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The Snowball Bush is easy to care for and maintain and makes a great focal point for the center of a large yard or for the corner of a foundation planting. It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant for its flowers and berries. Being semi-evergreen, Snowballs create a beautiful spring and fall display in any landscape.
And in the late spring, this deciduous, colored flowering shrub will be covered with masses of pure white, snowball-like flower clusters, with leaves that turn purplish-red before dropping in the fall.
Different types of Snowball Bushes require different types of care. The Snowball Bush or its scientific name, viburnum plicatum, is sometimes simply called Snowball Viburnum for short.
Snowball viburnum should not be confused with Hydrangea arborescens. Though care for both has similarities, it's important to know which variety you have.
Eastern Snowball Bushes begin to bloom in late spring, while Japanese Snowball Trees provide fragrant bulbs earlier in the spring season.
The tallest varieties of Viburnum grow up to two feet per year. Shorter dwarf varieties grow at a slower pace. When fully mature, the Snowball Bush will grow large, up to 12 tall and 15 feet wide.
The hole should be about three times the diameter of the root ball, but no deeper than the root ball.
Take care not to break or damage the roots of the bush.
The root crown is the part of a bush where the trunk meets the roots.
You should provide at least 12 feet between bushes if planting in a row, and keep them pruned. Snowball Bushes should be planted in tracts that are at least three times as wide as they are tall. At maturity, Snowball Bushes can be very tall and wide (up to 20 feet in each direction for Viburnum macrocephalum), and their branches shoot out from the center.
If your Snowball is already mature, you can grow more bushes using cuttings from a healthy plant. Test branches to see if the wood is soft. If the branch bends before breaking in two, it can be cut off using sharp pruning shears and planted stem-down to grow new bushes.
Whether you're transplanting a sapling, using cuttings, or planting a mature Snowball Bush, knowing the best times to plan helps you understand what to expect.
The best time to plant a Snowball Bush is either in the fall or spring, depending on the variety of the bush, its age, and your hardiness zone.
Snowball Bushes flourish when given six to eight hours of full sun outdoors.
These bushes need moist, humus-rich, moderately alkaline soil that drains well, so you may need to amend the soil before planting.
Just before spring, feed your Snowball Bush with a water-soluble fertilizer or granulated fertilizer. Keep the soil moist by applying mulch.
Snowball Bush pruning best practices depend on the type of Snowball you have and on your goal with pruning. The Snowball Viburnum is a deciduous shrub, so it sheds its leaves in the fall and blooms form on old wood.
If you're training your Snowball Viburnum Shrub to provide a lot of blooms, prune it back in spring after it has begun blooming to encourage more growth. On the other hand, if the branches have become too long and you're more concerned with shaping a mature bush, cut back one-third of the canes in fall to thin out the base.
The fastest way to begin enjoying a Snowball Bush is by planting a mature plant. Snowball bushes make a great statement in your garden and can be planted in succession to create a living privacy fence. Shop for Viburnum Shrubs today, and make your landscape the envy of the neighborhood!