Black Lace elderberry is ailing

Asked August 1, 2017, 3:18 PM EDT

Our black lace is starting to die. Branches are looking wilted. This started a few weeks ago and is spreading to the whole plant. It's about 10 years old and has been healthy during that time. Other plants in that flower bed are just fine; coleus, black mondo grass, petunias, day lily, hardy geraniums. Should we leave the dead leaves & branches as they are or trim them off?

Coos County Oregon elderberry

1 Response

Thanks for your question about your elderberry. I have some questions: How much do you water this plant? How much sun does it get? Do you fertilize it? Could you send pictures of the entire plant, as well as ones of the branches and leaves?

From another perspective, elderberries are susceptible to verticillium wilt, a soil-borne fungus which causes the symptoms you describe. Here's a link that describes what it is and which other plants are either susceptible to it, or resistant. If that is what it has, there is no cure. If you're determined to save this plant, you might want to consider having the soil tested through the OSU Plant Clinic. You can find contact information, submission requirements, and fees here.

Thanks for more information. Good luck!