Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva' (PBR)
black elder (syn. Black Lace)
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Never under estimate the power of foliage and the lacy black leaves on this shrub would shine out close to the silver-green foliage of buddlejas or phlomis
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of Growth: average
- Flowering period: June
- Flowers: pale pink
- Other features: almost black, dissected leaves and blackish red berries in autumn
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This recent introduction has almost black, dissected foliage and from May to June pale pink, musk-scented blooms emerge from beautiful creamy-pink buds. It makes an excellent shrub for all styles of gardens and has the added bonus of having blackish-red berries in autumn which are attractive to birds and when ripe can be used to make a wonderful wine. For best foliage colour grow it in full sun, otherwise it can fade to a greenish-bronze.
- Garden care: To achieve the best foliage effect cut back to ground level each year in early spring and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.
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Q:Can this plant be grown in a pot?Asked on 13/7/2016 by Planter from Lancashire
Ultimately this will be happier in the ground, but provided the pot is large enough and you make sure it is kept really well fed and watered, then you should be able to keep it in a pot for a few years.Answered on 20/7/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:when is the best time to prune my sambucus nigra black lace, it usually starts to loose its foliage when it gets cold in autumn and then I cut it right back but I haven't had any flowers this year.Asked on 8/7/2016 by fitbod from essex
If you are growing the plant for its foliage alone, then you can give it a hard prune in early spring, but if you want it to produce flowers as well, then once established, you should cut down half the stems (the older ones) to ground level in winter, and then shorten the remaining stems by half.Answered on 20/7/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:When and what do I feed my samba black lace for best results?Asked on 19/5/2016 by Newby from Midlands
These need a good general purpose fertiliser such as Vitax Q4 or Miracle Gro, which should be applied (following the manufacturers instructions) during the growing season.Answered on 31/5/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:Is it too late to prune my Black Beauty its looking very leggy?Asked on 22/4/2016 by Gemii from Warwickshire
Yes, it is very late, however you could probably still get away with it if you do it soon.Answered on 25/4/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:will this plant be invasive like elder with the white flowers which has both an upright and forming habit? Love the shrub but don't want the problems I have had with elderAsked on 19/3/2016 by Linda from mid-norfolk
No, this is a much better behaved plant than the common elder.Answered on 21/3/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:I have a black elder plant (Black Lace). I am not concerned about how tall it will grow as the said 3 metres is fine, but can I cut it back its width without preventing flowers?Asked on 3/3/2016 by cutsey from carmarthanshire
If you prune in early spring, those stems that you have cut back probably won't flower that year.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 4/3/2016 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:hi - my sambucus nigra doesn't flower anymore; any ideas why this might be? Thank you.Asked on 6/12/2015 by NoviceGardener from Surrey
There could be a number of reasons why you sambucus doesn't flower, such as not getting enough sun/light, lack of or too much water, lacking in nutrients or pruning at the wrong time. If you are cutting it back hard in the spring to encourage new strong foliage, then this will be at the expense of the flowers.
Hope this helps.Answered on 9/12/2015 by Anonymous from crocus
I would like to buy a sambucus nigra, but I am not sure which one to get. I have got a well drained soil in a sunny spot.I am looking for a plant that looks almost black and can also be pruned to shape during the growing season. Which one shall I get, Eva, Gerda or Black Tower? Flower colour and shape of leaves don't matter. Regards, RayAsked on 6/10/2015 by Ray from Dudley, West Midlands
These plants will grow in full sun or light shade, however the leaves do tend to become greener when they are grown in shadier spots. They can all be quite hard in early spring and as for which produces the darkest foliage colour (in a sunnier spot), I think it is a close call between 'Gerda' and 'Eva' - please click on the links below to go straight to them.
http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/sambucus-nigra-f-porphyrophylla-eva/classid.2000004449/Answered on 7/10/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:is this an evergreen plant? I also have a sambcus Sutherland gold - is this evergreen?Asked on 24/9/2015 by thathi from norfolk
No both of these plants are deciduous.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 25/9/2015 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:My Sambucus nigra was covered in early May with black fly. It produced some flowers but these have all dropped along with a lot of the leaves. Should I prune it back now and will it recover next year?Asked on 2/8/2015 by walker from Berkshire
These plants have finished flowering now, so I would not be concerned about them, but if it is shedding lots of leaves, then that is a concern. At this stage you should try to improve the growing conditions, so make sure it is kept really well watered and give it a light feed. Then in early spring next year you can cut it back quite hard.Answered on 6/8/2015 by Helen from crocus
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