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How to Grow Viburnum

By Barbara Raskauskas ; Updated September 21, 2017

Viburnum is a shrub suitable for USDA zones 7 through 9. Starting as pink buds, viburnum bursts into clusters of white flowers in mid-spring. Add viburnum to your landscape to create a hedge or plant odd numbers in the distance of your landscape to create a focal point. Choose from slow or fast growing varieties of viburnum, and scented or unscented.

Choose a well-drained location in full sun to partial shade to plant viburnum. Unless pruned regularly, expect some varieties of the shrub to reach a height up of 15 feet and a width up to 8 feet. Check the nursery tag for specifics. When planting multiple viburnum shrubs, plant them at least six feet apart for a maximum privacy hedge as the shrub expands. Plant three feet apart if the shrub will be pruned regularly and for the maximum concentration of blooms in the spring.

Dig the hole two and half times as wide and two times as deep as the rootball of the viburnum shrub. Mix 10 to 20 percent organic material (compost or leaf mold) with the dirt and partially refill the hole so the rootball can set on the bottom of the hole while the top of the rootball is level with the ground. Backfill the hole, patting it down to force out air pockets.

Water slowly and deeply every 10 days unless there is a heavy rain. An established viburnum, one that has made it through at least one season of blooming and producing fruit, will not require regular.

Apply several inches of mulch, extending out about a foot beyond the breadth of the viburnum shrub. Keep the mulch at least 6 inches away from the base of the shrub. Mulch will help retain moisture and with help to block weed growth. Check the mulch level each year, adding more if needed.

Fertilize in early spring and again in early fall using a tree and shrub fertilizer or an organic fertilizer.

Prune viburnum immediately after the blossoms fade. Buds for next year’s bloom will form on new growth so it is important to not prune before the end of June, giving the viburnum shrub the summer and fall to produce buds. To retain the shape of the shrub, cut branches that shoot out beyond the desired shape. Weak or old branches (with few leaves) can be cut to the ground. Viburnum can be used as a hedge, which would require annual trimming with hedge clippers to maintain its shape. Cut out areas affected by leaf spot, a mildew condition that can display in the fall.


Things You Will Need

  • Spade or shovel
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Pruners
  • Hedge clippers

About the Author


Barbara Raskauskas's favorite pursuits are home improvement, landscape design, organic gardening and blogging. Her Internet writing appears on SASS Magazine, AT&T and various other websites. Raskauskas is active in the small business she and her husband have owned since 2000 and is a former MS Office instructor.