Gardening Know How -

Elderberry Plant Companions – Tips On Planting With Elderberries

Elderberry [1] (Sambucus spp.) are large shrubs with showy white flowers and small berries, both edible. Gardeners love elderberries because they attract pollinators, like butterflies [2] and bees [3], and provide food for wildlife. These shrubs can be planted alone but look best with elderberry plant companions. What to plant with elderberries? Read on for some tips about elderberry companion planting.

Planting with Elderberries

Some gardeners make fritters from elderberry flowers and eat the fruit, raw or cooked. Others leave the berries for the birds and just use the hardy shrubs in a hedgerow. But whether or not you eat the blossoms or fruit of these shrubs, you can make your garden more attractive by selecting appropriate elderberry plant companions.

The shrubs thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10, so you’ll have many options. And the many varieties of elderberry [4] provide flexibility as well.

Elderberries can grow to 12 feet tall and are often vase shaped. The shrubs prefer rich, rocky soil, and, in the wild, grow in valleys, woods and clearings. Whatever you choose for companions with them will need to have similar growing requirements.

What to Plant with Elderberry

The shrubs thrive in full sun, full shade, or anything in between. This makes them great companion shrubs for shorter, shade-loving plants [5] and also for taller trees. If you already have tall trees in your yard, you can plant shade-loving elderberry under them.

If you are starting from scratch on elderberry companion planting, you’ll have to decide what to plant with elderberry. White pine trees [6] or quaking aspen [7] are good elderberry companion plants, if you want something taller than the shrubs. For a plant about the same size, consider winterberry [8].

Remember that elderberries do not like their roots disturbed once they are established. Therefore, it’s a good idea to install elderberry companion plants at the same time you plant the shrubs.

Other good ideas for elderberry companion planting include edging your vegetable garden with the shrubs or mixing them with other berry shrubs, like currants [9] and gooseberries [10]. Just planting ornamental varieties as a border for the perennial flower garden can be very attractive.

If you plant varieties with black foliage, choose flowering plants with bright blossoms as elderberry companion plants. Phlox [11] and bee balm [12] work well when you are planting with elderberries in this way.

Article printed from Gardening Know How:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:

[1] Elderberry:

[2] butterflies:

[3] bees:

[4] varieties of elderberry:

[5] shade-loving plants:

[6] White pine trees:

[7] quaking aspen:

[8] winterberry:

[9] currants:

[10] gooseberries:

[11] Phlox:

[12] bee balm:

Have any questions about this topic? Visit us at to ask your questions and get friendly answers from gardening experts.

You can also find us at:
'Like' us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter: - @gardenknowhow
Follow us on Pinterest:

Copyright © 2019 Gardening Know How. All rights reserved.