We make and use elderberry tincture from black elderberries (Sambucus Nigra) and over the years have been buying the dehydrated berries online. This year we will be attempting to grow our own black elderberry bushes. This is a European variety and isn’t normally found in North America. Some berries were set aside from the last batch of tincture for this project.
I found that these seeds can be cold stratified for better results. I’m hoping that this process will speed the germination, which could normally take up to 2 seasons.
After soaking the dehydrated berries for awhile in water, we separated the seeds as best we could and put them in baggies with moist peat. The bags were placed in the refrigerator until the seeds can be planted outdoors. There’s a couple hundred seeds in this batch so we plan to plant about half in pots and the rest of them around the property as a back-up plan. We have high hopes that we’ll get a few producing bushes from this many seeds.
Updates on this project will be posted until the first fruit is harvested or the project fails.
9/20/2011 Update: Black Elderberry Project: Part Two