Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

June 20, 2014

THE DIRT ON GARDENING: Viburnums come in a variety of shapes and sizes

There’s a whole world of viburnums.

It’s hard to believe the numerous and varied varieties of viburnums that are available on the market. There are literally hundreds that include different blossom colors, blossom size, blossom fragrance, leaf structure, leaf color, leaf size, leaf shine, berry color, shrub size and on and on.

In other words, a viburnum may not look like what you thought it might because there are so many spin-offs from the parent varieties.

While in the business of selling at the garden center, we encountered this very thing when ordering. Without the help of our nurseryman/salesman I would have been blown away. His guidance in suggesting the most popular varieties as well what each would develop into at maturity, made my job much easier and my clients much happier with the results.

Much depends on what you want to use each shrub for, for exampled, a tall but narrow foundation planting to give height and width where you want it, a statement as a single focal point in your yard, or maybe a dwarf compact variety to plant outside your entrance door or a utility door. It is common to use these dwarf varieties in this manner to waft the fragrance of the blossoms around and into the home.

By far the most common variety which is a member of the genus viburnum and used commonly in landscapes is the species Carlesii, or most often called Korean spice viburnum (my favorite). It is a bushy deciduous shrub with oval leaves which are copper colored when young turning green through the summer months and then a rusty red/maroon in the fall. Red berries form after blossoms fade turning to black later in the season. They will reach heights of 5 to 7 feet and widths of 4 to 5 feet but may be contained to 4 feet with moderate pruning after blossoming. Avoid late winter pruning in order to obtain maximum blossoming in early spring.

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