How to Grow Sambucus Black Tower - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Sambucus black tower is a plant that is known for its dark berries. The plant is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. The berries of the plant are used to make wine and jam. The plant is also used to make medicine.

How to Grow Sambucus Black Tower - Plant Care & Tips

Also called

  • elderberry bush
  • elderflower
  • black elder
  • Sambucus nigra
  • European elder

Common Knowledge

  • Sambucus black tower is a very popular ornamental plant.
  • It is native to Europe, Asia and North America.
  • Sambucus black tower grows to a height of 15-20 feet.
  • The leaves are dark green in color and are deeply lobed.
  • The flowers are white or cream in color and are borne in large, flat-topped clusters.
  • The fruit is black in color and is borne in small, round clusters.
  • Sambucus black tower is a deciduous plant.
  • It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
  • It is relatively drought tolerant.
  • Sambucus black tower is susceptible to a number of diseases, including powdery mildew, leaf spot and stem canker.

How to Grow

  1. For sambucus black tower, first step is to choose a location which receives full sun to partial shade.
  2. Second step is to prepare the soil by adding compost or other organic matter to improve drainage and fertility.
  3. Third step is to dig a hole that is twice the width and depth of the plant’s root ball.
  4. Fourth step is to place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, tamping down lightly as you go.
  5. Fifth step is to water the plant deeply immediately after planting.
  6. Sixth step is to apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant, but not touching the stem.
  7. Seventh step is to water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
  8. Eighth step is to prune back the stems by one-half in late winter or early spring to encourage new growth.
  9. Ninth step is to fertilize with a balanced fertilizer in early spring.
  10. Lastly, enjoy the beautiful blooms of sambucus black tower in mid to late summer!

Related plant:
Sambucus Black Beauty

The Soil

About soil condition, Sambucus black tower is tolerant to a range of soil conditions from heavy clay to light, sandy soils. However, it prefers a well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soil. Avoid planting in overly wet or poorly drained soils. Sambucus black tower is a fast-growing, deciduous shrub that can reach up to 15 feet in height. It has dark green leaves and clusters of small, black fruit. The fruit is edible and can be used to make jams and jellies. The shrub is tolerant to a range of soil conditions, but prefers a well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soil.

About light

Like the other Sambucus species, the Sambucus black tower requires full sun to partial sun for optimal growth. It is a fast-growing plant that can reach a height of 15 feet in just a few years. The Sambucus black tower is a deciduous plant, which means that it will lose its leaves in the fall.

Good Temperature

The temperature condition in the Sambucus black tower is ideal for the growth of the plants. The temperature is maintained at a constant level and the humidity is also at a moderate level. These conditions are necessary for the growth of the plants and for the proper functioning of the ecosystem.

Humidity Aspect

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 55-65%. If the air is too dry, the leaves will curl and the plant will become dormant. If the air is too moist, the plant will become susceptible to root rot.

The Fertilizer

Regarding fertilizer, this plant does best with a general-purpose fertilizer that is applied once per month during the growing season. A root stimulator can also be used to encourage strong root growth.

Plant Pruning

Pruning is an important part of caring for your Sambucus black tower. Prune in early spring, before new growth begins. Cut back any dead or damaged branches. Cut back any branches that are growing in an unwanted direction. Cut back any branches that are crossing or rubbing against other branches.

About Propagating

Propagation is best accomplished through softwood or hardwood cuttings taken from new growth in late spring or early summer. The cuttings should be 4-6 inches long and should be taken from healthy, non-flowering stems. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone and plant in a pot filled with a well-drained soil mix. Place the pot in a location that receives indirect light and keep the soil moist. New growth should appear within 6-8 weeks. Once the new plants are established, they can be transplanted to their permanent location.

Growth Speed

Usually, the plant growth rate is during the spring and summer when the weather is warm and there is plenty of rainfall. The plant can grow up to 3 feet in a single growing season. When the fall season arrives, the sambucus black tower growth rate slows down considerably. It can take up to two years for a full-sized plant to mature.

Common Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are powdery mildew, aphids, and black walnut toxicity. Powdery mildew is a white or gray powdery growth on the leaves and stems of the plant. Aphids are small, wingless insects that suck the sap from the plant. Black walnut toxicity can occur when the plant is grown near black walnut trees. The toxicity can cause the leaves of the plant to turn yellow and the plant to become stunted.

List to Know

  • Make sure to plant Sambucus Black Tower in a location that receives full sun.
  • This plant prefers well-drained soil.
  • Water regularly, keeping the soil moist but not wet.
  • Fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Prune regularly to maintain a compact shape.
  • Suspend watering during the winter months.
  • Apply a mulch around the base of the plant to help with moisture retention.
  • Be on the lookout for aphids and other pests.
  • Propagate by taking softwood cuttings in late spring or early summer.
  • Sambucus Black Tower is generally disease-free but may be susceptible to powdery mildew or leaf spot.

Alternative Plants

  • Sambucus brachycarpa
  • Sambucus caerulea
  • Sambucus casting their votes
  • Sambucus californica
  • Sambucus canadensis
  • Sambucus chaerophylla
  • Sambucus callicarpa
  • Sambucus caucasica
  • Sambucus cranberry bush
  • Sambucus pubens

Species Descriptions - Burke Herbarium Image Collection
Red elderberry - The North Creek Wetland - UW Bothell
Species (common name, Latin name) - University of Washington

Richelle Author Photo
Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Herbs Category