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Viburnums are very popular landscaping shrubs and for good reason. They are so forgiving and adaptable as well as beautiful. They have beautiful foliage with interesting shapes. Their flowering is nothing less than spectacular, especially the fragrant varieties.


They often produce colorful berries in the fall, and some have exciting foliage color in the fall as well. It is the shrub that keeps on giving season after season.

The Viburnum shrub grows all over the world. Some varieties are from Asia, some from the America and some from Europe.

Viburnum Varieties

With over 150 species to choose from, there is a variety to please everyone. They are hardy in USDA zones 2 through 9.

They are relatively pest free, which makes them a low maintenance addition. The only real pest they have is the Viburnum Leaf Beetle, which has been making its way south from Canada.

While there are a few dwarf varieties that will remain from 3 to 5 feet tall, many viburnums are capable of attaining heights of 12 to 20 feet. They also spread to a sizeable width.

They are excellent specimen plants, but they also look wonderful in a mass planting or as a screen plant. Use them as an informal hedge. A few cultivars can also be grown as trees with some judicious pruning. Some are evergreen, some are semi-evergreen in warmer areas, and some are deciduous. They are related to honeysuckle.

With all the different cultivars, you have the choice of many leaf shapes. Some varieties have rounded leaves, while others are toothed or lance-shaped. They may feel rough or velvety or smooth.

Blooming Viburnums

flowering viburnum

These shrubs bloom in the spring. Most have white or pinkish blossoms. The blooms may appear in any number of ways. Some form flat floret clusters, others are in flat umbels of tiny flowers surrounded by larger sterile flowers similar to a lacecap hydrangea, and others form snowball shaped or domed clusters.

The real spectacular varieties are the doublefile viburnums. The flowers are located on top of the horizontal branches for this type and from a distance it can look like they are frosted with snow. If you can look down upon them from a terrace, the effect is nothing short of spectacular.

Some varieties are sweetly fragrant, and can be enjoyed up to thirty feet away. Many of the Asian varieties such as Korean Spice and Burkwood are the most fragrant.

Most viburnums also produce small clusters of fruits known as drupes. They are beautiful to look at, ranging from red to blue to black. They are popular with birds and other wildlife. You are sure to see an increase in bird activity in your yard when the berries are ripe.

Most will require another variety of viburnum for cross pollination to produce these berries. Fall color is especially beautiful in the American species.

They provide interest year round between their foliage, flowers and berries. The Winterthur variety is especially attractive, but it needs another cultivar or it is sterile.

Planting Tips

Plant in full sun for the best results, but it tolerates partial shade. While they like fertile well-drained soil, they are extremely tolerant of poor soils and drought once they are established.

Always plant a small shrub where you want it to stay. Transplanting older specimens can be somewhat difficult, though not impossible. Fertilize in early spring before new growth begins.

The varieties sold today are mostly hybrids and are not started from seed. They are propagated through soft wood cuttings in the summer. Prune as needed to maintain the size you want.

Occasional pruning to keep a good air flow around the shrub is advised to avoid any fungal problems. These plants are low maintenance shrubs. Once you have got the roots established, they pretty much take care of themselves and you can sit back and enjoy their show.

Viburnum Varieties

Is a striking shrub that provides year round beauty. This deciduous plant has long oval glossy green leaves in spring and summer. It grows multiple stems from the base, creating a...

The Cranberry is a dwarf variety that was developed in France in 1841. It does have white flowers occasionally, but not as frequently as the original Viburnum opulus. Where this shrub shines is as a ...

The Chindo is a beautiful evergreen shrub with glossy dark green leaves from 3 to 7 inches long and a fragrant display of white flowers in the late spring. The flowers are replaced with clusters of...

The Leatherleaf is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 10 to 15 feet high with a comparable spread. With a rounded, upright growth habit, it grows at a medium fast rate. The puckered leaves grow on fuzzy twigs. The dark green shiny...

Doublefile viburnum is a beautiful shrub. With green leaves as the backdrop for the creamy flower clusters that look like they float above the branches, this viburnum is a showstopper in the landscape...

Burkwood Viburnum
Burkwood viburnum is easy to grow. The dark green leaves form a lovely backdrop for the rounded clusters of pinkish-white flowers in early spring. The flowers will grace the garden with...

Korean Spice
Korean Spice viburnum has dusty green deciduous foliage that serves as the backdrop to the numerous clusters of pinkish-white flowers. The flowers give off a strong spicy fragrance that can be detected up to...

Mohican Viburnum
The textured dark green deciduous leaves with a fuzzy texture and creamy white flower clusters create a showy shrub that looks good in almost...

Spring Bouquet
Spring Bouquet viburnum is an attractive dwarf evergreen shrub that can grow up to 5 feet tall. The oval leaves are glossy green all year round. In the spring...

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