a coarse shrub species.

Images of Sambucus Cerulea at

Sambucus Cerulea which is also commonly known by the name Blue Elderberry and Blue Elder is a coarse shrub species of elder in the family Adoxaceae.

Overview of Sambucus Cerulea

• Sambucus cerulea is a large, deciduous shrub.
• It can grow up to be 9m (30ft) in height and 6m (20ft) in width.
• It can become tree-like if trained into dominant trunks.
• It is distinguishable from other elderberries by the glaucous powder coating on its bluish-black berries.
• It normally grows rather wildly from several stems, which can be heavily pruned during winter dormancy.
• The leaves are hairless, strongly pointed and sharp-toothed.
• They are elliptical to lanceolate.
• The blade extends unequally on the stalk at the base.
• The leaves are commonly 3-15cm (~1-6in) long and 2-6cm (~1-2in) wide.
• The white or creamy colored flowers occur from May to June.
• They are usually about 5-20cm (2-8in) wide.
• They are umbel-shaped, normally with 4 to 5 rays extending from the base.
• The flowers have a strong, unpleasant odor.
• Individual flowers are 4-7mm wide.

Growing/Caring conditions of Sambucus

• Plant at least two different cultivators of elderberry bushes to facilitate fertilization.
• Position the bushes in an area of full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil near an outer boundary of your property.
• The branches of mature bushes become weighed down with berry clusters in late summer.
• So, put them in a location that doesn’t interfere with walkways, lawn mowing or nearby plants sunlight requirements.
• Water elderberry bushes frequently during their first year in the garden to keep the surrounding soil consistently moist.
• Once established, both American and European elderberries tolerate drought conditions.
• They may exhibit reduced flowering and berry yields unless watered during extended dry periods.
• Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch in a 3- to 4-foot-wide area around Sambucus bushes.
• In addition to retaining moisture in the soil and suppressing weeds, you can easily see and remove the suckers that sprout up around the bushes’ bases.
• Prune elderberries in early spring before the leaves begin to open.
• During the first two years, allow five to seven of the bush’s multiple stems to grow freely.
• Cut any new stems that emerge down to ground level to keep the plant from becoming leggy.
• Once an elderberry bush is more than 6 to 8 feet tall, prune away up to half of its branches to maintain an attractive, symmetrical appearance.
• Prune back stems more than 3 years old to the ground to allow new stems to grow for more vigorous fruit production.
• Examine elderberry bushes routinely for signs of fungus disease.
• If twig canker appears, immediately cut the entire stem back to the ground and burn it or discard in the trash.
• Watch for any stems that die back, a problem that may be caused by elder shoot borers.
• Cut the dead stems away in the autumn and discard to prevent the pests from overwintering in the plant.
• Protect your elderberry crop from birds by covering the entire bush with lightweight netting.

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