By Jennifer Poindexter
Viburnum shrubs come in over 150 species. These plants can grow to be the size of small trees or can be kept in shrub form, depending upon preference.
They’re unique due to their bloom shape. Some varieties produce blooms similar to hydrangeas, while others produce blooms shaped like balls. These plants bloom in white and pink and produce berries in shades of blue, purple, red, pink, or black.
If you feel there’s a spot for this shrub on your property, take the time to learn what it needs prior to planting. It’s vital to understand a plant’s growing conditions, proper care, and to understand what might threaten the plant in its growing location.
Here’s what you should know about growing viburnum shrubs:
Growing Conditions for Viburnum Shrubs
Viburnum shrubs are unique and gorgeous plants to add to your landscape. These are hardy plants in zones two through nine.
Expect viburnum shrubs to bloom during the spring and reach heights ranging from three to twenty feet, depending on the variety planted.
When growing viburnum shrubs be sure to provide a location which consists of rich, well-draining soil. If your soil quality is poor be sure to amend it prior to planting.
This planting area should provide full to partial sunlight as well. The plant blooms prolifically in full sunlight.
However, in warmer climates, it’s best to provide an area with morning sunlight and afternoon shade to protect the plant during the warmer portions of the day.
Viburnum shrubs don’t need much when it comes to adequate growing conditions, so take the time to ensure these few basic needs are met to start your plant in the right way.
How to Plant Viburnum Shrubs
There are two main ways that viburnum shrubs are grown around a property. This includes purchasing a plant and transplanting it into your landscape or propagating a plant from cuttings.
It isn’t recommended to grow viburnum shrubs from seed as the process is lengthy and the success rate is low.
Should you purchase a viburnum plant from a local nursery, be sure you do so in the spring or fall, as this is the best time to transplant.
Also, ensure you have an ideal growing location in mind when you bring the plant home.
From there, dig a hole that’s twice as wide as the root ball and equally as deep. Amend the soil, if needed, and set the plant in the hole.
The root ball should be even with ground level. Fill a five-gallon bucket with water and pour half of it into the hole.
Wait for the water to absorb. Once this has occurred, backfill the hole with dirt. When finished, apply the rest of the water to the plant and press the dirt firmly around its base.
This should provide the moisture this shrub needs to become acclimated to the growing location.
By pressing on moist dirt, you’re compacting it and providing the plant with the support it needs to remain erect as it grows.
The next method for growing viburnum shrubs is from a cutting. Remove an 8-inch cutting from a mature plant.
Remove any leaves from the base of the cutting and ensure some nodes remain. Dip the cutting into rooting hormone and place it into a well-draining planter filled with soil that drains adequately.
From there, you should mist the soil with water and wrap the container in a plastic bag. Place the container in a warm growing location with bright light.
Check the container daily to ensure the soil never fully dries out. In approximately one month the cutting should develop roots.
Provide continued care to the plant until it’s strong enough to be transplanted to its permanent outdoor growing location during spring or fall, depending on the time of year you began propagation.
These are the most common methods for growing viburnum shrubs. Choose what works best for you and begin adding this beautiful plant to your landscape.
Caring for Viburnum Shrubs
Viburnum shrubs do require some care, but they are far from high-maintenance shrubs. In fact, if you mulch, prune, water, and fertilize them, they should remain healthy and look amazing.
When watering the plants, ensure you practice the deep watering method. They only need to be watered during the establishment stage or when they don’t receive an inch of water per week from rain.
Should you need to water the shrubs, apply water to them for longer periods of time, fewer days of the week.
During the initial watering, the roots should receive moisture along with the ground surrounding the plants.
As the days progress, and the plants need more water, they will dig their roots deeper into the soil to retrieve it.
This not only supplies the necessary moisture, but it also helps the plants develop deeper root systems. In turn, this could equate to healthier plants.
The next thing you should do is fertilize your viburnum shrubs at the time of planting and once yearly after blooming has ceased.
Utilize an all-purpose fertilizer and be sure to follow the instructions provided on the packaging.
Next, be sure to apply a layer of mulch around the base of the shrubs. This serves as a weed barrier and also helps the plants retain moisture.
Finally, be sure to prune your viburnum shrubs to encourage fullness and a better shape. Plus, it’s an opportunity to remove any dead, broken, or diseased parts of the plants.
By providing a little extra care to your viburnum shrubs, it could make all the difference in how the plants look and grow long-term.
Garden Pests and Diseases Which Could Impact Viburnum Shrubs
The last thing we should discuss about growing viburnum shrubs is how to protect them from the things they may come up against when growing in your landscape.
Many plants face issues with pests and diseases. Unfortunately, the viburnum shrub is no different.
The main diseases that this plant battles are powdery mildew, rust, and leaf spot. These are fungal based issues which can be treated with a fungicide.
However, you can also try to deter them by ensuring the viburnum shrub is planted in an area with well-draining soil, plenty of light, and is pruned for better airflow.
This should ensure that the plant is never left in a cold and oversaturated state as this is where fungal diseases thrive.
When it comes to thrips, spider mites, and aphids, you can spray the plant forcefully with soapy water to dislodge them.
If treating mealybugs and scales, wipe the leaves with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol.
You may also try hand-picking some of the pests mentioned above if it isn’t a large infestation. However, all of the pests can be treated by using an insecticide.
Keep a keen eye on your plants to ensure they’re not being invaded by pests and diseases. The sooner you catch the problem, the less likely your shrubs will receive serious damage.
This concludes our discussion on growing viburnum shrubs. You now know the growing conditions and planting methods for this shrub.
Plus, you’re aware of how to provide proper care and protection for the plant as well. Take care of your viburnum shrubs, and they should provide beauty and texture to your landscape for many years.