By: Teo Spengler
Viburnum, vigorous and hardy, should be on every list of the top shrubs for hedges. All viburnum shrubs are easy care, and some have fragrant spring flowers. Creating a viburnum hedge isn’t very difficult. If you want to know how to grow a viburnum hedge, read on.
How to Grow a Viburnum Hedge
Planning a viburnum hedge comes before planting one. Taking the time to assess your needs and landscape situation now will save you problems later. Lots of types of viburnum are available in commerce, many that are perfect for someone planting a viburnum hedge. Before you choose among the varieties, figure out the basics.
You need to decide how tall and how deep you want the hedge. You also need to know your own hardiness zone to be sure that your shrubs fit well with the climate, your soil type and whether the hedge will have a sunny, shady or mixed exposure.
When you are creating a viburnum hedge for a sunny area, you need to consider different types of plants. Here are some types of viburnum that could work well:
- Look at the variety V. odoratissimum if your hedge will be in direct sun. Its white flowers appear in spring and have a sweet and beautiful fragrance.
- If your hedge site will be in shade, the variety V. suspensum is one for your short list.
- If you want a very tall hedge, consider Aawabuki viburnum, also called “Mirror-Leaf.” Yes, its leaves are very shiny, and the shrubs are tall, perfect for a 10-foot (3 m.) privacy hedge.
Find out the mature width of the viburnum variety you select. You need this to figure out viburnum hedge spacing. Divide the mature width by two and plant your viburnum shrubs that distance apart.
- For example, if your variety gets 8 feet (2+ m.) wide, half of that is 4 feet (1 m.). Be sure not to plant the viburnum any closer than 4 feet (1 m.) apart. If you use this figure for viburnum hedge spacing, you will end up with a thick, dense hedge.
- For an airier hedge, increase the distance between shrubs to 75% of their mature spread. This type of viburnum hedge spacing will create a lovely, open hedge.
Viburnum Hedge Care
Planting a viburnum hedge is best undertaken in fall, although spring is a close second. Work in organic peat moss as well as composted cow manure to the soil before you begin. Alternatively, add them to each hole when you plant.
Viburnum hedge care often involves regular trimming. The more manicured you want the hedge to look, the more often you should prune. If you decide to prune the hedge severely, do it in springtime after the shrubs flower.
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How to Landscape With Viburnums
With over 100 species to its name, viburnum provides the home landscape with a vast array of possibilities. From maple leaf viburnum (Viburnum acerfolium) with its shorter height of 6 feet, lobed leaves and bright fall color to awaki viburnum (V. awabuki) with its tall height of 20 feet, slim leaves and bold red berries, these shrubs and trees help home gardeners attain nearly any goal in the landscape. Choose the viburnum that suits your particular garden design dreams and enjoy its ease of maintenance.
Meet an evergreen viburnum with intense spring fragrance.
Get in some evergreen viburnum action with good-looking viburnum odaratissimum. This beauty is a Southern favorite, where it’s often planted to form a Viburnum odoratissimum hedge. In spring, small flowers release a big fragrance that’s sweet and refreshing. One variety, Viburnum odoratissimum ‘Awabuki,’ packages the evergreen beauty and sweet aroma in a smaller plant.
In warmest areas of the country, Viburnum odoratissimum is a favorite landscape plant. Its evergreen leaves add year-round color to plantings. As a whole, Viburnum odoratissimum is pest- and problem-free, a low-maintenance gardener’s dream. This viburnum shrub adapts to sun or part shade and definitely benefits from some afternoon shade in hottest parts of its range.
Left to its own devices, Viburnum odoratissimum forms a tall shrub to small tree to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. In lower light, the plant gets a little more scraggly and open, but in full sun settings, it forms a lush, full canopy. Many gardeners opt to remove branches closer to the ground to shift Viburnum odoratissimum into a tree form. This creates a lovely small tree that fills the spring landscape with wonderful fragrance.
Viburnum odoratissimum has a tight branching pattern that makes it a plant of choice for creating privacy screens and hedges. It takes well to pruning and can be pruned into narrow shapes to edge a patio or screen a walk. As a hedge, Viburnum odoratissimum is known for its ability to create an impenetrable mass. A Viburnum odoratissimum hedge is often used to separate neighborhoods and traffic areas in places like Florida. To form a thick Viburnum odoratissimum hedge, place plants 5 feet apart from the center of one plant to the center of the adjacent plant.
Viburnum odoratissimum is native to Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. In the United States, it’s frequently planted across the South and in Texas and Florida. Winter hardy in Zones 7 to 9, plants may lose their leaves in winter at the northernmost edges of the range.
One of the varieties, Viburnum odoratissimum ‘Awabuki,’ grows to a slightly smaller size of 12 feet high and has highly glossy leaves that are very eye-catching in the landscape. It’s native to Japan and Taiwan.
Surprisingly this Viburnum did have a few flowers in early Winter, which I wasn’t expecting.
I thought I would have removed most of the flower buds by clipping in September, but must have missed a few.
Flowers are often lost with topiary. The preference is for green shapes.
But if you do want to have a few flowers on a Viburnum tinus then clip soon after flowering- allows time for new buds to form. The one downside is you won’t be able to maintain a tight topiary shape throughout the year.
If this post has tempted you to have a go at creating topiary from a Viburnum tinus then check out the RHS website for information about growing the shrub.
Top Quick Fence ™ Wholesale Growers
Some of the top wholesale growers listed below do also sell retail, those marked as Trade Only will not, all others will sell direct to the general public.
New South Wales
|Benara Nurseries |
|CARABOODA||08 9561 9000|
|Domus Nursery |
|HACKETTS GULLY||08 9293 1768|
|Greenstead Nursery |
|TEA TREE GULLY||08 8380 5191|
For retail nurseries and more wholesale growers click here.
This website gives general information for the states/regions in Australia. For local information on which plants work in your area contact your local grower. Local grower knowledge is vital, this website is no substitute.
Heights shown on the website are for general gardening conditions. In well maintained gardens, some plants will get taller.
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