Elderberry: cultivation, care and recipe for elderflower syrup

Elderberry: cultivation, care and recipe for elderflower syrup

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Since the drink “Hugo” has been booming, many people want to grow elderberries themselves. Here are some tips on growing and caring for them and also a recipe for elderflower syrup.

Elderberry is more than just a shrub

Every year between May and June white-yellowish elder umbels bloom on the elder bushes, which grow up to 7 meters tall. These umbels can be processed into all kinds of goodies, but when the umbels are harvested at this point on the shrub in September, elderberries are no longer rich in vitamins. However, if you have several elderflower bushes at home, then that shouldn't be a problem.

We have put together important care instructions for the elder so that your elder can thrive and you can harvest many berries and flowers. You can also find a recipe for making elderflower syrup here.

Plant elderberry

Elderflowers clearly benefit from the warming rays of the sun, which is why you should plant the elderberry in a location that is as sunny as possible and at least partially shaded. It also thrives in the shade. In addition, it does not make any demands on the soil quality, but clay soils are clearly preferred. In addition, the elder prefers to grow up close to buildings, masonry or close to fences.


The elder quickly spreads in height and width, which means that other plants in its vicinity can often only flourish moderately.

Care of the elder

➤ Fertilize:

The robust elderberry hardly ever needs fertilization. The flowering will be even more abundant in the coming year if you incorporate some compost around the plant stem in autumn.

➤ Cut back:

Furthermore, you also have to make a regular cut and cut back the elder stem. However, the elder does not like it so much if it is cut back too much, which is why you should do this work in several sections (spread over the year).

By the way:

If you cut an elder bush, new shoots usually sprout on the spot after a short time. That is why you always have to remove the entire root from the ground if you need to remove it.

Effectiveness of elderberry

Elderflowers have become famous as a natural panacea for decades. For example, a flower tea made from it is suitable for strengthening the immune system. Hundreds of tea also have a detoxifying and purifying effect, which is why it is often used in diets. You can also drink it for colds and fever.

Make elderflower syrup

If you make a syrup from the elderflower, you can also mix an extremely tasty and refreshing drink for the summer months by adding mineral water. Add a little sparkling wine on top of that, and you get the cult drink “Hugo”. So just get to work and make your own elderflower syrup. Incidentally, this is also a great homemade gift from the garden. How to do it:

  1. Wash 25 flowered umbels.
  2. Cut two untreated lemons into thin slices.
  3. Then place lemon slices and flower umbels in 3 liters of water. Let the whole thing soak about 36 hours.
  4. Then drain and boil the elderberry water with 2 kilograms of sugar.
  5. Pour warm syrup into clean (boiled) glass bottles and close them well. The syrup is now stable for up to 6 months if you keep it in a cool place.