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All About the Lemony Lace Elderberry

The lemony lace elderberry is the perfect shrub if you want to liven up your yard with beautiful foliage. These bush-like plants produce lacy gold and green foliage and bright red berries. But not only are they beautiful. They are one of the most low-maintenance and adaptable foliage plants you can grow!

Keep reading to learn about the history of this elderberry variety and how to keep it happy in your yard!

Looking to buy a Lemony Lace elderberry bush? Check availability.

Bunches of red berries from the lemony lace elderberry

History of the Lemony Lace Elderberry

The lemony lace elderberry plant comes from Proven Winners, which is a plant and shrub brand. The variety derives from the red elderberry shrubs you can find throughout the United States and Canada. Red elderberries are a North American native plant found throughout the woods.

Characteristics of the Lemony Lace Elderberry

The plant is rather hardy and can withstand temperature and soil changes. It can usually bounce back from these issues without human interference.

This variety of elderberry creates a bush-like shape of foliage. It can grow up to five feet tall and about five feet wide. But they can be smaller depending on where you plant them. The leaves come in vibrant lime green and golden shades and have a shape that’s reminiscent of Japanese maple leaves.

It grows white flowers, which later turn into red berries. You can expect the berries to be quite tiny with a beautiful scarlet red shade.

Growing Season

The lemony lace elderberry is a hardwood perennial plant. It’s deciduous. This means that it has its growing season, loses its foliage, and then goes dormant until the next growing season. You’ll typically see it start growing in springtime and continue to flash showy foliage until the end of fall.

Close up view of the yellow foliage of lemony lace elderberry plant

The plant will produce beautiful white flowers during most of the growing season. Then, the flowers will turn into red berries when fall comes around.

Elderberry Qualities

Lemony lace elderberry plants produce large clusters of tiny red berries that are smaller than your fingernail. They have smooth outer skin and can squish easily due to their soft texture. But do not eat them. These berries should only be for wild birds, not humans.

Elderberry Size

The exact size of each berry is usually around 1/4 of an inch. Some can be much smaller than this. Each berry weighs about a gram or less due to its small size. However, the cluster size of the berries can get as large as the palm of your hand.

Planting Zones

Lemony lace elderberry plants grow best in hardiness zones four through seven. These zones include a lot of the northern part of the United States. This means there are drastic temperature changes throughout the seasons. So, the plant can handle heat and cold.

Plant Size and Spacing

Elderberry plants tend to have shallow roots and should be planted a few inches deep. However, they have about three to five feet of spread. So, you need to plant them at least three feet away from each other.


Since the berries are inedible, pollination isn’t necessary. But, if you want berries, you’ll need at least two of them near each other so they can cross-pollinate.

Caring for Your Lemony Lace Elderberry Bushes

If you’re interested in planting lemony lace elderberry bushes at home, the best time to plant them is in the spring, after the last frost has passed.


This variety of elderberry does best in full sun. So, they will need at least six hours of direct sunlight. However, they can grow just fine in partial shade too.


These elderberry bushes can adapt to all kinds of soil, but they still have a preference. They like their soil to be slightly acidic, moist, and well-drained. Adding rocks or organic matter to the soil can help with drainage. They’ll also need about an inch of water per week.


Lemony lace elderberry bushes usually need fertilizing twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall. They are not needy plants.


Pruning elderberry bushes should take place at the end of the fall. Trim any dead or broken branches off the shrub so it can focus on growing and protecting the live ones.

Using pruning shears on an elderberry bush

Here are the 11 Best Pruning Shears for Home Gardeners if you need a pair of shears.

Possible Diseases

Verticillium wilt is one of the primary diseases that these elderberry shrubs are prone to. It is a type of fungal disease that eats away at plants, sometimes causing them to die. There aren’t any cures for it, but removing the dead parts of the plant can help.

Cankers are another possibility. These happen when bacteria or fungi attack the shrub through an open wound. The result is usually a callus-like bump that might ooze moisture. Remove the affected branch as soon as you notice it. Unfortunately, if cankers reach the trunk, you’ll need to remove the entire bush.

Possible Pests

While the lemony lace elderberry bush is quite hardy, it’s still susceptible to pests such as the following:

  • Soft scales (small sap-sucking bugs)
  • Borers (chewing bug larvae)
  • Aphids (another sap-sucking bug)

Some signs of these pests include bite marks, holes, eggs, and the bugs themselves. Insecticides can usually help keep pests away.

When to Harvest Lemony Lace Elderberries

It is best to leave the berries on your lemony lace elderberry bush alone. You shouldn’t eat them, as they can make you sick. They are best left for aesthetic appeal in your yard.

Lemony Lace Elderberry Uses

The lemony lace elderberries, although beautiful, are not edible. But you can use them to decorate your yard. These shrubs bring in beautiful bright foliage, pretty flowers, and bright berries to look at. They make great border and accent plants.

Where to Buy Lemony Lace Elderberry Bushes

Lemony lace elderberry shrubs are a special cultivar of elderberry plants so that you won’t find them in the woods. But you can find them in online nurseries like Nature Hills!

Wrapping up the Lemony Lace Elderberry

If you want beautiful foliage that lasts three seasons, the lemony lace elderberry shrub is for you! It’ll make a great addition to your yard due to its hardiness and aesthetic properties with its flowers and berries. And they’ll keep coming back every year, so you can enjoy them for many years to come!

Take a look at our elderberry page for more information on elderberries. And use the Complete Guide to Garden Digging Tools to pick out the tools you need to start planting!