Late summer elderberry cuttings


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Came across an elderberry bush a bit over a week ago and decided to take some cuttings. Put them in water, and after a few days white roots started appearing on the stems. Heard they would do better in soil so I potted them up.

If I'm not mistaken, the "normal" period to take cuttings is late winter or early spring. That way, roots will be quite established before plants go into dormancy, resulting in greater post-winter survivors compared to later-rooted plants. However, I did this on a whim and forgot to take seasonality into consideration. I live in the northern hemisphere and temperatures will most likely drop to around 5 degrees Fahrenheit on a couple of occasions.

I consider overwintering some plants indoors. Is it a good or a bad idea? What would you do in my situation?
 
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I would probably keep them outside, but in a sheltered spot. They are adapted to winter dormancy and may do fine. Of course if you have several plants, why not try it both ways and see which works better.
 
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One thing about elderberry, it produces something it releases into the ground that prevents another elderberry growing in the same spot. Listened to a man on the radio who grows commercially, he had a field that he had left fallow for two years and then fertilised and ploughed, the new plants still would not grow on it. So careful where you put them.
 
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I would probably keep them outside, but in a sheltered spot. They are adapted to winter dormancy and may do fine. Of course if you have several plants, why not try it both ways and see which works better.

I have 21 cuttings potted up now, and another 10 or so still standing in water, so there's no shortage of (potential) plants. I'll probably take your advice and overwinter a few cuttings indoors and cross my fingers for the rest. I'll put them in a sheltered spot and maybe I can even mulch the pots with bark or something. Most of the plants are potted up in clear half liter beer cups with holes drilled on the bottom. Because of the small volume, those are the ones I'm most concerned about.

For the ones I'll keep indoors, will I need grow lights if shoots start appearing?

One thing about elderberry, it produces something it releases into the ground that prevents another elderberry growing in the same spot. Listened to a man on the radio who grows commercially, he had a field that he had left fallow for two years and then fertilised and ploughed, the new plants still would not grow on it. So careful where you put them.

That's very interesting. The tip of the plant that's submerged takes on a funny smell and I have to change the water quite often. Maybe that's the smell of the substance you're mentioning.
 
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For the ones I'll keep indoors, will I need grow lights if shoots start appearing?
If you have a sunny window that may be sufficient, otherwise you may need grow lights. The concern with growing hardy plants indoors in Winter is that some may attempt to enter dormancy, but become stressed due to warm indoor temperatures. If they show signs of going into dormancy, perhaps put them outside or at least in an unheated room such as a garage.
 
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If you have a sunny window that may be sufficient, otherwise you may need grow lights. The concern with growing hardy plants indoors in Winter is that some may attempt to enter dormancy, but become stressed due to warm indoor temperatures. If they show signs of going into dormancy, perhaps put them outside or at least in an unheated room such as a garage.

Gotcha.

To promote root growth, I'm considering placing the cuttings indoors as it's generally warmer there (especially during the night). Then I'll take them out before temperatures really starts to plunge and frost can be expected. Does that sound sensible to you?
 
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To promote root growth, I'm considering placing the cuttings indoors as it's generally warmer there (especially during the night). Then I'll take them out before temperatures really starts to plunge and frost can be expected. Does that sound sensible to you?
That might work, but you don't want to shock them with sudden cold weather. If they stay outside in Fall they will go it dormancy gradually. If they are kept in a warm environment until Winter, you may want to stay the course and keep them relatively warm until Spring. Fortunately you have enough cuttings to try experimenting with several different strategies.
 
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That might work, but you don't want to shock them with sudden cold weather. If they stay outside in Fall they will go it dormancy gradually. If they are kept in a warm environment until Winter, you may want to stay the course and keep them relatively warm until Spring. Fortunately you have enough cuttings to try experimenting with several different strategies.

I certainly do. Thank you so much for your input.
 

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