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Black Lace Elderberry

Lolly Knowles

Joined: Aug 22, 2011
Posts: 159
I'm still learning my way around so if I'm in the wrong forum, please move this.

I found a Black Lace Elderberry in an 8" pot at the farm store last week.  Looking at information on-line I see that this should be a spring planting.  Since we are just a few weeks away from the first solid frost here at the 40th parallel, I'm wondering about my best chance for holding the plant over the winter in my home. 

Currently the pot is sitting in a cake pan to provide water to the roots.  Do I want to place it near a sunny south facing window or tuck it in a corner of a room that gets filtered natural light?  Leave it in the pot or move it to a bigger container?  Put the current pot in a larger container, surrounding and covering the pot and base of the plant with leaves/mulch/compost?  Keep the roots moist or allow them to dry out? 

What about temperature control?  While I keep the house temperate (68-70) I do have an unheated basement which gets down to the high 40's during the worst of the winter and unheated, insulated garage that has allowed a case of soft drink left on the concrete floor to freeze.  Both of these locations have florescent lighting.  The sunniest room is heated with a gas log fireplace that could be turned off and on at the source to vary the room temperature from day to night.

In the spring we plan to create a C shaped hugelculture bed and place this plant in the well in the center.  The hugelculture bed will be just south of the wooded hillside in organically rich soil.  Any hints, tips, websites would be greatly appreciated.
Lolly Knowles

Joined: Aug 22, 2011
Posts: 159
Would a photo help?  The plant is currently sitting in the bathroom.  Humidity stays low since the tile isn't grouted yet so bathing is confined to using the soaker tub.  Light is filtered through a small stained glass window on the south wall.

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Roger Merry

Joined: Nov 28, 2010
Posts: 109

Elder is good and hardy - the cut leaf versions are as hardy as the original. I don't think you'll over winter it too well indoors. I'd plant it out - even if you move it in the Spring - temporarily put it somewhere sheltered up against the house, plant it deeper than it is in the pot and  if you get really hard winters cover it with straw once the leaves fall. It should be fine. Its a great plant and roots easily from cuttings.

Good luck with it

Lolly Knowles

Joined: Aug 22, 2011
Posts: 159
Thank you for the advice.  I'll get it in the ground before the frost.
Kota Dubois

Joined: Oct 13, 2011
Posts: 171
I too take advantage of end of season sales but am wary of planting things this late because the frost can push stuff out of the ground. If I've picked up some bags of cheap compost too, I'll plant and lie a couple of bags over the roots to hold them down and protect them from the cold, but the one technique I've never had a problem with is burying the whole plant, pot and all, in my annual garden. (on it's side about a foot down)

If you have a high water table it's probably not a good idea. Oh ya, don't forget to make its position.

We cannot change the waves of expansion and contraction, as their scale is beyond human control, but we can learn to surf. Nicole Foss @ The Automatic Earth
Lolly Knowles

Joined: Aug 22, 2011
Posts: 159
We have had pretty constant rain for the past few days, so no hole has been dug at this time.  I did move the bush outside a few days ago, so it's back in the elements, but inside the fence protected courtyard to keep it from the worst of the winds.

There is an interior house corner that is protected on both the north and west and I'm considering that spot to overwinter the bush.  My thought is to dig a hole (about 18" from both walls) that is deeper than the pot and place a bed of leaves in the bottom, then use a few days worth of kitchen scraps to help fill the bottom of the hole around the pot before replacing some of the dirt.  The area of the pot should be slightly depressed to take advantage of the winter moisture, shouldn't it?  Luckily I still have yard waste to use as a mulch.

I'm hoping that this works well so I can transplant the bush to the farm in the spring.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Black Lace Elderberry