Viburnum plants, hedges, and trees are lovely flowering plants that enhance the beauty of garden settings. Viburnum is a bushy, woody plant with white or pinkish-white blooms that bloom from late spring to early summer. In the autumn, the dark green ovate leaves on viburnum species take on a vivid orangey-red tone. Viburnum varieties are popular in front and backyards for their versatility, which allows them to grow in a variety of conditions.
The most common types of viburnum you may plant in your yard are covered in this article. The finest viburnums for improving your garden’s appeal will be easier to identify based on pictures of viburnum plants and descriptions.
What is Viburnum?
The genus Viburnum belongs to the Adoxaceae family of shrubby plants. Viburnum trees, shrubs, and hedge plants come in over 150 different varieties. Viburnum may be deciduous or evergreen plants that thrive in full sun, depending on the climate and species. Viburnums are ideal decorative landscaping shrubs for temperate regions since they thrive in USDA zones 4 through 8 and require sun. Viburnum species that have leafy foliage that lasts all year are particularly suited to tropical climates.
The horizontally tiered branching growth of many viburnum shrubs is one of the distinguishing characteristics. Rounded growth occurs in some viburnum bush cultivars, but not in others. Viburnum shrubs may grow to be 3 to 20 feet (1 to 6 meters) tall.
Viburnum shrubs are suitable as hedge bushes, specimen bushes, or mixed border shrubs because of their bushy development. Viburnum varieties that are smaller are ideal for balconies, entryways, and patios.
Depending on the species, viburnum flowers range in hue from white to pink and take on a variety of formations. Viburnum bush flowers have a variety of conical, spherical, and domed formations. The thick leafy bushes become stunning bright colors when viburnum plants bloom in the spring.
Viburnum flowers may be confused with hydrangea flowers when photos are examined. In the winter until the spring, some viburnum bushes bloom. White flowers bloom from November to March on the Viburnum Snowball Bush, for example. The winter blooming Laurustine (Viburnum tinus) has flat-topped clusters of white-pink flowers.
Viburnum leaves come in a range of forms. Autumn foliage varies in form and size depending on the species, as seen on the left image. Shiny green ovate or lanceolate leaves with serrated margins are seen on certain viburnum species, such as ‘Doublefile’ and ‘Japanese Snowball.’ Viburnum acerifolium and Viburnum sargentii, for example, have leaves that look like maple leaves. Viburnum leaves are glossy green and leathery oval in some varieties, such as sweet viburnum.
Viburnum in the Garden
Viburnums are tiny trees and decorative floral shrubs that may be used in any size garden. In a sunny spot or in a garden area with partial shade, Viburnum bushes and trees flourish best. Vibrurnum prefers clay, chalk, loamy, or sandy soil and requires well-draining, moist soil to thrive.
Viburnum berries are berry-like drupes that come in a variety of colors and sizes. The blossom color changes as the berries ripen on the shrub. Bright red, deep purple-black, blue, neon-pink, or brilliant yellow ripened viburnum berries may be found. Viburnum berries are delicious and come in a variety of shapes. Viburnum berries, on the other hand, are poisonous in certain forms.
The cranberry bush (Viburnum opulus var. opulus) is an example of this. Ornamental red berry clusters (Americanum) are produced by this plant. The bright green leaves contrast beautifully with the scarlet-red berries. These edible berries, which attract birds to gardens, are used to make jams and jellies.
Viburnum hedge plants grow into lush, dense privacy screens that produce fragrant spring flowers. They can be used as screening plants and flowering hedges. Depending on how much you want to prune the shrub, Viburnum hedging is ideal for formal or informal hedges.
Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum) is best for full sun, Sandankwa Viburnum (Viburnum suspensum) is ideal for shade, Laurustine (Viburnum tinus) is great for hedging, and Chindo viburnum (Viburnum awabuki ‘Chindo’) is excellent for hedging.
It’s important to understand the distinctions between types when selecting the finest viburnum hedge plant. Sweet Viburnum, for example, grows quicker than Viburnum tinus. However, Sweet Viburnum is harder to care for than Viburnum tinus, which is a smaller hedge plant.
In your garden landscape, huge viburnum multi-stemmed shrubs may develop as little blooming trees. To make certain huge viburnum bushes grow into little trees, they must be regularly trimmed. Viburnum is suited for tall privacy screens or hedges, and there are many varietals to choose from.
Snowball tree (Viburnum opulus), Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium), and Leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum) are some of the nicest big viburnum shrubs that grow as trees.
Dwarf Types of Viburnum
Dwarf Walter’s Viburnum obovatum is ideal for tiny, confined household gardens. Dwarf viburnum bushes reach a height of 1 to 5 feet (0.3 to 1.5 meters). The Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum,’ dwarf European cranberrybush viburnum, and dwarf Viburnum obovatum are popular examples of dwarf viburnum bushes.
