New Laced Up Elderberry bushes

Asked July 16, 2020, 12:35 PM EDT

I have two new elderberry bushes that have been in the ground about 2-3 weeks. They have now started turning brown and appear to be dying. I dug up the plants to be sure there were no grubs or cutworms and didn't find any but am not sure why else they would be dying. I've been watering them well and they are in a sunny location. Do you have any ideas of what I can do to revive these bushes? Both looked fresh & healthy when they arrived and I planted them immediately.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Given the timing and your description, my guess is the plants are suffering from transplant shock. There are many causes: improper planting technique, poor siting, hot weather, too much rain, or some combination. Your photo shows a lot of mud around the plant, making me think the site does not drain well. Read here:

Given the short time they've been in the ground, you might get away with a do-over: dig them out, rework the site so it drains properly, and replant.