12 Best Viburnum Varieties: Grow Them Like A CHAMP

BY Shaafay Zia
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By reading our blog, you gain an understanding of DIFFERENT VIBURNUM VARIETIES. With such knowledge at your fingertips, you become a GARDEN WIZARD. Like my Uncle always says, “With great knowledge comes GREAT GARDENING.”

And the ability to WOW your friends at PARTIES! You might even encourage them to appreciate something BESIDES ROSES for once. Who knows?

We are GARDENING AFICIONADOS. So we know something about SHRUBS. We have spent YEARS guiding gardeners with WELL-RESEARCHED and HELPFUL INFORMATION. 

Think of us as your personal plant Yoda. “Safe with us, the fate of your garden is.” What are you waiting for, young plant Jedi?

You’ll get at least one viburnum variety for YOUR GARDEN.

Let’s explore the beauty and variety of viburnum, with 12 different varieties to choose from!

Viburnum Varieties

Brief Introduction of Viburnum

Brief Introduction of Viburnum

Viburnum is a family of shrubs found widely throughout the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE. Don’t confuse it with the Wakanda stuff. That’s VIBRANIUM. Hahaha.

They have DENSE CLUSTERS of small flowers. These can range from white to pink and are often grown as ORNAMENTAL FLOWERING SHRUBS in gardens. That’s almost as many colors as the number of filters some people put on pictures. 

MANY VARIETIES exist that vary in size, shape, and coloring. Some are evergreen, while others are deciduous, depending on the origin location. Popular species include Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, Viburnum opulus and Viburnum tinus

These are like any of the Chris from the Marvel movies; any POP CULTURE fan knows or wants them. Hahaha.

These plants PROVIDE FOOD for wildlife like songbirds & butterflies. That makes them great additions to traditional home landscapes that support local biodiversity.

Viburnums are basically like a 5-star restaurant in your LOCAL ECOSYSTEM. 

12 Different Viburnum Varieties

1. Burkwood Viburnum

Burkwood Viburnum

Burkwood viburnum is a variety of viburnum. It is an EVERGREEN SHRUB with fragrant flowers. They have pink flower buds that bloom into WHITE FLOWER CLUSTERS. Their flowers are basically the Chanel No. 5 of plant fragrances.

Burkwood viburnum can also be deciduous depending on WHERE you GROW them. When I grow them in COLDER REGIONS, they LOSE LEAVES faster than a balding man combing his hair.

The growth habit of Burkwood Viburnum also varies depending on CLIMATE CONDITIONS. Usually, my shrubs can reach heights of EIGHT FEET or more if I give them enough sun and water. With that height, it’s a miracle they HAVEN’T been drafted for the NBA!

These viburnum shrubs also have EXCELLENT HARDINESS ZONES. They grow best between USDA Zone 4-9 (COLDEST TEMPERATURES down to -30°F). They make WIM HOF jealous. 

2. Arrowwood Viburnum

Arrowwood Viburnum

Arrowwood Viburnum is an ATTRACTIVE DECIDUOUS SHRUB. It is characterized by GLOSSY DARK GREEN foliage. 

And it blooms CREAMY WHITE FLOWERS in the late spring and colorful berries in late summer. Throw in some personality in there; it’d be stealing hearts right, left, and center. 

Its hardiness zone range is 4-8, making it tolerant to VARIOUS CLIMATES like an absolute boss. I am surprised Redbull has yet to pull a PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN with this one. My Arrowwood viburnum’s growth is upright to somewhat SPREADING. 

That makes it SLOUCH like some people I know. [**Shamelessly adjusts my bad posture**]. I’ve noted some of their branches are evenly arranged UP AND DOWN depending on the mood.

3. David Viburnum

David Viburnum

David Viburnums, viburnum davidii, are shrubs that grow 2-5 feet tall and wide.That makes them PERFECT for those of us with SMALL SPACES (or who are vertically challenged). [**Shamelessly confirms my height as 6 feet on Bumble, knowing I am nowhere near that**]. 

