How to propagate elderberry bushes

Updated February 21, 2017

Elderberry bushes are attractive and hardy plants that grow in many areas of Europe and North America. It prefers moist, but well-drained soils, and it can often be found growing near streams and rivers. Both the white flowers and the elderberry that is produced by these bushes are useful. The flowers and the berries are used in cooking; the berries are especially popular for use in extracts and syrups. You can propagate your own elderberry bushes and have your own harvest handy whenever a recipe calls for it.

Take cuttings from an existing bush for the easiest and most reliable way of propagating elderberry. Take hardwood cuttings about 12 inches long from an elderberry bush in the spring, before the buds break on the bush.

Plant the cuttings in the spring as the cuttings do not take in other seasons. Select an area that has well-drained soil and plant them about 1 foot apart in rows. Make sure to leave the top bud exposed above ground level.

Water frequently and apply a well-balanced fertiliser with nitrogen, such as 10-10-10. Your elderberry will be ready to transplant the next spring.


Elderberry bushes do not compete well with weeds, so it will be necessary for you to keep the area around the new plants weeded well.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Elderberry bush cuttings
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About the Author

Anthony Smith began writing for Demand Studios in May of 2009 and has since written over 1400 articles for them. He also writes for "The College Baseball Newsletter." He attended the University of New Mexico, and has more than 25 years of experience in the business world.