Japanese Viburnum


Japanese viburnum is a perennial flowering deciduous shrub. This viburnum is native to Japan. The plant is also known by the names Viburnum japonicum and Japanese snowball because of the clusters of snow-white flowers it produces. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Japanese viburnum is found in Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania.


Japanese viburnum grows as a shrub. The foliage of the shrub grows densely, which makes it an ideal privacy shrub. According to Auburn University's College of Agriculture, the Japanese viburnum grows up to 8 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. The branches of the Japanese viburnum grow into cascading formations, with horizontal layers of branches draping over one another.


The leaves of the Japanese viburnum are dark green and glossy. The shrub develops its leaves in pairs, with each leaf having another leaf growing on the opposite side of the branch. The leaves are elliptical in shape, with serrated edges. Each leaf grows up to 4 inches long.


The Japanese viburnum's blossoms are small fragrant flowers that are produced in clusters that resemble snow balls. Blossoms are produces in early summer, after the spring's new growth is established. Later in the season, the blossoms turn red.

Light Needs

Japanese viburnum requires full sun to partial sun. Japanese viburnum prefers at least six hours of full sun per day. Partial sun exposure means less than six hours of sun, but more than three. Typically, the southern and western faces of homes receive the most sunlight each day. Before planting this shrub, the home owner should study the light and shade habits around their home to determine which areas receive full and partial sun.


Sandy loam soil is ideal for the Japanese viburnum because it prefers soil that is well-drained. However, the shrub is soil tolerant, and adapts itself to any soil that it is planted in. Japanese viburnum prefers soil that is on the dry side of moist; it requires additional water when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

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About this Author

Cyn Vela is a freelance writer and professional blogger. Her work has been published on dozens of websites, as well as in local print publications. Vela's articles usually focus on where her passions lie: writing, web development, blogging, parenting, gardening, and health and wellness. She studied English literature at Del Mar College, and at the University of Texas at San Antonio.