Chinese Snowball Viburnum (Chinese Snowball Viburnum macrocephalum)
Chinese Snowball Viburnums (vi-BUR-nums) are among the best Chinese Snowball Viburnums to plant in a home landscape for spring color. Not only are these native Korean plants very easy to grow, they also boast attractive flowers and interesting foliage. Spectacular "snowballs" of white flowers appear on dense, rounded shrubs in late spring. Use these Chinese Snowball Viburnums in a shrub border, with broadleaf evergreens or as single specimens.
Size: Chinese Snowball Viburnums are fairly large shrubs that grow from 6 to 10 feet high and spread as wide. They may be pruned lightly to keep them more compact.
Foliage: Chinese Snowball Viburnum leaves are medium green and toothed. They are somewhat egg-shaped, 2 to 4 inches long and half that in width. The leaves are arranged in pairs on the stems.
Flowers and Fruit: From mid-May to mid-June, Chinese Snowball Viburnums are a spectacular sight, nearly covered with immense globe-shaped clusters of flowers up to 8 inches across. Chartreuse in color when they first open, the flowers gradually turn creamy-white as they mature. The flowers are sterile and produce no fruit.
Using Chinese Snowball Viburnum
Chinese Snowball Viburnums are dense, rounded shrubs with many branches. Because they grow so tall and wide, these shrubs look best planted away from the walls of the house. They are especially attractive in a row of shrubs along a property boundary, where they are likely to attract a great variety of birds when the berries ripen in the fall. They may also be planted next to evergreens such as hemlocks or spruces, which make a handsome backdrop for the white masses of flowers.
Cutting For Indoor Display: Cut stems of Chinese Snowball Viburnum flowers for indoor arrangements just as the blossoms begin to open. For more information see the file on Keeping Cut Flowers and Cut Flower Supplies
Planting Chinese Snowball
The Right Place
Chinese Snowball Viburnums grow well in zones 6 to 9, which includes most of the U.S., except the coldest parts of the country, where low temperatures go below 0° to -10° F; or in our warmest areas, such as southern Florida and Hawaii.
Chinese Snowball Viburnums grows best in full sun, but do nearly as well with 2 or 3 hours of light to medium shade. They prefer a well-drained soil that is a bit acid (pH range 6.0 to 7.5), but they tolerate almost any soil as long as it's kept slightly moist.