Welcome Growers 

As a part of the River Hills Harvest family of growers, you can be assured of maximum support for your efforts, and answers to your questions. Our collaboration with University Extension Research folks keeps us up-to-date on the latest ways to be successful growing elderberries. We host mentoring workshops, an annual beginner's workshop and the Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop, so you can get together and learn, from the experts and from each other. Thanks for being a part of our team.

Planting Instructions

For thorough instructions on the planting, care, and keeping of elderberry plants checkout our Planting Instructions document

Upcoming Events

2021 Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop

October 29th and 30th

Exploring Elderberry

Benefits Webinar

with Terry Durham & Chris Patton
Hosted by the Savanna Institute

River Hills Harvest

will be here!


More appearances coming soon!

Growers Products



Elderberry Destemmer


Phone Orders Only

Resources for new growers

The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry

 has authored a guide to growing and marketing elderberries in Missouri 

The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry

 has developed a tool to assist with elderberry establishment and management decisions 

Grower FAQ

Where do Elderberries grow?

Elderberry has the widest range of all small fruits in North America. It is known to grow from northern Quebec, Canada to South America. Elderberry is native to eastern North America. The American elderberry, Sambucus canadensis, typically grows in riparian areas as a bush. European elderberry, Sambucus nigra, typically grows as a small tree.

How big will my elderberry bushes get? How long will they live?

Elderberries will grow to be 10 feet tall in northern regions and as tall as 15 feet in southern regions of the United States. Longevity records for canadensis have not been kept long enough to know for certain, but the European elderberry plant can live 25 years. It is believed canadensis lifespan will be similar in length.

What types of soil and locations are best for elderberry plantings?

Elderberry prefers a heavy soil that is high in organic material, with an ideal pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Plants prefer ample moisture and can thrive even under poor drainage conditions. Bottomland is ideal, but adequately irrigated uplands also sustain elderberries. The plants can sustain short periods of flooding. The plants can grow in swamps and bogs, and do well in transition zones between wetlands and upland areas. Production will be maximized in areas that receive full sun.

How are elderberries reproduced?

Elderberries can be grown from seeds, cuttings, suckers, or rhizomes, but the easiest plantings are established with dormant hardwood cuttings and will produce a crop in the second year. Plantings established from seed will take 3-4 years to produce a crop.

Can I propagate my own elderberries?

Yes, from dormant hardwood cuttings. It is best to take cuttings from plants that are at least two years old. Cuttings should be six-to- eight inches long and contain three-to- five buds each.

When should I plant elderberries?

Place cuttings in growing medium in late January or February to be ready to plant in spring. Plants may be set in ground from early spring to June, but late plantings will have little growth the first year. A single cultivar will give good pollination for adequate production. Pollination usually occurs by wind while insects play a minor role. Browsing by deer can decrease production significantly. Birds and small animals are also attracted to the elderberry fruit. In Missouri, full flowering occurs in mid-June. Production will increase rapidly the first three years.

Video Presentations

An elderberry wine making class

from the University of Missouri

From The University of Missouri Extension - CAFNER

"Elderberry: A Rapidly Growing Specialty

 Crop in the U.S. Midwest"

From North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education