The Q&A Archives: Culture of Viburnum

Question: We just purchased three beautiful Viburnum bushes. I learned from your website that they have very fragrant (gardenia like) flowers. Can you please give me any information on this bush: planting area, fertilizer and maintenance.

Answer: There are several Viburnums which will grow well in your Georgia landscape. Since you didn't mention which species you have I'll give some general recommendations which should help you care for your plants.

Most viburnums do best in a moist, but adequately drained soil, high in organic matter content. Mixing composted bark into the soil in the planting site is a good idea. Most love full sun to partial shade. If you can choose a spot with afternoon shade or in the dappled shade under tall pines, this should be ideal.

Make sure and water your plants well after planting and weekly through the first summer. Just don't overdo it, as soggy soil is bad for most viburnums. Fertilize them with a complete fertilizer at a rate of 1/4 cup per 25 square feet of bed area, beginning two months after planting and again two months later. Next year apply fertilizer in early spring and again 2 and 4 months later.

Viburnums need little pruning. Some light shaping is a good idea, and usually best done after blooming in spring. This gives the plant time to respond with new growth and set flower buds for next year. If you prune in winter, you will be removing the flower buds for spring.

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