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Elderberry Bushes

Q.My Black Lace Elderberry Bushes Are Loosing Branches.

Zone Totowa NJ | Anonymous added on August 27, 2023 | Answered

I planted 2 Black lace elderberry bushes last fall. Each were 12″ tall. This year one grew 5′ and the other 3′-5″. All was well until 2 weeks ago when leaves started wilting. We had rain last week and 75% of the branches were laying on the ground the next day. They broke off where the branch meets the main stem. I checked for insects and found none. I also cut open several branches and found no borers. Can anyone explain this strange problem? We have had quite a few hot days with not enough rain, but I watered the base of the plants every 3 days. I live in north NJ.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 28, 2023

They were very thin and spindly. Has the soil been enriched with compost? They prefer moist soil. Try watering less often but more deeply. You might consider a soil test to see if something is amiss.

The first couple of years they should be left to grow. After that, they do best with yearly pruning.




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