How to Grow and Take Care of Your Viburnums

Viburnums are plants that are widely used in landscaping because they come in a variety of colors and sizes. This versatile shrub is hardy in USDA zones 2 through 9 so they can thrive almost anywhere and in any climate. You do need to know the basic requirements of the plant for the best results, so here is everything that you need to know about the Viburnum.

What is a viburnum?

Viburnum are flowering shrubs used in landscaping. Most varieties bloom in early spring throughout the month of June. In the fall of the year, they produce a lovely fruit with brilliant foliage as the nights become cooler. They belong to the honeysuckle family and depending on how you prune them, you can grow them as a tree or as a shrub and you can prune some varieties of viburnum into attractive shapes.

Varieties of viburnum

In the viburnum family there are 150 species. Some have been bred for high resistance to pests. This is one of the aspects of viburnum that makes it a popular landscaping choice. The various varieties offer a wide range of foliage types including lance shaped, smooth, rough, velvety, toothed and rounded leaves. There are also viburnum which are evergreen while others are semi-evergreen as well as deciduous types which provide vibrant colored foliage in the fall. The flowers range from a pinkish color to white and some of them are very fragrant, particularly those which are native in Asian regions. There are three different types of flowers including those which resemble hydrangeas, some like snowballs and others that are floret clusters which are somewhat flat.

How to grow viburnums

The majority of viburnum plants thrive in full sun to partial shade. They thrive in soil with a 5.6 to 6.6 pH balance and most do well in soils which are alkaline. They’re not a finicky plant and will grow under most fertile soil conditions. It’s best to purchase viburnum plants in the early spring time. These plants are not easy to transplant as they mature and they often require one full season to adjust to their new environment. Young plants are more likely to become established and thrive than older ones. It’s difficult to start viburnum from seed because most of the plants sold are cross breeds. They may be propagated from cuttings of he soft wood during the summer time. Irrigate weekly in the spring summer and fall. You can let them get dry but not for prolonged periods of time.

Viburnum varieties

More viburnum varieties are being created every year. The most popular and easiest to grow are the Asian varieties which include the Burkwood which thrives in zones 5 through 8, reaching a height and width of 8 feet with a light fragrance. The Anne Russell type features pink flowers during the blooming season with red foliage in the fall and a more compact size. The Mohowk puts off white snowball blooms which emerge from red buds with a spicy scent, growing between 8 to 10 feet tall. This variety thrives in zones 4 through 8. he Doublefile also thrives in zones 4 through 8 and grows to 10 feet tall and 12 ft wide. The flowers are double and flat in their shape with reddish black fruit and a red orange foliage in the fall. If you’re looking for a smaller variety then the compactum grows slowly until it reaches a height and width of 3 feet in a ten year period. If you want to make a viburnum hedge then the trilobum compactum Alfredo is a good choice for growing a low border hedge.

Final thoughts

You can find viburnum in a wide variety of species in different heights, widths and growing rates. The flowers and fruits which they bear are also varied and you can find a viburnum type that is suitable for nearly any USDA zone and climate. You must be careful to start out with healthy young plants and give it a full season to take root. Once established they are easy to grow and maintain and some varieties are even run to prune into different shapes. From shrubs to trees and hedges to stand alone conversation pieces, the viburnum is a plant that is versatile and enjoyable to have in your landscaping plan.


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