Miniature, compact viburnum bushes offer a variety of all-season appeal, including spring blossoms, thick leafy summer foliage, gorgeous autumn hues, and clusters of berry-like fruits. In a barren garden landscape, some dwarf viburnum shrubs bloom throughout the winter.
Types of Viburnum (With Pictures)
Viburnums are lovely flowering bushes that appeal to the eye in any landscape. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular viburnum plant varieties that may be grown in your front or backyard.
Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum)
Sweet viburnum can be cultivated as a hedge shrub or a big shrub, and it produces clusters of tiny white blooms. The white flower clusters develop in a conical shape when they are at their full bloom. Large, dark green glossy green leaves with an ovate shape characterize sweet viburnum. The leaves of the green shrub grow to be 6 inches (15 cm) long and broad.
Slow-growing viburnum, commonly known as happy viburnum, is a tiny shrubby tree or towering evergreen privacy hedge that thrives in sun. The height and spread of sweet viburnum may reach 20 feet (6 meters). The shrub’s leaves in northern regions are semi-evergreen or deciduous. With its spreading growth habit, the dense foliage produces a rounded crown. When mature, red sweet viburnum berries turn black.
Mapleleaf Viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium)
Mapleleaf viburnum is a tiny plant with lobed green leaves and clusters of lovely white blooms that bloom in the spring. It looks like maple leaves. The year-long seasonal attraction of this viburnum variety makes it a garden favorite. In the summer, the bright green leaves give gardens a maple-like appearance before turning orange, pink, or purple in the autumn.
Between 4 and 6 feet (1.6 and 1.8 meters) tall, mapleleaf viburnums are tiny bushes. The maple leaf form thrives in full sun, well-draining soil, and USDA zones 4 through 8, as do other viburnum species.
The ovate leaves with three lobes are an unusual feature of maple leaf viburnum bushes. The resemblance to maple leaves can be seen in photos of the leaves. Hairs and serrated edges characterize the light green leaves. Tubular clusters of mapleleaf viburnum blossoms grow on the shrub.
When they bloom from April to June, little creamy-white blooms create fragrant panicles. Flat-topped clusters with a showy appearance are about 3 inches (7.5 cm) across. Black berries develop on the shrub after it has bloomed and persist until winter.
Sandankwa Viburnum (Viburnum suspensum)
In warm climates such as Florida, sandankwa viburnum is an evergreen perennial shrub with a spreading growth habit. When the shrub is in bloom in late winter and early spring, it produces pinkish-white flowers. Tubular white-pink flower panicles make up the clusters. The rough and leathery leaves of Sandankwa are ovate-shaped.
Sandankwa viburnum blooms range in color from white to light pink. The horizontally spreading branches of the fast-growing shrub are covered in thick foliage and have a spreading character. In USDA zones 8 through 11, this compact evergreen shrub is cold hardy. Sandankwa viburnum thrives as a privacy hedge or large border shrub because of its dense, glossy leaves.
Viburnum Awabuki ‘Chindo’ (Chindo Viburnum)
Chindo viburnum is a huge woody shrub with showy, fragrant white flowers that requires little care and develops quickly. In tiny clusters or panicles, the white tube-like blooms bloom. The glossy, leathery leaves have a waxy feel, which adds to the landscaping shrub’s attractiveness. Leaves are 6 inches (15 cm) long and 3 inches (7.5 cm) broad.
The Chindo viburnum, sometimes known as mirror leaf viburnum, is a shrub that grows to be 10 to 12 feet (3.6 meters) tall with a densely growing crown. The Chindo variety, like other types of viburnum, requires little upkeep to maintain its form. For hedging in front or backyards, Awabuki viburnum plants are ideal.
Throughout all seasons, the plant’s glossy evergreen foliage provides ample privacy. This hedge plant grows without much ado because it is a drought-tolerant species that requires minimal pruning.
Viburnum Snowball Bush (Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ or ‘Sterile’)
The European Cranberry bush is also known as the Viburnum snowball bush, and it can be pruned to form a small tree. This is a viburnum shrub with a rounded development habit. The huge snowball-shaped white blooms make the Viburnum opulus a standout species. The green maple-like leaves contrast with the circular flower blossoms. The shrubby plant changes to bright orange and scarlet in the fall.
From 10 to 12 feet (3.6 to 3.6 m) tall, the Snowball Bush viburnum grows. Growing a viburnum tree with the European Cranberry bush is also a good choice. As a result, the plant is known as the Snowball tree or European Cranberry tree. A dwarf viburnum called the Viburnum opulus ‘Nanum’ stands at a height of no more than 2 ft. (0.6 m). As a lovely foundation plant for the front of your house, you can also use this decorative flowering dwarf shrub.
