(Elderberry) DO NOT get caught being the last one to have Black Beauty™! This breakthrough shrub with intriguing dark black-purple foliage is taking the market by storm. The leaf color does not fade to green in summer, but actually gets darker. Massive 10", pink flowers cover Black Beauty™ in mid-summer and emit a light lemon fragrance. In the late summer it produces dark purple berries that are good for making jellies, pies, juice, and wine. Black Beauty™ is colorful, versatile, and easy to grow. Grow it as a shrub, or cut it back each year and use it as a bold perennial. Terrific as a center piece specimen, or use in groupings and masses, perennial and shrub borders, screens, roadsides, naturalizing, or in boggy and wet gardens. Tons of appeal! Dies back to the ground in the northern states (roots are hardy). As a young plant it is best to prune or pinch your plant in order to build a full-bodied, well-branched plant. If the plant is leggy when you purchased it, shear the plant back hard by 1/3 to 1/2 its original size. Once it puts on an inch or two of growth, pinch the branch tips to remove just the growing tips, these tips control branching. Once growing tips are removed the buds below it will turn into stems. Once these new branches grow an inch or two, pinch the tips out again. You can repeat this throughout the first growing season as you are tending your garden. Although you will sacrifice blooms, this technique results in a well-branched, full-bodied plant that will have more flowers in subsequent years. The second season in the ground, repeat the pinching practice (or lightly shear) up until mid-August. Stop pruning after mid-August, because the flowers are on old wood this would allow time for the flower buds to form prior to winter. During the third and subsequence seasons, prune or pinch as necessary after flowering and before buds set in mid-August. Do not be afraid to prune or shear your plant harder if you wish to maintain a shorter size. Patent Strings: Black Beauty™ Sambucus nigra 'Gerda' PP: 12305 Can. Can.: 2663
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