Viburnum tinus is a hardy, attractive, evergreen shrub that will thrive in just about any type of soil. Commonly called Laurestinus virbunum, this plant features attractive, dark-green or variegated glossy leaves, and masses of fragrant, light-pink spring flowers. These factors, along with the production of bluish-black fruit in the fall, make Viburnum tinus an excellent all-season choice for home gardeners who live in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) growing zones 7b through 10.
Choose the right location for your shrub. Viburnum tinus requires at least partial sun exposure in order to thrive, and can be planted in full sun but not full shade. Full sunlight will produce stronger colors in the leaves. This hardy plant prefers moist, well-draining, alkaline soil but can grow in all types of soil. Viburnum tinus can also withstand coastal climates, including sandy soil and windy conditions. This shrub will not, however, grow well in salty soil.
Plant individual viburnum tinus plants between 3 and 5 feet apart, and plant in the fall so that the shrub has a chance to become established before spring blooming begins.
Viburnum tinus thrives in cool, moist soil. Waterlogged soil will rot the roots of the plant, however, so do not plant it in very boggy areas. Keep the soil moist but not saturated. A 2-inch layer of mulch around the plant will help the soil retain moisture and stay cool, as well as inhibit weed growth. Viburnum tinus will tolerate moderate periods of drought, but not prolonged droughts and should be hand-watered during extended hot, dry periods. Water slowly and deeply using a soaking or drip hose for best results.
This attractive, oval-shaped shrub will grow to a height of 12 feet with a 4-foot spread if not pruned. Viburnum tinus is a slow-growing plant, so prune cautiously. While the shrub will tolerate heavy pruning, if the pruning is overdone the plant will take a long time to grow back to its original size.
Viburnum tinus shrubs are best used as hedges, screens or backgrounds. They can be planted as a border or to delineate a property line. These shrubs are taller than wide, so they will form a row of slim profiles rather than a sprawling hedge. Viburnum tinus shrubs, while attractive, are not quite showy enough for most home gardeners to serve as a stand-alone focal point in the landscape.