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Growing Elderberry Plants from Cuttings

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

An easy-peasy tutorial on growing American Black Elderberry from cuttings

Elderberries are one of the easiest plants to start from cuttings!

Don't be intimidated, I promise, this method is super easy!

Here are the supplies you will need!

  • Dormant elderberry branches

  • Small pots filled with any well-draining soil mix. I personally have used sand, potting mix, or a blend of peat and perlite and have had great success with any of these mixes.

  • Sharp clippers

  • Rooting hormone (optional!)

Cuttings should be taken in late winter when the plant is still dormant, before the buds start to open. I take cuttings anytime from January until early March here in Ohio (zone 5b/6a). You can take small cuttings from the tips of branches, but I prefer to cut the entire branch down to the ground. This helps rejuvenate the plant and encourages it to grow new shoots.

Elderberry will root from anywhere on its stem, but I like to root cuttings with 2 sets of nodes (one to stick into the soil and one above ground for the leaves to grow from)

Here's how to do it!

Stem cutting at a 45 degree angle

  1. Each cutting should include 2 nodes segments, a lower node to grow roots out of and an upper node to grow leaves. Be sure that you are looking at your branch correctly, the nodes should always point upwards. Make an angled 45 degree cut about an inch below the lower set of nodes and a straight cut about an inch above your upper set of nodes.

  2. *Optional* if using rooting hormone, dip the lower end of your cutting

  3. Using your finger or a pencil make a small hole in the center of your pot and place the bottom end of your cutting about an inch deeper than the bottom node.

  4. Place your cuttings in a protected area outside and make sure they are watered well! I like to have mine placed in an area that gets morning sun, afternoon shade and is protected from harsh winds.

Individual cutting potted up in January

*Note: the #1 enemy of rooting cuttings is drying out! Be sure to check on them often and make sure they are not allowed to dry out.

That's it!

By May they will have plenty of leaves and by the end of June they should have plenty of roots. You should be able to plant them out in your landscape! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

Rooted cutting in May

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