Its star attraction is CLUSTERS of FRAGRANT WHITE FLOWERS in early spring. They are about 1 inch wide, which later turn into *cue dramatic music* METALLIC BLUE BERRIES. Birds go crazy over these fruits.

It also has GLOSSY FOLIAGE adding further SHIMMERING beauty to the plants.

David Viburnum is like the David Goggins of shrubs because they are HARDY across MOST U.S. regions (zones 4 – 8). And the best part? It’s relatively EASY TO MAINTAIN with proper pruning for desired shape or size. 

4. Blackhaw Viburnum

Blackhaw Viburnum

Blackhaw Viburnums are shrubs with distinct WHITE FLOWERS. Its foliage consists of DARK GREEN to DARK BLUE-GREEN LEAVES. 

They say good things come in CLUSTERS, and that’s TRUE with these beauties. The plant blooms in spring to produce masses of WHITE OR PINKISH FLOWERS.

Blackhaw plants are SO CHILL that they hang out with SURFERS. They are easy to grow, preferring FULL SUN and WET SOIL, but they also TOLERATE partial shade. The plant can be grown in hardiness zones 3-9. 

Blackhaw viburnum plants will reach HEIGHTS between 8 – 15 feet tall when MATURE. Well, that’s BETTER GROWTH than a college student living off RAMEN NOODLES. It also has almost similar-sized horizontally growing branches. Talk about taking up SPACE! 

5. Nannyberry Viburnum

Nannyberry Viburnum

Nannyberry Viburnum, viburnum lentago, is a DECIDUOUS VIBURNUM SHRUB native to NORTH AMERICA. It has GLOSSY GREEN FOLIAGE and clusters of sweet-smelling CREAMY WHITE FLOWERS. 

Think of them as a NATURAL AIR FRESHENER for your garden. Do gardens need air fresheners, though?

Its growth is UPRIGHT with a ROUNDED OVAL SHAPE, and its HARDINESS ZONES range from 3 to 7. It can grow in MOST CLIMATES that I have tried throwing its way. Just don’t try to grow it in a FREEZER! 

IN MY GARDEN, this viburnum species flowers in SPRING to produce clusters of white blooms. It’s like enjoying a prolonged MAGIC TRICK. 

Eventually, the flowers become BRIGHT RED BERRIES in FALL or WINTER. If magicians smelled this good, I’d WATCH MORE magic. Hahaha

And these berries are EDIBLE and ATTRACTIVE TO BIRDS. It’s like having a BIRD FEEDER in your garden–minus the RACCOONS! Why do raccoons love hanging around bird feeders so much? 

6. Mapleleaf Viburnum

Mapleleaf Viburnum

Mapleleaf Viburnum, viburnum acerifolium, is a DECIDUOUS SHRUB with DARK GREEN LEAVES. That name sounds like something Harry Potter would say to cast a spell. 

In SPRING, these viburnum shrubs produce TINY WHITE FLOWERS. These turn into RED BERRIES.Now, that’s ENCHANTING. 

These shrubs are HARDY and GROW up to 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide. That’s basically Shaquille O’Neal’s height but LESS intimidating. 

You can enjoy their fragrance from EARLY MAY through JUNE. Just plant Mapleleaf near a porch or window. Here its SWEET SMELL can waft right into your home and COVER UP any weird smells from Uncle Bob. Hahaha. 

7. Laurustinus Viburnum

Laurustinus Viburnum

Laurustinus viburnum, viburnum tinus, is a shrub native to the MEDITERRANEAN REGION. It has DARK GREEN GLOSSY EVERGREEN leaves that are LEATHERY. If it got a shade darker, it might as well wear dark EYELINER and go full EMO. 

Laurustinus have PINK BUDS that flower into clusters of WHITE FLOWERS. This shrub is basically the viburnum version of CINDERELLA – minus the glass slipper. The fragrant flowers attract NESTING BIRDS in my garden, making it ecologically beneficial

Eventually, the flowers become vibrant BLUE METALLIC blue berries. That sounds more like rock n’ roll than botanical– you never know, there might be a rock band out there named like that. 

