The flowers are followed by fleshy, berry-like fruits that many birds positively adore. I’ve seen robins strip hundreds of berries off one plant in a single day.
Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic soil is best, but viburnums are tough. I’ve grown them in fairly heavy soils with good success.
Site: In the north, full sun is fine. In the south, afternoon shade is preferred.
Water: Weekly the first year. Beyond that, viburnums are amazingly drought tolerant. If leaves begin to droop, water deeply. Plants will recover overnight.
Fertilizer: None needed.
Pests/Diseases: Aphids may be an occasional problem, but you can zap them with a strong blast of water from the hose every few days. Powdery mildew can also show up. Good air circulation will limit the fungus, as will watering the base of the plant rather than the leaves. If mildew persists, consider spraying with highly refined horticultural oil.
My Favorites: For fragrance, try ‘Mohawk’ and ‘Korean Spice.’ For a showy display of flowers, try the double-files ‘Shasta,’ Mariessii,’ and ‘Summer Snowflake.’ In a small space, ‘Eskimo’ is a great choice.
“Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.” – Emo Philips
“Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for.” – Earl Warren
PAUL’S PLANT PICK
Viburnums are my favorite group of shrubs, and if you’ve never tried growing them, by all means consider adding at least one to your garden. (I have 13.)
here are nearly 50 species of viburnum, plus another 200 or so hybrids and cultivars. Hardiness varies from Zone 2 through 9, but many of the more popular choices are hardy to Zone 5. Nearly all are deciduous, although some are semi-evergreen (not my favorites). In Zone 9, there are true evergreen varieties.
Viburnums range in height from 3 feet to 15 feet, so there’s one for every spot in the
garden. Once established, they require next to nothing in the way of care and are rarely bothered by pests or diseases (see below). Viburnums produce white flowers in spring to early summer, and their fragrance can be downright intoxicating.
Archive Paul's Plant Pick