How to Prune Snowball Bushes


Enhance the health and appearance of prized snowball bushes by pruning them each year. Flowering Japanese, Chinese and European snowball shrubs are members of the viburnum family. Flowers present as lace-caps, hydrangea-like or ball-shaped clusters of blossoms. Prune away all dead wood and blossoms in late spring after the shrub has finished flowering for the season. Hand pruning gives greater control in rejuvenation, renewal of growth and thinning out of an overgrown flowering snowball bush.

Step 1

Choose a pair of pruning shears that will cut branches of 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter. Lopping shears are needed for branches that are up to 3 inches in diameter.

Step 2

Cut away all of the full-length dead branches with the lopping shears to give a rejuvenated look to the snowball bush. Lop off old blackened and overgrown branches near ground level to renew an older bush.

Step 3

Trim off the branches and twigs below the blossom clusters with pruning shears to remove the dead flowers from the bush.

Step 4

Cut a branch 1/4 inch above an emerging bud or near a second branch at the swollen point or branch collar to shorten it. Prune at an angle toward the outer portion of the plant to promote new growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use sharp pruning shears to prevent torn bark and a damaged bush.

Things You'll Need

  • Lopping and pruning shears


  • University of Rhode Island: Pruning Deciduous Shrubs
  • Organic Lawn Care Tips: How to Correctly Prune Shrubs
  • University of Minnesota: Pruning Trees and Shrubs

Who Can Help

  • Gardeners' World: Viburnum Pruning Video
Keywords: snowball bush care, viburnum bush, shrub pruning

About this Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for Demand Studios and Associated Content. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.