Lemony lace elderberry companion plants add a dazzling array of color and brightness to your elderberry garden. This specie of elderberry, also known as Sambucus racemosa, is an easy-to-grow, hardy, deciduous shrub that produces clusters of showy white flowers in spring that turn to red berries in fall and provide food for wild birds.

Companion Plants for Lemony Lace Elderberry

Its airy, fern-like, deeply cut, light-green to yellow leaves can brighten up any landscape as they become almost golden in the sun. Here are a few plants that combine perfectly with this beautiful sunny plant for your garden.

Types of Plants Suitable for Lemony Lace Elderberry Companion Plants

1. Bee Balm

This herbaceous perennial has showy slender, tube-shaped, whorled flowers that bloom in summer and come in bright colors of pink, lavender, red, white, or purple. 

These flower heads grow on-top colored bracts and give off a pleasant fragrance when heated by the sun or touched. The attractive flowers and foliage of bee balm make it popular in cottage gardens and perennial borders. Bee balm was previously used to treat bee stings, where it got its name, which is actually a health property that they possess.

– Benefits

The beautiful bee balm flowers attract pollinators into your garden, increasing fruit yield. Furthermore, these beautiful plants would also help to complement the foliage of elderberry plants when grown together.

A Bee Friendly Bloom in a Park

They are also shade-tolerant plants, making them perfect for underplanting your elderberries.

– Planting Requirements

Bee balm can grow in partial shade, but it is essential to grow it in a location where it can receive up to 6 hours of full sunlight daily. The soil used must be nutrient-rich, moist, well-draining, and acidic to neutral soil, however, you should remember that the soil that it is placed in must never be allowed to dry out entirely because bee balm is a moisture-loving plant. 

Hence, it should be watered weekly, and even when it feels dry on hot days, you can keep the moisture by misting it, especially in its first year, to enable its roots to develop properly, and on colder days, you can water it less.

2. Phlox

Phlox are hardy herbaceous plants that come in annuals and perennials and are famous for their abundant blooms. Their blossoms are tubular, densely clustered, fragrant flowers that come in almost every color, from white to red, blue, lavender, and pink. 

These flowers and their oval or needle-like foliage attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies to beautify your landscape further, adding another chance to increase the pollination process. These long-flowering plants bloom from spring to fall, offering your garden weeks of aesthetic appeal. 

A Fragrant Addition of Phlox

– Benefits

Phlox come in different varieties that all work great with their company the elderberries. The way is that these low-growing types work excellently as ground covers, on the other hand, the taller phlox can be used as perennial borders and create a beautiful backdrop against lacy elderberries.

– Planting Requirements

Phlox are best planted in spring or autumn in moist, fertile, loamy, well-draining soil, however, you must be consistent, because waterlogged soil can cause the roots to rot. Light requirements for phlox plants differ with varieties; taller varieties prefer full sun, while low-growing phlox thrive in partial shade. On another note, the matured ones would mostly drought-tolerant plants but will appreciate regular watering when they are young.

3. Black Lace Elderberry

Black lace elderberry, also known as Sambucus nigra, is the cousin to the lace elderberries. The plant is a large, elegant deciduous flowering shrub with attractive, contrasting foliage and flowers. 

This plant produces lacey, deeply dissected, purple-black foliage, hence its name, from spring till fall. In contrast, the flat clusters of flowers produced in summer are creamy pink and have a lemon-scented fragrance with sweet nectar that attract bees and hummingbirds. When these pollinators start to visit your garden, it is beneficial for almost all the plants present.

After they have grown and established well, they will give way to small berries that have the same color as the foliage. The flowers and fruits of this black beauty can be used to make elderberry syrup, jam, or wine and are believed to have medicinal properties.

Black Lace Elderberry Dramatic Plant

– Benefits

When grown with the yellow-golden foliage of the Sambucus racemosa, black lace plants provide a perfect contrasting visual for your garden. They would make a bold statement to your landscape in a vast way while helping maximize each other’s fruit yield, hence, they are significantly beneficial in this area.

– Planting Requirements

Black lace plants have growing requirements similar to that of their cousins. They are fast-growing and do best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade too. 

On the other hand, compared to other shrubs, it is highly tolerant of wet soil and can grow in clay soil. However, it grows best in moist, loamy, slightly acidic, or neutral, well-draining soil. Watering should be done weekly and regularly.

4. White Pine Trees

The white pine, also known as pinus strobus, is a large, hardy, coniferous, evergreen tree used widely as the famous Christmas tree. This tree grows in a pyramidal shape and features long, soft, flexible, blueish-green, needle-like leaves in bundles of five. 

Instead of flowers, this tree produces long, slender, brown seed cones with smooth scales that reach up to eight inches in length. The white pine can live for up to 500 years, and its wood, which is soft and lightweight, is popularly used in the timber industry to produce furniture, crates, boxes, etc.

