Aromatic plants

Elder

How much to water

The elder is a perennial shrub very common in Italy, especially in uncultivated areas, as it easily propagates in the wild. To ensure that its flowers and fruits grow luxuriantly, it requires a certain amount of humidity in the soil, a fundamental prerogative to maintain its freshness; despite this, it strongly fears water stagnation, which can cause root rot and more serious diseases, therefore it must be planted in a draining soil and watering operations must be carried out when the soil is dry. The frequency and quantity of water to be used for each watering operation vary according to the age of the plant and the environment in which it is located. For young plants, recently planted, it is necessary to water the plant about every 2 weeks, to promote root growth which occurs in the first 2 months; for adult plants, the water to be administered can vary from 1 to 3 glasses every 3 weeks, depending on the ambient temperature.

Care to be provided


Elderberry is a shrub that is particularly resistant to drastic temperatures, both hot and cold. It prefers areas exposed for many hours to direct sunlight, even if it survives in areas in dim light (in this case, however, the production of flowers is less). It is advisable to prune, especially in the winter months, damaged branches or those that are too bulky, to ensure good exposure to light in all points and to give shape to the shrub; to avoid the proliferation of fungal infections, the wounds must be treated with a specific sealing ointment. In case you want to take the elderberry wood, the ideal period is autumn; on the contrary, the flowers must be harvested in spring (between April and May) and the fruit harvested in late August,

Nutritional needs


As a wild plant, it does not necessarily require major fertilization interventions; however, the administration of organic fertilizer, if not excessive, can favor the growth and ripening of the fruit. The ideal period to fertilize the soil is between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn: in this way, among other things, the right defenses are provided to the plant against winter frosts. Since the fertilization intervention in the year is unique, it is advisable to use a slow release fertilizer, which is granular and contributes to making the soil well draining. For this purpose it is recommended to use mature manure, bovine or equine, specific for green plants; the manure must be ternary, i.e. it must contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium,

Elderberry: Diseases and pests


The spontaneous proliferation of the elderberry is allowed by its enormous resistance to the attack of pathogens or parasites, for this reason there is no need to fear particular dangers. However, sometimes man-made activities, such as pruning, can increase the risk of attack for the shrub, so it is important to take some small steps. The insects that most commonly attack the elder are aphids and scale insects, which can be removed either manually (if there are few specimens), or with the use of an insecticide. It may be useful, in the areas most exposed to these insects, to carry out a preventive treatment during the cold season. In spring, due to humidity and temperature changes, fungal diseases can spread that cause the withering of some of the leaves. Fungi can easily penetrate through unhealed pruning wounds, and can be eliminated with an antifungal treatment.

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