Viburnum Growing Guide

Numerous Viburnum species, Viburnum x carlecephalum, Viburnum carlesii, Viburnum opulus, Viburnum plicatum ssp tormentosum


Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with plenty of compost or other organic matter.


Full sun to part shade in hot summer areas.

Frost tolerant

Cold tolerance varies with species, with some viburnums hardy to -35°F (-37°C).


Boosting soil fertility results in bigger, better viburnum flower clusters. Topdress the root zone with rotted manure topped by an organic mulch in winter. Or, apply a balanced organic fertilizer once a year, when new growth begins in spring.


Single Plants: 8' 10" (2.70m) each way (minimum)
Rows: 8' 10" (2.70m) with 8' 10" (2.70m) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Set out purchased plants in spring at about the time of your last frost. Container-grown plants can be set out until early summer. Water regularly, and cover the root zone with an organic mulch to keep the soil moist at all times. Spacing varies with the type grown. Many viburnums grow into wide bushes up to 9 feet (3 m) wide. Check plant tags for a plant’s mature width when planting viburnums as hedges or in combination with other shrubs. Purchased plants can be held in pots for year but eventually need to be transplanted into open ground.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Three types of viburnum are popular in home gardens: heavy-flowering snowball viburnum, super-fragrant Korean spice viburnum, and elegant doublefile viburnum. In addition to these there are numerous native viburnums that produce flowers and colorful berries for wildlife, for example arrowwood viburnum (V. dentatum) in North America. Take your time making choices, because viburnums are large, long-lived shrubs that will be with you for many years.


Snowball viburnum is a popular cut flower that lasts longest when the flowers are slightly green when cut. All berry-producing viburnums provide cutting opportunities in late summer and fall. Viburnums require little pruning. After the flowers fade, cut out any dead branches and low growth that impairs good air circulation.


Viburnums are usually trouble-free, but an imported insect called the viburnum leaf beetle has become an issue in North America. Popular doublefile and Korean spice viburnums are resistant to attack, but all plants should be checked in midsummer for signs of feeding.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Viburnum