Can elderberry bushes be grown by just dropping some of the berries on the ground? If so, should the berries be ripe ones, or can they be in the pre-ripe stage? We figure wild elderberry bushes get planted by bird droppings after they have consumed the berries, so we're wondering if we could just put the berries on the ground and grow bushes.
Elderberries – Growing From Seed
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
They can propagate through seeds; however, this can take 4-5 years before germination takes place. They can be direct seeded outdoors about 1/4 inch deep but should be stratified when started indoors (https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/seeds/seed-stratification.htm).
Since growing the shrubs from seeds can take so long, the most efficient method for propagating them is through cuttings. This article will help with that: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/how-to-root-cuttings-from-various-shrubs-bushes-and-trees.htm