The Versatile and Beautiful Viburnum: A Guide to this Ornamental Plant


Viburnum is a genus of deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees, with several varieties and selections that can grow in zones 2 to 9. This article will discuss various aspects of viburnums, including their growth, flowering, propagation, and possible pests and diseases.

There are many common viburnum species, such as the blackhaw, burkwoodii, and judd. These shrubs are known for their beautiful display of flowers, which can range from white to pink. Some varieties, like the viburnum bitchiu, have orange-red or burgundy colored leaves that add to the vibrancy of the plant.

Viburnums are often used as hedges or as standalone plants in gardens. They can create a dense and compact growth, making them ideal for privacy purposes. However, they can also be stunted in growth if not properly cared for, so it is important to provide them with well-draining soil and regular watering.

One of the pests that can damage viburnums is thrips, which are tiny yellowish-white insects that feed on the plants’ leaves. To pick off these pests, you can use a plastic or pine needle tea as a natural repellent. It is also important to keep an eye out for any dead or damaged branches and prune them off to promote healthy growth.

All About Growing Viburnums

Viburnums are a popular family of shrubs that are noted for their attractive flowers and fruit. There are many different cultivars of viburnums, but some of the most common include the doublefile viburnum, the leatherleaf viburnum, and the snowball viburnum. These plants are native to North America and are found in a wide range of habitats, from wet woodlands to sunny meadows.

One of the most popular viburnums is the doublefile viburnum, known by its scientific name Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum. This shrub is characterized by its flat-topped clusters of creamy-white flowers, which are held on branches that are arranged in a tiered, or “doublefile” fashion. The flowers of a doublefile viburnum are followed by clusters of red fruit that turn black as they ripen.

The leatherleaf viburnum, or Viburnum rhytidophyllum, is another common viburnum species. This evergreen shrub has large, waxy leaves that are composed of thick and leathery tissue. The flowers of the leatherleaf viburnum are white and are held in dense clusters called cymes. These flowers are followed by clusters of blue-black fruit that are favored by birds.

An important consideration when growing viburnums is the soil in which they are planted. Most viburnums prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. They can tolerate a wide range of soil types, from clay to sandy, but they will not thrive in soils that are constantly wet or waterlogged.

Viburnums are typically low-maintenance plants that don’t require a lot of attention. They generally grow about 6-8 feet in height and width, although some cultivars can reach up to 15 feet. They can be pruned to maintain a more compact size, if desired.

When it comes to sunlight, viburnums are adaptable and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. However, they tend to bloom while in full sun, so it is best to choose a sunny location for optimal flowering. In terms of temperature, most viburnums are hardy to USDA zone 5 and can withstand cold winters.

Watering is important when growing viburnums, especially during the first few months after planting. Newly planted viburnums need to be watered regularly to establish a strong root system. After that, they are relatively drought-tolerant and don’t require frequent watering, except during prolonged dry periods.

If you want your viburnums to produce fruit, you will need to ensure that you have both a male and a female plant. Some viburnum species, such as Viburnum carlesii ‘Aurora’ and Viburnum x lantana ‘Mohawk’, are self-fertile and can produce fruit on their own. However, many other species require cross-pollination between different plants to set fruit.

In conclusion, growing viburnums can be a rewarding experience. These versatile shrubs offer attractive flowers, interesting fruit, and compact growth habits. Whether you choose a doublefile viburnum, a leatherleaf viburnum, or some other species, viburnums are a great addition to any garden or landscape.

Showy often-fragrant flowers are followed by colorful berries and fall foliage

Viburnums are popular deciduous and evergreen shrubs that are known for their showy, often-fragrant flowers. These flowers typically come in clusters called cymes and range in color from white to pink-tinged. Some viburnum cultivars, such as ‘Judd’, ‘Carlcephalum’, and ‘Burgundy’, produce flowers that are particularly vibrant and long-lasting. The flowers are followed by colorful berries in shades of red, black, or pink, which add visual interest to the landscape.

Viburnums are hardy plants that can grow in a wide range of conditions. They prefer full sun to partial shade and are adaptable to different soil types, although they do best in moist, well-drained soils. To prevent the plant from becoming too compact, viburnums should be pruned in the late winter or early spring. This will also help promote better flower production and fruiting.

One of the most common viburnums is the doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum). This shrub is known for its flat-topped clusters of flowers, which resemble snowball-like heads. Another popular species is the black haw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium), which has attractive fruiting clusters and vibrant fall foliage. Both of these viburnums can be used as hedges or as standalone plants in the landscape.

