How to Propagate Viburnum Odoratissimum


With its shiny, evergreen foliage and the sweet aroma of its blossoms, sweet viburnum, or viburnum odoratissimum, is a landscape favorite and good candidate for a privacy screen or hedge. Sweet viburnum is a large evergreen shrub that can reach heights of 20 feet at maturity and can spread out to widths of 15 feet. To propagate sweet viburnum, take softwood cuttings in early summer.

Step 1

Wipe a sharp knife blade with rubbing alcohol to prevent the transmission of bacteria and disease to the cuttings. A dull blade can tear the stem tissue.

Step 2

Cut from a healthy viburnum branch at stem that is 4 to 6 inches long. Cut at a 45-degree angle just below a leaf or a bud with a sharp knife. Cut from the current season's growth and ensure that it has at least three or four sets of leaves.

Step 3

Fill a 4-inch pot with a mixture of half coarse sand and half peat moss. Dampen the potting mixture with a spray bottle.

Step 4

Strip the leaves off the bottom half of the cutting. Dip the end of the cutting in powdered rooting hormone and plant the cutting in the damp potting mixture. Plant the entire bare stem in the potting mixture with the leaves above but not touching the potting mixture.

Step 5

Put a clear plastic bag over the pot and install a few sticks in the bag to prevent the plastic from dropping onto the cutting. Secure the plastic with a rubber band.

Step 6

Place the pot in indirect sunlight. Although light is important, hot sunlight will be intensified by the plastic and will burn the plant.

Step 7

Keep the atmosphere constantly humid in the plastic bag. Open the bag and mist the soil with a spray bottle immediately if you notice there is no condensation on the inside of the bag or if the soil appears dry,

Step 8

Check for roots in six to eight weeks. The easiest way to tell is by tugging gently on the viburnum cutting. If you feel a pull, the cutting has rooted.

Step 9

Remove the plastic from the pot once the cutting has rooted. Move each cutting to its own 4-inch pot.

Step 10

Keep the young sweet viburnum indoors until the next spring. Leave the sweet viburnum indoors or plant it in a sheltered place outdoors when spring arrives. After two years, the sweet viburnum will be mature enough to be moved to its permanent home.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • 4-inch pot
  • Potting soil
  • Coarse sand
  • Spray bottle
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • Plastic bag
  • Sticks
  • Rubber band


  • University of Florida: Viburnum Viburnum odoratissimum, Viburnum suspensum
  • Learn2Grow: Viburnum odoratissimum 'Red Tip'
  • Floridata: Viburnum odoratissimum Common Names: sweet viburnum
Keywords: viburnum odoratissimum, sweet viburnum, viburnum propagation

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.