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Can anyone tell me, please, what is the rate of growth for Sambucus Black lace. I would like to know what to expect after I plant one, just bought, now abour 18" high and 12"-15" wide.  It looks very healthy but I need to know how much room to allow it.  I don't want to have to dig it up and move it next year.  All advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Jean Genie

I have one, Polly and it's been in a pot for 3 years . I hard prune mine early spring and usually just top-dress it . You can restrict the growth by this method. I find by doing this it also enhances the foliage. If yours is in the ground you can still do this. Sambucus tolerate hard pruning. I love the lemony fragrance of the flowers.

HI Polly, Sambucus can grow to 6-8 feet in a year so need a reasonable space but I prune it right down in spring which keeps it managable. The foliage is attractive but I never realised the flowers were fragrant as I don't have a sense of smell. how I am missing out.

I grow exactly as Suzy b does. Pittosporum Irene Patterson is a great companion having whitish foliage, albeit slightly tender in first few years. It's evergreen and pruned to rounded shape every spring. Eucalyptus gunnii looks good with it too. I feed black lace with fish blood n bone every spring to fuel good growth and leaf colour

Hi, thank you all for your replies and views.  I'll have to have a rethink as to where I put it if it can grow to 6 - 8 feet in one year!  I didn't realise that it will have fragrant flowers either - so that's a bonus.  Happy Gardening!


Prolly, you only get the flowers if you don't prune. It can grow to 6' plus in one year but I pinch out growing points 2or 3 times,during the summer. This reduces the height, creates a bushier plant and better foliage. You could prune back harder in mid summer to double buds but this plant is quite neat and controllable if,pinched. You can,do this pinching on a whole range of plants grown,for their foliage, e.g. Eucalyptus, cotinus
Jean Genie

Sorry, Christopher but I get flowers ?????

Thanks jean. Ok. Maybe because in a pot? In the ground,they really want just to grow when cut back. Mine only flowered first year on uncut plants. Maybe it's because I keep pinching it out. Maybe others have same experience as you, be interesting

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