I grow my Laurustinus upright and they reach up to 6 feet tall when MATURE. So, I fashion them into HEDGES. This plant has EVERYTHING – looks, fragrance, height, and charm. It’s pretty much George Clooney in plant form – MINUS the 50-year-old bachelor thing. 

8. European Cranberrybush Viburnum

European Cranberrybush Viburnum

European Cranberrybush Viburnum, viburnum opulus, is a variety of viburnum. It has WHITE, SHOWY FLOWERS, followed by RED BERRIES in summer. It’s like that cool, stylish friend who always looks impressive WITHOUT TRYING TOO HARD. 

These viburnum shrubs grow UPRIGHT up to 4-5 feet tall and wide. That’s just AVERAGE height really, I wish my ex would agree, though. Hahaha.

The viburnum opulus species grows WILD throughout EUROPE. But it is also cultivated for use in ORNAMENTAL GARDENING across much of the world. If for nothing, you can always tell people that it’s EUROPEAN. That always IMPRESSES them; I don’t know why. 

The fragrant blooms ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES to your garden. Plus, its BERRIES provide FOOD SOURCES for birds into the WINTER MONTHS. That’s like opening an Airbnb for them in your garden! And the best part, it is a LOW-MAINTENANCE SHRUB. 

9. Leatherleaf Viburnum

Leatherleaf Viburnum

Leatherleaf Viburnum, Viburnum rhytidophyllum, is native to EAST ASIA. Don’t let its mouthful name fool you; this EVERGREEN SHRUB is all about easy-breezy vibes.

It features GLOSSY LEAVES and growth of up to 10 feet. And between LATE SPRING and EARLY SUMMER, it produces white lacecap flowers. Those are enough to RIVAL my neighbor’s rose garden EASILY. 

But there is more. My leatherleaf viburnums have a PLEASANT but NOT OVERWHELMING fragrance. It is milder than other viburnum shrubs in my garden. Examples include the likes of SNOWBALL BUSH or ARROWWOOD VIBURNUMS. 

I find these two shrubs quite aromatic. It is like comparing VANILLA CANDLES with teenagers’ AXE BODY SPRAY. 

Leatherleaf Viburnum is EASY to maintain; I only do BASIC PRUNING annually. Yes, you heard right, ONCE A YEAR. That’s less work than trying to convince your dog NOT to chew on shoes (seriously, WHY do dogs love shoes?). 

Okay, that was a joke – DON’T come for me! 

10. Koreanspice Viburnum

Koreanspice Viburnum

Koreanspice viburnum is scientifically called viburnum carlesii. This fancy-sounding DECIDUOUS SHRUB is native to KOREA and JAPAN. It is basically the international jet-setter of shrubs. Well, yes that’s actually fancy. 

It produces WHITE or PINK FLOWERS in spring, followed by RED BERRY-LIKE fruits later in the season. Its growth is rounded with DARK GREEN FOLIAGE. This turns into PURPLE AUTUMN FOLIAGE before dropping off for WINTER DORMANCY. 

You can see the two-for-one deal offer written all over the plant if you SQUINT your eyes LONG and HARD enough. 

It has clusters of SMALL TUBULAR FLOWERS in my garden. I use viburnum carlesii to attract POLLINATORS like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. These birds and insects help POLLINATE other plants in my garden. 

They’re like that one Tinder match getting hundreds of matches – minus the STIs! That makes them IMPORTANT additions to my landscape design. 

The Korean Spice Viburnum has a STRONG FRAGRANCE that can fill my entire garden! I just tell my neighbors that it’s the fragrance of my AWESOMENESS.

11. Snowball Bush Viburnum

Snowball Bush Viburnum

Snowball Viburnum sounds like A FUN WINTER sport that I’d be TERRIBLE at. But, it is a HYBRID PLANT with roots in KOREA, JAPAN, and CHINA. It has aromatic white, snowball-shaped clusters of flowers. 

