Thursday, May 13, 2010

Snowballs in spring

I love viburnums. They are easy to grow and their foliage almost always looks crisp, clean and healthy throughout the growing season being pest and disease resistant. This spring I've really taken a liking to viburnum plicatum, or Japanese snowball shrub. They're in full bloom here in Portland and they seem to be everywhere now that they're stuck in my head.

If you have a neglected space that needs to be filled, you may want to consider the snowball. They can get quite large (up to 15' high and wide) especially if they're planted in full sun, so make sure you have the space unless you're a compulsive pruner. While they can do partial shade, don't allow them to have too much shade or you'll have a scrawny, underdeveloped guy with top heavy blooms reaching for the closest available light. Think popeye-thick head on tiny legs.

Come fall they'll turn varying shades of red (until they drop, they are deciduous) and offer the local birds some berries as a snack. But best of all, in early May you'll have a giant display of big, fat, perfect white blossoms to show off.


  1. I have always thought that these plants looked very cool. I have some space to fill and this plant has just become my choice.