Name: viburnum, sweet viburnum, snowball bush, Viburnum species and varieties.
Height: up to 5 metres.
Foliage: green; evergreen or deciduous depending on species.
Climate: cold temperate, warm temperate, arid/semi-arid, subtropical and tropical.
Soil: most soils.
Position: full sun.
Flowering: spring to summer.
Feeding: regular feeding with a complete garden fertiliser.
Watering: regular watering in drier times.
Generally speaking viburnums are dense, evergreen shrubs with glossy mid to dark green foliage. Flowers are white to pink and often highly scented. These are usually arranged in an umbrella shape, although on some varieties they occur in a complete ball. There are some viburnums that are deciduous and these ones are usually grown for their particularly showy flowers.
Two evergreen species are extremely popular hedging and screening plants. These are the sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum) and laurustinus (Viburnum tinus). The sweet viburnum is the faster growing of the two and suitable for warmer climates, while laurustinus will do better in cooler and colder areas. The snowball bush (Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’) is grown for the large round white balls of flowers in spring. A less common viburnum is the hybrid Burkwood’s viburnum (Viburnum x burkwoodii), which is grown for its heavily perfumed flowers.
Most viburnums are adaptable to a range of soils, but it always helps if you have dug in some compost before planting. Grow in full sun or light shade.
They can be planted out at any time of the year provided you can water them to get them established.
Viburnums are occasionally attacked by thrips or spider mites. If you see the foliage starting to turn silver then look for these pests under the leaves and use an appropriate garden insecticide to control them.
You can propagate your evergreen viburnums by taking cuttings in late spring or early summer.
Choisya: glossy foliage shrub for specimen planting or as a hedge.
Pittosporum: very fast growing hedging plants.
Lilly pilly: fabulous Australian native plant with shiny foliage that makes a great hedge.
Murraya: beautifully scented white flowers are a feature of this shrub often also used as a hedge.
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