The Q&A Archives: Viburnum

Question: Don't know if Viburnum are considered shrub, but anyway...We planted 3 6 foot viburnum, and then had to leave for a 4 day trip. Thought the watering was ok for them but when we returned they were very stressed. 2 plants have lost most of leaves and one looks ok. The 2 that lost the most leaves were in a bit more sun. But they were all dry. Is there any hope that we haven't lost these beauty's completely?

Answer: Wish I could say with confidence that your viburnums will emerge unscathed, but there's really no guarantee. I wouldn't give up hope though. Trees and shrubs can go through some transplanting stress where they sulk and drop leaves and generally look pathetic. When you figure in the lack of water for four days, I think they have a right to look sad. However, you may be able to revive them. Start by building a watering basin beneath each plant by mounding up a few inches of soil in a circle about 12 inches from the main trunk. Fill the basin with water, allow to drain, then fill a second time. Water faithfully once each week in this manner until the weather cools and natural rainfall takes over. Watering in this manner will concentrate the moisture over the root mass and allow it to trickle down and wet the entire root ball. This will drive the roots deeper into the soil and they shouldn't suffer as much stress when the weather warms next spring and summer. Hope your viburnums regain their health!

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