Plant Viburnums for Year-Round Interest

— Written By and last updated by Elisabeth Purser
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Flowers with LeavesViburnums are one of my favorite plants in the landscape as they are dependable and interesting in all seasons of the year. If you select the right species, you can have generous amounts of fragrant white flowers in the spring, glossy green leaves during the summer, attractive autumn foliage, and bright-colored fruits in late summer and fall. Viburnums are sturdy shrubs, easy to grow, are virtually pest free.

Viburnums can be used as specimen shrubs or small trees, in border plantings, and for screening as they range from small to very large. Choose a species that fits your space limitations. If properly located, the shrub should need only moderate pruning to retain a desirable form.

Viburnums can attract wildlife such as birds and small mammals because of the abundance of fruit produced on each bush. Plant Viburnum in a well-drained, fertile soil with a mulch of wood chips or other organic material extending several feet from the base to conserve soil moisture and suppress weed growth.

For flowers with great fragrance choose Koreanspice viburnum ( V. carlesii) or Judd viburnum (Viburnum x judddii). The Doublefile viburnum (V. plicatum f. tomentosum) is spectacular with large white flowers mid-May, that are produced in flat clusters, along horizontal branches somewhat like a dogwood. In the fall the foliage changes to a bright red and is accompanied by attractive red fruit which gradually turn black. I have added two evergreen viburnums to my landscape that I like. They are the Chindo viburnum (V. awabuki ‘Chindo’) that makes a good screening plant and Moonlit Lace viburnum (V. davidii ‘Moonlit Lace’.

There are many more varieties of viburnum. Make a visit to your local garden center or nursery to find viburnums, as they carry ones that do well in our area.