Chinese Snowball Viburnum

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Scientific NameViburnum macrocephalum 'Sterile'
ExposureFull sun to part shade
Bloom/FeatureLarge white hydrangea-like blooms
Avg. Dimensions6-10' H X 6-10' W
USDA ZonesUSDA Zones 6-9
SoilWell-drained slightly acidic soil
WaterWater as needed
UsesHedge foundation plant accent mass planting

Description

The Chinese Snowball Viburnum steals the show in almost any landscape! Mophead, hydrangea-like blooms emerge at the end of spring, spanning around 6-8 in. across. Initially, these blooms are a chartreuse green before maturing to the gorgeous crisp white that is characteristic of this variety. These blooms will coat nearly the entire shrub, creating a truly spectacular display in your yard. Each year will produce a more impressive floral show than the previous as this shrub reaches its full size potential, which is 12-20 feet tall and wide!

The Chinese Snowball is deciduous in particularly cold climates and evergreen in all warmer zones. Light green leaves emerge from sturdy branches in spring before maturing to an attractive dark green. Gardeners in warm zones where this shrub proves evergreen will appreciate the reliable winter color.

Unlike other Viburnums, this variety is sterile and will not produce fruit. Furthermore, the Chinese Snowball’s blooms are not fragrant, a negative for some gardeners while a positive for others.

Additionally, birds will appreciate the rigid branches of the Chinese Snowball for nesting and shelter purposes.

Chinese Snowball Viburnum Care

This Viburnum grows best when planted in Full Sun to Part Shade, and in slightly acidic, well-draining garden soil. Southern regions in the U.S. have greater success with this variety when it is shielded from afternoon sun. However, too much shade will result in less impressive bloom cycles.

For the first growing season, water 2-3 times per week in average weather conditions (3-4 times per week during dry/hot weather). This will help it to establish deep root systems. Afterwards, supplemental watering is rarely needed.

Fertilize the Chinese Snowball Viburnum in early spring with a slow-release balanced fertilizer. Alternatively, use an acidic organic fertilizer once every couple months during the growing season.

 

​Planting tips for Acid-Loving Plants

Southern Living’s take on the Chinese Snowball Viburnum

 

Additional information

Scientific NameViburnum macrocephalum 'Sterile'
ExposureFull sun to part shade
Bloom/FeatureLarge white hydrangea-like blooms
Avg. Dimensions6-10' H X 6-10' W
USDA ZonesUSDA Zones 6-9
SoilWell-drained slightly acidic soil
WaterWater as needed
UsesHedge foundation plant accent mass planting

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