How to Prune Viburnum Plants


Viburnum is a genus of flowering shrubs used as ornamental plants in the residential landscape. They grow from 2 to 30 feet in height and bloom in fragrant, generally white flowers. Healthy viburnums rarely need pruning, according to horticulturists with the Ohio State University Extension. Pruning to shape the plant should be undertaken after flowering. Always cut branches and shoots back to their points of origin.

Step 1

Remove any dead, diseased or damaged wood from the viburnum with pruning shears, beginning at the base of the plant and working your way up.

Step 2

Cut off any sprouts growing from the soil around the base of the viburnum or growing low on its trunk. Pinch off smaller sprouts with your hands; others can be pruned away with the shears.

Step 3

Prune off any branches that are crossing over others or branches that are too long and detract from the shape that you desire.

Step 4

Stand back and view the tree from at least 10 feet away. Look for any shoots that are undesirable for the shape you wish to achieve. Cut those branches back to their points of origin.

Step 5

Rake up old mulch, twigs and other pruning remnants to clean up the area around the viburnum. Bag these items and dispose of them.

Step 6

Water the viburnum until the soil is saturated. When the water drains, place a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil 2 inches away from the bark and spread out to the width of the shrub's widest shoots.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rake
  • Mulch


  • University of Kentucky: Pruning Landscape Shrubs
  • Ohio State University Extension: Viburnums in the Landscape
  • Gardeners' World: Prune a Viburnum
  • "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses"; Michael A. Dirr; 1998
Keywords: prune viburnum plants, viburnum shrub, trim viburnum

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.