I have had this plant for about 8 years now, and I love it! I prune it back every year, and every year it gets about 12 feet tall. The foliage provides a beautiful backdrop for our seating area, and it contrasts perfectly with silver and yellow foliage as well as pink, purple, and white flowers. It gets enough flowers each year for me to make elderflower cordial. It gets few berries since I don’t have another plant for cross-pollination, so I’m happy to use the flowers in this way. I don’t have any negatives to share—it’s been an awesome plant for me.
Black Beauty® Elderberry Sambucus nigra
- Part Sun to Sun
The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).
Sophisticated - memorable - beautiful - yes, it's an elderberry!
Elderberry is not the first plant most people think of for a dramatic landscape accent, but Black Beauty® elderberry changes all of that. Dark purple-black foliage looks rich and lush all season and gets even better when accented by extra large pink flowers in early summer. Black Beauty elderberry produces edible fruit if a compatible pollinator, such as Black Lace®, Instant Karma®, or Laced-Up® elderberry, is planted nearby.
Top reasons to grow Black Beauty® elderberry:
- deep purple-black foliage looks handsome in the landscape and works with lots of different colors
- big pink flowers in early summer offer a sweet anise scent
- very tough and durable, growing well in a range of soil conditionsProduces BerriesFoliage InterestFall InterestAttracts:BirdsResists:Deer
CharacteristicsPlant Type:ShrubShrub Type:DeciduousHeight Category:TallGarden Height:96 - 144 InchesSpacing:108 - 156 InchesSpread:96 - 144 InchesFlower Colors:PinkFlower Shade:PinkFoliage Colors:PurpleFoliage Shade:Black/PurpleHabit:UprightContainer Role:Thriller
Plant NeedsLight Requirement:Part Sun to SunLight Requirement:SunMaintenance Category:ModerateBlooms On:Old WoodBloom Time:Early SummerHardiness Zones:4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7bWater Category:AverageUses:Border PlantUses:ContainerUses:LandscapeUses:Specimen or Focal PointUses Notes:
Grow either as a shrub or cut it back every year and make it into a bold perennial. Good in groupings and masses, perennial and shrub borders, as a specimen or screen, on roadsides or for naturalizing, good in boggy or wet gardens.
PLEASE NOTE: To produce berries, you'll need a Black Lace®, Instant Karma®, or Laced Up® as a pollinator. Both plants will get berries.Maintenance Notes:
According to the Humane Society of America, elderberry can be toxic to pets if consumed.
Best in moist soil although will tolerate dry soils. Thrives under acid or alkaline soils. Best if pruned immediately after blooming. May be pruned to the ground each year and grown like a perennial. Fertilize in early spring by applying a granular fertilizer formulated for trees and shrubs. Follow the label for the recommended rate of application.
The color on Black Beauty elderberry is best in cool climates; in hot areas, it may grow primarily green foliage.Black Beauty® Sambucus nigra 'Gerda' USPP 12,305
Melinda, Oregon, United States, 22 weeks ago
I purchased 3 of these and none survived the first winter (zone 5a). What I found interesting is that the garden center where I purchased them said he had heard these had a tough time surviving in our zone and would get smaller and struggle each year, if they survived at all. I found that odd since they are hardy to zone 4. But it seems he was correct. I purchased them anyway because of how gorgeous they are and I wanted elderberries. They were big, healthy plants when I purchased them (#5 containers). I also purchased 5 black lace and only 3 barely survived the winter and I doubt will survive much longer. The same with the Laced Up. Anyway, none of them survived and it was a mild winter. I was so excited for these plants but they truly disappointed. I am a avid gardener (over 30 years) used to do professional landscaping and used to own a garden center but I could not grown these in my zone.Melissa S, Michigan, United States, 1 year ago
This plant did not survive over winter, I followed the instructions of growing and care for this plant and it has no green foliage this year, I am assuming it to have completely died. Very unhappy with the outcome of most of the shrubs from this company so far.Jen, Canada, 2 years ago
The plants are growing fine but they are not purple. The leaves are dk. green but definitely not purple. This is the second year after planting. I thought they might darken up. I am very disappointed. Could the wrong ones have been sent? The tag says Black Beauty Elderberry, Proven Winners.Venetia Hancock, Washington, United States, 3 years ago
I love this plant. It was the focal point in a garden at the end of a walkway. It grew beautifully had it for about 8 years and suddenly last year it just died. I think borers got to it when cutting it down there were holes through the center of the brances. I am going to replant this beautiful plant. Mine looked like a small tree.Leah Camara, Rhode Island, United States, 7 years ago
My elderberry keeps looking like it wants to off itself! Following all instructions...Maggie, Colorado, United States, 7 years ago
Mona Larochelle, Quebec, Canada, 9 years ago
This shrub grew 10' every year, even though pruned almost to the ground. It was wispy, difficult to control, and never flowered for me after pruning. Very disappointing after all the hype.Terri, Ontario, Canada, 9 years ago
I LOVE THIS SHRUB - I HAVE IT IN A DECORATIVE GARDEN AND IT IS THRIVING AND NEEDS NO TENDING TOTAUNI, Oregon, United States, 9 years ago
I was looking forward to this beautiful plant in my garden but the two plants I planted did not come back this year.Sandi Simmons, Ohio, United States, 9 years ago