Common Snowball Viburnum (Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’)
Common Snowball Viburnum
If you want to make a stylish impact but need to keep things easy care – take a really good look at Common Snowball Viburnum Shrub (Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’) formerly known as (syn. Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’). Frankly, it’s hard not to notice this ornamental flowering shrub! This variety has been a garden favorite for centuries. An incredible flower display of huge, rounded, sterile flower clusters are produced on the end of each branch in late spring.
The blooms appear in masses in May or June, depending upon where it is grown. Some of the pristine blooms will even take on a pink cast as those flower clusters age. The flowers really do resemble snowballs. Kids just love this shrub! If you didn’t know better, you might think you were looking at an Annabelle Hydrangea. But this Viburnum shrub grows much taller and wider. It’s truly a show-stopper every single year when they bloom.
Dark green, shiny tri-lobed maple-like leaves act as a perfect backdrop to the massive flower displays. In autumn, those green leaves turn purplish and red and are a welcome fall color. Songbirds will find ample shelter and nesting sites within the large arms of this ornamental shrub. But unlike other Viburnum varieties, this sterile form won’t produce messy seeds, so be sure to get your feathered friends a bird feeder.
The ways you can use this shrub in your garden are endless! They’ll look wonderful in spring, dripping heavy with flowers. Next, they become a well-behaved backdrop to your mixed shrub and perennial border until they steal center stage again with their fall color display. Snowball Viburnum look amazing no matter where you plant them, but make sure they are clearly visible so you and your neighbors can marvel at their beauty each spring!
Many Snowball Viburnum owners love snipping a few of the colossal blossoms and bringing them inside as decorations. They are also lovely when dried but nothing beats the display they put on when atop the deciduous dark green foliage. In fact, some say the leaves are just as grand as the blooms!
These are also magnificent shrubs to use near the corner of a house in a modern mixed foundation planting. Or, use one in the front yard as the centerpiece of an island garden bed in the center of the lawn. It will definitely attract attention! Train into a multi-trunk tree form or mix and match with other Snowball Varieties for a spectacular display.
For backyard locations, any sunny site becomes an enchanted garden when these big, flouncy pillows of delight are in bloom! Add to Moon Gardens, mystify a Children’s Garden, elevate a Cottage border in more ways than one, and anchor a Pollinator garden to feed all the butterflies! Adaptable to moist to occasionally wet soil, water features and Rain Gardens become secret gardens!
Reflect one of these shrubs against a water feature or Zen garden for peace and serenity amidst a hectic world! Create outdoor rooms made of living fences of dense privacy by surrounding your seating areas and reading nooks with rows of Snowball Viburnum! Rows and groupings whisk away eyesores, slow wind, block noise and hide the prying eyes of a pesky neighbor!
This makes a beautiful screening plant or natural hedge along a fence. Leave them un-pruned in their natural form. Plant them 9 feet apart (measuring from the middle of one to the middle of the next one) if you’d like them to grow together into a continuous screen. Try several of them along your patio for an easy-breezy privacy screen. It’s very hardy, and once established, will thrive with minimal care.
Taking care of a Snowball Viburnum is quite easy! They appreciate being planted somewhere they can be fully in the sun but they’ll also do well with some partial shade. Unlike many flowers and plants, this deciduous shrub is tolerant of wet soils. Plant in enriched, organic and well-draining soil for best results. Mulch the root system well with 3-4 inches of arborist bark chips, but be mindful not to allow them to pile up against the trunk.
Wait until after the flowers are finished to correct any branching. Please plan for their eventual mature height and width to avoid pruning for size control. They flower on last year’s growth, so don’t delay too long to prune crossing or broken branches. Develop a pruning plan and avoid taking off too much…you’d hate to risk losing the gorgeous berries for the year. Instead, Renewal prune every 3 – 4 years by removing the oldest fattest stems to the ground and encouraging new growth still enjoy the berries.
|Common Snowball Viburnum
|Viburnum opulus 'Roseum'
|8 - 12 ft.
|8 - 12 ft.
|Full Sun, Partial Shade
|Average to Moist