Viburnums are generally easy to care for and maintain. They are relatively pest and disease resistant, although they may be troubled by spider mites or aphids at times. To ensure the health of your viburnum, it is important to provide adequate water and fertilization. A general-purpose fertilizer can be applied in the spring, and additional fertilizer can be added in the fall if needed.

Overall, viburnums are a beautiful addition to any garden. Their showy flowers, colorful berries, and vibrant fall foliage make them a favorite among gardeners. Whether you are looking for a shrub to plant in a sunny spot or a shady area, there is a viburnum cultivar that will suit your preferences. With their wide range of cultivars and hardy nature, viburnums are a versatile and reliable choice for any gardener.

These adaptable shrubs are easy to grow

Flowering viburnums are a diverse group of shrubs that offer a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. They are known for their beautiful clusters of flowers, called cymes, which can bloom for several months. Some popular varieties include Viburnum nanum, which is a compact and leggy shrub, and Viburnum carolina, which is a spreading shrub.

One of the best things about viburnums is that they are generally easy to grow and require minimal care. They can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, although they thrive in well-drained soil. They are also relatively resistant to most common problems, such as pests and diseases.

When planting viburnums, it is important to pick a suitable location for the shrub. They prefer full sun to partial shade and should be planted in an area with good air circulation. Some popular selections include Viburnum opulus, Viburnum plicatum, and Viburnum acerfolium.

The appearance of viburnums can vary greatly depending on the variety and the growing conditions. Some have large, flat clusters of flowers, while others have smaller, more compact cymes. The foliage ranges from dark green to light green, and some varieties even have variegated leaves.

One of the key features of viburnums is their attractive berries, which can be red, blue, black, or white. These berries not only add visual interest to the shrub, but they also provide food for birds and other wildlife.

Propagation of viburnums can be done through various methods, such as seed sowing, stem cuttings, or division. However, it is important to note that some varieties may not come true from seed or may require specific conditions for successful propagation.

In summary, viburnums offer a wide range of flowering shrubs that are easy to grow and require minimal care. They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a versatile choice for any garden. Whether you’re looking for a dense, compact shrub or a leggy, spreading variety, there is a viburnum that will fit your needs.

Viburnums are known for their attractive foliage

Viburnums, a family of flowering plants, are widely recognized for their beautiful foliage. These plants thrive in well-draining soil and can brighten up any landscape with their often-fragrant leaves. There are many different types of viburnums, including the black, Korean, arrowwood, and European varieties.

One popular viburnum selection is the ‘Wentworth’ viburnum, which is prized for its dark-red leaves and vibrant spring flowers. Another favorite is the ‘Aurora’ viburnum, an evergreen shrub that produces colorful and abundant blooms. These viburnums can tolerate a wide range of conditions and are a great choice for adding interest to any garden or landscape.

When planting viburnums, it is important to choose a well-draining area and provide regular irrigation. These plants also benefit from regular repotting, as their root systems can become crowded over time. Viburnums excel as hedges or as standalone specimens in the garden, and their attractive foliage adds a touch of elegance to any setting.

In addition to their foliage, viburnums also produce showy and often-fragrant flowers. The flowers can range in color from white to pink, and some varieties even have burgundy or dark-red blooms. The flowers are typically arranged in flat-topped clusters, which adds to their visual appeal in the garden.

After the flowers have bloomed, viburnums may also produce fruit. The berries can be colorful and abundant, adding even more visual interest to the plant. Some viburnum varieties produce larger berries, while others have smaller fruit. The fruit can range in color from red to black, depending on the specific viburnum species.

Viburnums are generally easy to grow and maintain, although they are prone to a few common pests and diseases. Bacterial leaf spot and spider mites can occasionally affect viburnums, causing discolored and stunted growth. Regular monitoring and prompt treatment can help prevent these issues from becoming severe. Additionally, proper potting and watering techniques can help keep viburnums healthy and thriving.

In summary, viburnums are a versatile and attractive family of plants, known for their beautiful foliage. They can tolerate a variety of conditions and excel in well-draining soil. With their often-fragrant flowers and showy fruit, viburnums add color and interest to any garden or landscape. Whether used as hedges or standalone specimens, viburnums are a great choice for any green thumb.

✿ Read More About Woody Shrubs.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.