How to Propagate Viburnum Macrocephalum


If you're looking for a shrub that will light up the landscape every spring, look no further than the viburnum macrocephalum. With its masses of huge, snow white blooms, the viburnum macrocephalum, more commonly known as the Chinese snowball, is a show stopper and has been a gardener's favorite for many generations. To start a new Chinese snowball bush, take cuttings in July or July.

Step 1

Cut a 4-to-5-inch tip from a healthy Chinese snowball bush. Cut at a slant immediately below a bud or leaf with a clean, sharp knife. Plant the cutting immediately or keep it in a plastic bag with damp paper towels.

Step 2

Fill a 4-inch pot with a mixture of half commercial potting soil and half peat moss. Set the pot in a dish of water and let it wick up moisture until the potting mixture is damp.

Step 3

Remove the leaves from the lower half of the Chinese snowball stem cutting. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone up to 1 inch and plant the cutting in the potting mixture with the bare stem in the potting mixture and the leafy part above.

Step 4

Cut the bottom from a clean, 1-gallon plastic milk carton and put the carton over the pot to create a miniature greenhouse. Place the pot in indirect light, but avoid putting it in a sunny windowsill, which will be too hot.

Step 5

Check the potting mixture every day and water it from the bottom if it's dry. The cutting will also benefit from a misting once or twice a day, if possible. The cutting should root in four to six weeks.

Step 6

Repot the cutting to a 1-gallon planting container after the root is at least an inch long. Keep it indoors until springtime. Move it outdoors to a sheltered spot or continue to leave it indoors. After two growing seasons, the new snowball bush will be ready to be moved to its permanent home.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Plastic bag
  • Paper towels
  • 4-inch pot with drainage hole
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Rooting hormone
  • 1-gallon plastic milk carton
  • Spray bottle
  • 1-gallon planting container with drainage hole


  • Cobb County Extension: Snowball Bush
  • Fine Gardening: Viburnum macrocephalum (Chinese snowball viburnum)
  • NC State University: Propagating for Beginners
Keywords: viburnum propagation, Chinese snowball, snowball bush

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.