Judd Viburnum (Viburnum x juddii)
Viburnums [vi-BUR-nums] are very easy to grow. Most viburnums offer ornamental interest almost year round. They boast showy blossoms, berries and interesting leaves. The bushy Judd hybrid viburnums that were developed back in the earlier 1900’s are still among the best viburnums to plant for fragrance in a home landscape.
Size: Judd viburnums are fairly large shrubs that will grow from 6 to 8 feet tall at maturity. Typically they spread equally as wide in a full rounded habit.
Foliage: Judd viburnum leaves are dull green, toothed and hairy. They are from 1 to 4 inches long and about half as wide, and are arranged in pairs opposite each other along the stems. This viburnum is deciduous; its leaves drop in the fall.
Flowers and Fruit: From late April to early May, Judd viburnums are in full bloom with domed clusters of flowers 3 inches across, creating a spectacular effect. The "semi-snowball" blossoms are pink when in bud, opening to white, and are delightfully fragrant. In late August or early September, red berries appear and ripen to black, but they are not very conspicuous.
Using Judd Viburnum
Judd viburnums are especially attractive in a row of shrubs along a property boundary. They may also be planted next to evergreens such as hemlocks or spruces, which make a handsome backdrop for the white masses of viburnum flowers. Plant them near walks or doorways so that passersby can enjoy their fragrance when they are flowering.
Cutting For Indoor Display: Cut stems of Judd viburnum flowers for indoor arrangements just as the blossoms begin to open. Split or crush the stems ends to improve their ability to take up water, and promptly put them in a container of warm water laced with a carbonated, citrus-based drink or a commercial floral preservative. Once they are in a warm room the blossoms will gradually open and the fragrance will be lovely. They should last 5 days or more. For more information see the files on Keeping Cut Flowers and Cut Flower Supplies
Planting Judd Viburnums
The Right Place
Judd viburnums grow well in much of the U.S. (Zones 4 to 8), except for the very warm areas of Texas and Florida. They do not thrive in colder regions, where low temperatures fall below -10° to -20° F.
Judd viburnums grow best in full sun, but accept up to 2 or 3 hours of light to medium shade daily. They prefer a well-drained soil that is acidic (pH range 6.0 to 7.5), but they tolerate almost any type of soil as long as it's kept slightly moist.