How to Care for Viburnum


Viburnum, a type of spring-flowering shrub or small tree, grows natively in Asia and North America. Many American gardeners also grow the plant as a decorative hedge or screen. Valued for its attractive foliage and colorful fruit, the viburnum shrub can reach up to 30 feet in height, depending on variety. Glossy green leaves change during fall to an appealing red or purple color and fruit appears after flowering in shades of pink, orange, yellow, red, black or blue. Hardy in zones 4 through 9, viburnum shrubs require only minimal care to thrive in most areas of the United States.

Step 1

Choose a planting site for viburnum that receives six to eight hours of full sunlight each day. Apply a 2-inch layer of organic compost to the planting site and use a garden tiller to incorporate the compost into the soil prior to planting. Space additional shrubs at least 4 feet apart.

Step 2

Spread a 4-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding viburnum after planting to suppress competitive weeds and improve moisture retention. Start the layer about 3 to 4 inches from the base of the plant to allow air circulation and reduce the risk of disease.

Step 3

Water once each week during the first month of growth to help establish the plant's roots. Reduce watering frequency thereafter to only weeks that receive less than 2 inches of rainfall. Never allow standing water to accumulate around viburnum or root rot may occur.

Step 4

Feed viburnum shrubs twice per year, once in early spring and again during mid-fall. Use a slow-release fertilizer to gradually release nutrients into the soil throughout the year. Apply at the rate recommended by the manufacturer for the best results.

Step 5

Prune viburnum about two weeks after flowering has ended. Use pruning shears to remove all dead, damaged and excessively long limbs to improve the aesthetic appeal and overall health of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Garden tiller
  • Mulch
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Viburnum
  • Iowa State University---Viburnums: Ideal Shrubs for Iowa Landscapes
  • "New England Gardener's Guide"; Jacqueline Hériteau, Holly Hunter Stonehill; 2002
Keywords: Viburnum, Viburnum shrubs, care for Viburnum

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including