Elderberries are used for many medicinal remedies. They are exceptional immune boosters; most children’s cough and cold medicines have a base of elderberry. The flowers are excellent antiseptics as well as calming eyewash for eye inflammation. The flowers can also be made into an oil and used for burns, sunburn and skin rashes. As a lotion, it helps to relax sore muscles. The fruit is pleasantly tart and exceptionally high in vitamin C.
They can be made into jams, jellies and sauces; brewed as a tea; or eaten fresh in salads, desserts or smoothies.
Size – This bush grows to a height of up to 6 metres. It likes to cross pollinate with a second tree, so plant it within the general vicinity of another one.
Soil – It needs loamy to sandy soil with good drainage to thrive. Soil with a pH level of between 5.5 and 6.5 is optimal.
Before planting your bush, add your berry mix and volcanic rock dust (which contains organic minerals and trace elements to boost soil health and increase important micro-organisms) close to the surface. Gently take your plant out of the pot and plant it level with the ground. Planting too high or too deep stresses the plant and threatens its long-term health.
Watering – The elderberry plant is tolerant of drought and cold, but watering it in summer will yield a bountiful crop.
Mulch – Use organic pine bark mulch, but keep it about 20 centimetres away from the stem of the tree. This will keep weeds away and prevent the soil from drying out too much.
Pruning – After your plant has fruited, cut away any dead and diseased branches.
Fertilising – Use a slow-release organic fertiliser in spring to boost your plant’s health and production. Our Berry Fertisliser is a great option
Fruit – In spring, elderberry plants feature magnificently scented, showy white flowers. In summer, they produce a bounty of dark purple-black berries.
Fungus – Watch out for fungal diseases like powdery mildew or leaf spotting. These are treatable with organic treatments from the Kirschoff range or use a Neem Oil solution