A dwarf variety of Viburnum opulus is called Viburnum opulus ‘Nanum.
Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium)
Blackhaw viburnum is a big blooming shrub or small tree with dense foliage, white flower clusters, and gorgeous autumn leaves. The ornamental dark green leaves and crimson-burgundy autumn hues complement the plant’s seasonal appeal, in addition to the lovely white flower blooms in May and June.
The shrub’s appealing qualities are also augmented by pendulous black edible berry-like fruits. With a spread of 12 ft. (3.6 m), Blackhaw viburnum trees grow to be around 15 feet (4.5 meters) tall. This multi-stemmed plant can be grown as a large shrub, privacy screen, or hedge plant if you prune it properly.
Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii)
With pinkish snowball blooms, brilliant crimson berries, and dark crimson fall leaves, Korean spice viburnum is a little shrub with lovely pinkish-white flowers. Globe-shaped flower heads made up of clusters of delicate flowers are stunning. These viburnum whitish-pink blooms have a similar appearance to cherry blossom trees, as you can see in the photos. The leaves on the broad-leafed plant are ovate in shape.
Korean spicebush grows at a pace of one to two feet per year. The mature height of the shrub is around 6 feet (1.8 meters). Its upright, rounded development and glossy, thick foliage are two of the viburnum shrub’s appealing characteristics. As a specimen plant, informal hedge, foundation planting, or perennial border, Korean spicebush viburnum thrives best.
Leatherleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum)
Leatherleaf viburnum is a decorative crinkled-leaved evergreen shrub that blooms in late spring with showy white flowers. Long lance-shaped glossy-green leaves cover the multi-stemmed shrub. The oblong leaves with deep veins that give them a crinkled appearance are one of the distinguishing characteristics of this viburnum species.
Leatherleaf viburnum bushes grow between 6 and 10 feet (1.8 and 3 meters) tall, with close-up photos of their blossoms and leaves. The showy white blooms, bright red fruit clusters that turn black by winter, and orangey-red fall foliage contribute to the plant’s seasonal appeal.
Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)
In late spring, clusters of white flowers with serrated edges appear on the Arrowwood viburnum, a widespread hardy shrub. The irregular, rounded form and spreading development of this viburnum species make it ideal for hedgerows. The glossy green leaves of Arrowwood have coarsely serrated margins.
The huge viburnum tree develops a crimson or purple-red color in the autumn. Arrowwood viburnum bushes are 6 to 15 feet (1.8 to 4.5 meters) tall and have a similar spread of size. In well-draining soil that is kept moist, grow this species in full sun or partial shade.
David Viburnum (Viburnum davidii)
Creamy pink blooms and dark foliage characterize the decorative little David viburnum shrub. The clusters of creamy pink star-shaped flowers on this landscaping shrub add to its ornamental appeal. The David viburnum has leathery-feeling ovate-shaped blue-green leaves. Fall foliage turn crimson or orange, and edible blue or black berries last until winter clusters.
Laurustine (Viburnum tinus)
Laurustine is an attractive bushy viburnum shrub with stunning white flower clusters and metallic blue berries. It has a dense, rounded growth habit. In the winter, the tiny viburnum blooms open as bright pink buds, and in the spring, they bloom. The ovate, glossy green leaves contrast with the white blooms. Laurustine may grow to be up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall. A flowering hedge, evergreen screen, foundation planting, or colorful shrub border are all great options for this viburnum shrub.
Japanese Snowball Bush (Viburnum plicatum)
Viburnum plicatum var. nipponense is a Japanese snowball bush. The Japanese snowball bush (Plicatum) is a large shrub with showy white pompoms composed of ruffled petals. Dark green leathery oval leaves contrast beautifully with the lovely snow-white globular blooms. These viburnum bushes may grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall.
Planting Viburnum Flowering Shrub
Viburnum shrubs are versatile landscaping plants that give color to the garden all year. You should plant Viburnum plants in a place where they will have enough room to grow, as they have excellent spreading growth. Plant viburnums are usually grown in well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Most soil types, including loam, sand, clay, and chalk, support Viburnum shrubs.
Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum) or Laurustine (Viburnum tinus) are suitable for full sun or Sandankwa Viburnum (Viburnum suspensum) for shade when planting viburnum flowering shrubs as hedging. Divide the mature width by two to determine how far apart to space the shrubs.
Sweet viburnum hedge plants, for example, spread out to around 6 feet (2 meters). Therefore, placing this viburnum variety 3 feet (1 meter) apart would be ideal.
How to Care for Viburnum
Make sure that the viburnum plants get enough water during dry spells by watering them thoroughly. Around the thick stems, you should also add a layer of mulch to keep in moisture. Remove dead and diseased branches by pruning the branches in the early spring.