A Majestic White Pine Trees

– Benefits

When combined, the white pine helps to provide dappled shade for your elderberry bushes, as you would plant them in a way that the berry’s bush would not be facing the direct sun, so that this tree would be a proper shield to it. Also, note that your acid-loving elderberries will benefit from the additional acidity offered by the pine tree to the soil.

– Planting Requirements

White pines are known to grow in ridges, bogs, and rocky highlands. However, remember that for maximum growth, it is best grown in nutrient-rich, moist, acidic, well-drained soil. This large tree requires only four hours of full sunlight every day but will need dappled light in hotter climates. It also becomes drought-tolerant when fully grown but needs weekly watering when it is young.

5. Winterberry

Winterberry is a specie of holly that has a large display of berries, making them common in ornamental gardens. This plant is a deciduous, slow-growing shrub that grows in a round or oval upright form and has male and female flowers on different plants. 

However, both male and female of the flowers are white and inconspicuous, with up to eight petals that bloom from spring to summer, but only female flowers bear fruits. These fruits are small, globe-shaped red berries that last from fall to winter. The leaves of winter berries are long, elliptical, dark green, and poisonous to humans, dogs, cats, and horses, along with the fruits, as they contain high amounts of caffeine and alkaloids.

– Benefits

Winterberries and our lace elderberries are great companions as they are both deciduous shrubs producing red berries. The winterberry plant also grows in lemony lace elderberry sizes, and they both have similar growing requirements. 

Festive Winterberry in Summer

Using winterberries to grow elderberries will surely give your colorful garden interest from fall when their berries begin to show till winter. In addition, these trees are also helpful with pest and disease-resistant and won’t give your lemony lace elderberry problems, so you can be sure of healthy fruits during the blooming season. You can also combine them with American elderberries, also called Sambucus canadensis.

Lastly, note that as they grow as male and female trees, they would attract pollinators, which would help the lemony plant as well in their prosperous growth.

– Planting Requirements

Winterberries can grow in full sun or partial shade but must receive between six and eight hours of sunlight daily. It also works in rich, moist, loamy, acidic, well-drained soil. It is also a moisture-loving plant and cannot tolerate dry conditions. Which means that it would be best to water it weekly, after it has been growing.

6. African Lily

Also known as Lily of the Nile, the African lily is a clump-forming evergreen perennial herbaceous plant with showy, exotic-looking flowers. This plant, commonly found in Africa, is a favorite in tropical gardens with its purple-blue, tube, or funnel-shaped flowers and a dark line running down the middle of each petal, they would bloom and show their stunning blossoms in spring.

These flowers, produced in clusters above upright stalks, also come in white or blue hues and bloom in summer or fall with a lovely fragrance. The strap-like leaves of the African lily are shiny, clumped, and narrow and are produced on short stems. Nevertheless, all parts of these plants are toxic to humans and animals and should not be consumed.

Exotic Bloom of African Lily

– Benefits

The showy flowers of African lily blend well with those of lace elderberries to give your landscape an exotic look. In addition, when the flowers are not in bloom, the foliage of this plant still looks lovely, giving your garden a luxurious appeal all year long. Also remember that the lace elderberries help discourage pests such as aphids that attack African lilies.

– Planting Requirements

These plants are best grown in rich, loamy, moist, well-draining soil. The soil can either be acidic, neutral, or alkaline, which means that it is a resilient plant when it comes to the soil. 

Also, when growing African lilies you must remember that they are thirsty plants when they start growing, and throughout their blooming season, so it would be best to water them weekly. Watering can be stopped once the flowers have died. They also do very well in full but filtered sunlight.

7. Marigolds

Marigolds, or Tagetes, are easy-care annuals with vibrant yellow or orange flowers commonly grown for their ornamental value. Their daisy-like rosettes of flowers that start blooming in spring can keep blooming until summer and are produced in clusters or singly. 

In addition, these lovely flowers attract pollinators and can also come with highlights of white, red, gold or copper hues, adding a burst of sunshine to your summer garden, especially in the months of the spring season.

Beauty Color of Marigold Flower

– Benefits

The brightly colored blooms of marigolds create a jaw-dropping contrast when combined with the dark foliage of elderberries. In turn, these elderberries repel aphids from the plant, a common pest that attacks marigolds.

– Planting Requirements

Marigolds are drought-resistant but bloom best with weekly watering, especially when newly planted. They thrive in full sun as well as moist, acidic to neutral, well-drained soil.


All the plants listed above are excellent for elderberry companion planting as they provide various benefits. But here are a few other plants you can grow with them as well as extra tips:

  • You can also grow currants, gooseberries, and butterfly bush plants with lace elderberries.
  • Lemony lace elderberry care is easy as long as you have the proper growing conditions.
  • Lace elderberries don’t like their roots to be disturbed, so it is best to grow the companion plants at the same time as the elderberries.
  • It is not advisable to prune the lemony lace elderberry in winter.

You can grow some of these plants with your elderberries to see the difference in your landscape.





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