Now that’s MORE SOPHISTICATED than the snowballs thrown by 10-year-olds.

They bloom in spring with LIGHT PINK BUDS that reveal CREAMY WHITE or ROSY FLOWERS. Think of it like planted cotton candy but better because there are no calories! This gorgeous plant loves FULL SUN, WELL-DRAINED MOIST SOIL. 

It has an UPRIGHT GROWTH HABIT, making it ideal for a HEDGE or BORDER SHRUB use. Snowball Viburnum’s leaves can turn into a BRONZE-like color during fall. That’s BEFORE SHEDDING OFF at winter’s end. 

All this tall of snowballs and winter kind of reminds you of how COLD your ex’s heart was (just kidding!). 

12. Cinnamon Viburnum

Cinnamon Viburnum

Cinnamon Viburnum is the OG of the cinnamon-scented viburnum shrub. It has an UPRIGHT GROWTH, reaching up to 6 ft. tall and 4ft wide when mature. 

Native to EAST ASIA, it features DARK GREEN foliage with MOTTLED GRAY undersides. It’s like CHRISTMAS in a bush without the fake tree and awkward family conversations!

And it has SWEETLY FRAGRANT creamy white flowers. They’re basically INVITING YOU to come closer for a SNIFF. That’s like how people lure you into TRYING their “world-famous” CHILI RECIPE. 

These bloom in SPRINGTIME and give way to BLACKBERRIES in late summer or early fall. Now that’s an experience you’ll actually enjoy, unlike tasting those chili recipes. Hahaha. 

Its OVAL-SHAPED leaves have a unique cinnamon-colored UNDERSIDE. That’s what gives this particular variety its name. It also creates a PLEASANT CONTRAST against other greenery. That’s more style points than Ryan Gosling WEARING GLASSES. 

FAQs about Viburnum Varieties

1. How hardy are viburnum?

Viburnums are generally very hardy shrubs. They are capable of growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 to 9. They thrive best in moderate conditions, although this varies depending on the species. 
Many viburnum varieties do well in harder climates, such as USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. They are basically like Chuck Norris! 

2. Is viburnum low maintenance?

Yes, viburnums are generally low-maintenance shrubs. They don’t require much pruning. They will do best with fairly rich, moist soil, so choosing a location where the shrub has room to grow is important. 
You should transplant container-grown viburnums carefully. Otherwise, they will not establish. Although they are low maintenance, give them at least the bare minimum.

3. When should you plant viburnum?

You should plant the viburnum shrub in either the spring or fall. It’s best to transplant them in early spring so they have plenty of time to adjust through that season. Deciduous viburnums should be planted from autumn into early spring
Make sure the soil isn’t soggy or frozen over. This approach will help ensure your plants have the best chance of survival!

4. Does viburnum like sun or shade?

Viburnums are tough and versatile shrubs, able to thrive in various conditions. Some of these plants love the sun or part shade. Also, other viburnums do well with full shade. But for most viburnums, they flower best when you give them the full sun.
However, you can provide them with light afternoon shade if your area has hot summers. 

What’s Next

We kicked it off with a brief introduction to viburnum. And boy, oh boy, there are 12 different varieties of this beautiful shrub. It’s amazing that it comes in so many shapes and sizes! 

Now you have a dozen new potential additions in any outdoor space. Go for it and see what you pick! 

Are you interested in Viburnums or just shrubs in general? AsterGardening is here to help you get the most out of your garden! 

We have the resources you need for an amazing gardening journey. So don’t let any gardening issue boggle you down. 

Visit our website today for practical solutions that will upgrade your gardening!

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Shaafay Zia

Hi, I'm a fellow green thumb who moonlight's as a writer. Gardening is something that brings me peace and I have been in the sport for many years now. With all of our expertise, we will always bring you the best content which will make you love your garden, even more.