Viburnum plicatum, Japanese snowball

Green snowball shaped flower of a viburnum plicatum species

Viburnum plicatum is a family of shrubs with stunning abundant blooming. Some are doublefile while others bloom like snowballs.

Some cultivars are more rare than others, but all are beautiful!

Viburnum plicatum facts

NameViburnum plicatum
Family – Adoxaceae (formerly Caprifoliaceae)
Type – shrub

Height – 10 feet (3 meters)
Exposure – full sun or part sun
Soil – ordinary, well drained

Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – spring to fall

Planting Viburnum plicatum

It is best to plant your Viburnum plicatum (or Japanese snowball) in fall. This greatly favors root development before the winter sets in. On mild winter days, roots spread underground, gearing the shrub up for vigorous growth in spring.

This will lead to quick blooming.

However, if you received your plicatum viburnum in a pot or in a container, you can also plant in spring taking great care to water regularly at the beginning.

  • Viburnum shrubs love well-draining soil.
  • If growing it in pots, choose a good quality soil mix and ensure that water drains well.
  • Follow our advice on shrub planting.

Pruning Viburnum plicatum

It isn’t necessary to prune the plant, but it can be useful if you wish to reshape older specimens.

Wait for the blooming to end if you wish to reduce or reshape the shrub.

Landscaping with Viburnum plicatum

As part of a

  • flowered hedge,
  • as a standalone,
  • and in shrub beds,

its growing and maintenance is easy.

Learn more about Viburnum plicatum

Viburnum plicatum is a very beautiful shrub: blooming in spring is as beautiful as its foliage in fall.

It has the advantage of a high hardiness and provides pollen and nectar for honeybees for their greatest joy in early spring.

Some of the most famous Viburnum plicatum are ‘Mary Milton’, ‘Watanabe’ and ‘Mariesii’.

Also part of the Viburnum family is laurestine, often found in our gardens.

Smart tip about Viburnum plicatum

Avoid locations too exposed to harsh sun. It’s best to plant it underneath a tree or taller shrub that will protect it for part of the day if you live in hot regions. In cooler places it can cope fine with full sun.

Viburnum plicatum trees needs cool soil to develop really well. Try to cover the soil around the stem with organic material every year.

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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Green flower like a snowball by Viviane Monconduit under Pixabay license