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How to Propagate a Chinese Snowball Bush

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

The Chinese snowball bush (Viburnum macrocephalum) is a deciduous shrub named for the masses of white flowers it produces in the spring. The shrub will grow 10 to 12 feet in both height and width and can tolerate either full sun or partial shade. The Chinese snowball bush, hardy to USDA zones 6 to 9b, demands center stage and is best used as the focal point in the garden. Take your cutting early on a July morning.

Cut 4 to 6 inches of current year growth from a branch of the Chinese snowball bush. Look for a branch that is just starting to turn hard and has mature leaves. This is known as a semi-hardwood cutting. Remove all the leaves except for two or three at the top of the cutting.

Mix equal parts of coarse sand and perlite, and pour it into the planting pot. Soak the soil well, allowing the excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot.

Pour a small amount (less than 1/8 tsp.) of rooting hormone onto a small plate, and dip the cut end of the Chinese snowball bush branch into it. Tap the cutting on the side of the plate to remove any excess hormone. Dispose of any leftover hormone.

Poke a hole in the soil with a pencil or your finger, and push the cutting into it. Make sure that at least two leaf nodes (where the leaves were joined to the stem) are under the surface of the soil.

Mist the cutting, and place it in an area that is light, but not directly in sunlight. Mist the cutting daily and, if the soil appears to be drying, mist it as well.

Transplant the Chinese snowball bush into the garden in the spring when the soil has warmed and temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears or a sharp knife
  • Rooting hormone
  • Small plate
  • Planting pot
  • Sand
  • Perlite
  • Plant misting bottle

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.