The Different Kinds of Viburnum Shrubs

Discover how to use viburnum shrubs in the landscape.

By: Julie A Martens

Need a hedge on your property? Consider using viburnum shrubs. Viburnums are versatile in the landscape, and many work well when planted to form a viburnum hedge or screen. The viburnum plants that you might consider for a screen include Viburnum tinus, Viburnum odoratissimum and Viburnum opulus, both the cranberrybush viburnum plants and the snowball bush types.

Planting a viburnum hedge really isn’t difficult. The most important thing is to position viburnum plants to give them adequate room to achieve their mature size. You can place plants tighter together to create a denser viburnum hedge, but don’t be too aggressive or you risk compromising the health of the plants. Crowded plants are more susceptible to viburnum diseases.

Viburnum tinus makes a terrific privacy screen or viburnum hedge because it is densely branched and evergreen. Once it’s in position in the landscape, you have a living screen that fulfills its purpose year-round. A popular variety of this viburnum is Viburnum ‘Lucidum.’ Its blossoms have a stronger fragrance than the straight species, Viburnum tinus. This viburnum shrub flowers in late winter to early spring, kicking off the growing season.

Another terrific viburnum bush for hedging is Viburnum odoratissimum, including the variety Viburnum odoratissimum ‘Awabuki.’ These viburnums are evergreen and densely branched. They also take well to heavy pruning. Typically when planting Viburnum odoratissimum as a hedge, place the viburnums plants 5 feet apart, measuring from the center of each plant. Count on this shrub to form a thick viburnum hedge that can screen out views and noise.

To create an informal viburnum hedge, consider using Viburnum opulus, the cranberrybush viburnums. European cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus) and the American cranberrybush viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) both make wonderful tall, loose screens. Blossoms blanket these shrubs in spring, followed by clusters of bright berries. If you use these plants for a viburnum hedge, you’ll be rewarded with an increased number of birds in your yard.

Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ is sometimes called a snowball bush. This viburnum forms round flower heads on plants that grow to 10 feet tall. Planted in a row, Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ creates a striking hedge that looks beautiful as its white flowers form, open and fade to pink. This is a deciduous viburnum shrub, meaning its leaves drop in autumn. During winter, its screening effect is somewhat reduced, but it still makes a terrific viburnum hedge.

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