How many elderberry plants per person do you need?
The amount of elderberry plants per person needed is of course relative to plant age and other growing factors. However my general rule as a long-time elderberry grower is 1 plant per person for a years minimum supply of berries. Increase elderberry plants per person for heavy elderberry users. The method I used to come up with this figure is below. Taylor the figures to your exact wants and needs to come up with your personal figure of elderberry plants per person estimate.
Elderberry Harvest Averages
Average harvest from a mature elderberry is 12 pounds of berries per bush, but only after it is a mature and well established elderberry plant….3-4 years. To make one 8oz bottle of elderberry syrup you will need 1 pound of elderberries. [My Syrup recipe here] If you plan on taking 1 Tablespoon every other day an 8 oz bottle will last you one month (16 Tablespoons) For 12 bottles a year you will need 12 pounds of elderberries. With the average estimate of 12 pounds per bush you will need one elderberry plant per person to satisfy your syrup needs. If you would also like some elderberry jelly, it takes 3 pounds to make 6 one half pints of elderberry jelly. One elderberry plant with a 12 pound harvest expectation will make 24 half pints of elderberry jelly.
Want to make elderberry syrup and elderberry jelly, a good harvest year with 2 mature elderberry bushes should give you 6 1/2 pints of elderberry jelly and one dozen 8 oz bottles of elderberry syrup. [My elderberry jelly recipe here] If you want to make other things besides syrup and jelly then add more plants to this figure. Like to be able to share with friends and neighbors? Then add a few more elderberry plants. All in all, I would recommend 2-3 bushes for 1-2 people and 4-6 elderberry plants for a family of 4.
You can buy plants from any reputable nursery during the spring but they are at premium prices. To economically grow elderberries consider starting your plants from cuttings. (Elderberries are tough so it is easier that that might sound) Elderberry cuttings season is the elderberry plants dormant season winter. Look for cuttings for sale starting January 1st. Sales of my cuttings support this website so that I can share elderberry information and promote the elderberry. Visit my store to see if I have any elderberry cuttings in stock.