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I bought a Sambucus Nigra "Black Lace" from Gardeners' World Live. I have planted it at the back of the border but it now has bright green shoots should I cut these out or will they turn black.

Noooo, don't cut them off - the plant is doing what it loves to do, i.e. growing!  Most new foliage on any plant is a different colour from the older stuff Helen.  I have one just like yours which is making new green shoots and I think it's rather pretty like that.


Are you sure it was Black lace and not any of the green ones like Sutherlands gold? My Black lace has never thrown up green leaves, only dark ones.

Alison Shillingford

Hi. Mines a black lace which I have had for 3 years. It has now finished flowering and is throwing up green shoots as normal! These do turn black! Hope this helps.


Mine has new green growth it will soon turn black, don't worry.



Mine's green at the tips as is my other black elder. they do it every year

Yup, green shoots are normal on Black Lace, they soon darken though.

I have had one of these for about a year now and the whole thing is looking decidedly green.  Mine is probably in the worst possible position, in mainly shade quite close to a massive pine tree, so no doubt too dry. We do have acid soil though. I was going to give it a good pruning back and keep it well watered. Does anyone know which factor causes it to turn black?


sun I should think Chris. Not likely to be lack of water unless it's wilting. I've never gardened on acid soil so don't know the effects of that.


Yes, it needs sun to fully develop the black colouring.  

I agree with you nut.  It needs sun for those black leaves.  Sutherlands gold needs sun for its yellow leaves. 

I have to say I struggled initially with Sutherlands gold when Grown on dryish soil. I don't think acid or alkaline soil really makes a difference but too rich a soil does in my opinion.  I tried to grow it in  my richly manured veg patch and it hated it. Just ordinary open conditions I think.


there are some gold ones i pass quite frequently that look as though they get sunburn. is that a problem they have?  It's put me off getting one

Sutherlands gold is an improvement on the old Aurea.  This ome has orange tints on new growths.  It's fine in full sun in good soil or in slightly dappled shade then it doesn't get burnt.  I loved it next to eucalyptus. Perfect if you can make a trio with cotinus royal purple 


I have one of these currently in a 37cm Terracotta Pot. Only planted it in the Summer.

Its doing fine however I'm wondering if the pot will eventually become a bit small. What size container should I be using or would I be better finding a spot in the garden for it?


Sutherlands Gold sounds good, I'll give it some thought. Thanks Verdun

I don't do long term plants in pots Matt, I just keep them in there for a season when they look good then plant out and get something else for a pot. They are big shrubs and might start to look a bit pinched in a pot for too long



I'll consider planting it out in early Spring then

Remember to cut it down to the ground,or at least to 30 cm or so.  Then ??ou get better quality leaves. ,it will grow again each year to 6' or more. 


Will I get the flowers though? I saw a 4 year old specimen in late June this year and the flowers were beautiful but my garden is quite small so I guess I'll keep it cut.

I have a black lace elderberry and 2 samdal and a samyl elderberry. They are all at least 4 years old. They have never grown. Are all under 18". Don't look sick, have good soil, are fertilized and watered. I have read everything I can find about how to grow and have followed. I have large patch of american elderberry that does great - grows freely and is very productive. Could someone telle what I am missing? The Black Lace and the other european are not in same area, yet their growth is the same.

Doghouse Riley

This is ours, earlier in the year, I've no idea which variety.

But presently it has  several examples of green   growth. It gets it every year. You can even see some at the bottom in this photo.

Last edited: 23 July 2017 18:40:22

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