Deer-resistant Elderberry is great addition to the landscape, with its shrub-like structure and large clusters of beautiful flowers that bloom in early summer, not to mention its provision of deliciously edible fruits. Elderberry works in virtually any landscape setting, in groupings, mass plantings, perennial or shrub borders or even as a potted shrub on the patio. Two varieties of Elderberry we particularly like are from Proven Winners’ Black Lace and Proven Winners’ Lemony Lace.
Black Lace Edlerberry – The deep, purple-black foliage of this plant is striking, as are the brilliant pink flowers that seem to glow atop the finely cut, lace-like leaves. Black Lace Elderberry is extremely durable and adaptable, and will produce black berries if a compatible pollinator is planted nearby. (This includes varieties such as Black Beauty, Instant Karma or Laced Up).
Although it can tolerate dry soils, Elderberry prefers a moist ground, and will thrive in either acid or alkaline soils. You’ll get the deepest color in cooler climates. In hotter areas, the foliage may appear primarily green. Of special note, the Humane Society of America states that elderberry can be toxic to pets if consumed so think about location and pet access if considering this shrub for the landscape.
Black Lace can be treated as a perennial that can be cut back or thinned after blooming. Do not be too aggressive when pruning – a very hard pruning promotes horizontal growth.
Lemony Lace Elderberry – Looking for a plant to brighten up your landscape? Look no further than the bright, easy-to-maintain Lemony Lace Elderberry. It offers a finely dissected foliage in a sunny gold hue that lights up any garden. Producing big clusters of white flowers in early spring before the foliage emerges, the leaves of the shrub emerge a brilliant yellow with red edging. As the foliage ages, it turns an attractive chartreuse. The red fall fruit looks brilliant against the gold-hued foliage, and is a great addition to wildlife gardens.
This can be a large plant, but can be pruned into a manageable size and shape, and benefits from a hard pruning as a young plant to develop a nice, full habit. Older plants can be trimmed after flowering. This plant blooms on old wood, so spring pruning will reduce flower production.
At Farmside Landscape & Design, we can help you select shrubs and other landscape elements to create an outdoor space you’ll love. Contact us today.
Main Image Credit: Monrovia – Black Lace Elderberry