Plant of the Week - August 16, 2012 Viburnum


With a very distinctive look, viburnum can make a gorgeous addition to your garden.  They are a delightful little shrub that gives spectacular flowers in the spring followed by little berries about a month or so after.  These berry clusters are visually stunning and provide vibrant detail for winter interest while also attracting birds.

These deciduous shrubs can give your landscape design a very layered and textured effect.  They make a great understory plant to live below larger trees if you are in a hotter, dryer area because bright shade (sun filtering through the leaves) is also enough and giving them protection from the hot afternoon sun can be ideal; even though they can handle a lot of heat.

Some varieties are extremely fragrant and most of the viburnums are deer tolerant.  All of Bylands viburnums are raised to be Canadian cold hardy and easy to maintain.  Viburnums can handle very aggressive pruning if required.  Because this shrub is determinate you should wait to prune it back until after the flower has bloomed but before the next seed heads form.  Timing is not crucial if you aren’t concerned about missing next year’s blooms but it would be a shame to be bloomless for too long.

In terms of soil, viburnums are pretty tolerant of different types soils, even heavy clay soils.  Always be sure to check with your local garden center professional to see what works best in your area but see if you can find a way to add this to your garden because it is something else.

Bailey Compact is the old faithful variety and Snowball is really nice when blooming.  Redwing is a newer variety that is bullet proof tough, disease resistant and native to North America.  It’s also more upright growing then some of the others.  The Compact and Dwarf European are good for smaller spaces.  See more detail of the Bylands viburnum by clicking on the names below.

Snowball Viburnum
Very popular flowering shrub with a profusion of white flowers in spring that appear like large snowballs. Deeply lobed green foliage throughout the summer. Sure to be a highlight in any landscape border, background or Mass Planting. A good cut flower.

Bailey Compact American Cranberry
Compact upright shrub with emerging burgundy tinged leaves that mature to very attractive green lobed foliage in summer that turns deep red in fall. Flowers and fruit are showy but not produced yearly. Versatile in Container, as hedging and in the border.

Redwing™ American Cranberry
J.N. Select has showy red foliage and neat dense habit. White flower clusters appear mid to late May and are extremely handsome. Clusters of small, bright red fruits remain colourful all winter. The lush, dark green leaves turn a bright red color in the fall.

Wentworth American Highbush Cranberry
Upright shrub with a heavy fruity tasting cranberry. Large fruit is good for making jelly. Attractive deeply three lobed green foliage turns deep red in fall. Flat white clusters of flowers in spring. Good background for the border or in Mass Planting.

Dwarf European Cranberry
Dwarf dense rounded shrub with attractive deeply lobed glossy green foliage in summer, turning purplish in fall. Rarely flowers but the form makes it a useful plant for the border, foundation or in Mass Planting. Makes an excellent small hedge.

Compact European Cranberry
Compact rounded shrub with white clustered flowers in early spring. Showy red berries hold on through the winter and attract birds. Attractive glossy green deeply lobed foliage all season and into fall. Good for the border or in Mass Planting.

Upright vase shaped deciduous shrub with flat-topped clusters of white flowers followed by bluish-black fruit that attract birds. Shiny green foliage turns purplish-red in fall. Excellent background in the border. 

Mohican Wayfaring Tree
Compact globe shaped shrub with leathery gray-green foliage in summer turning purplish-red in fall. Large flat topped creamy-white flower clusters in spring. Reddish-black berries in fall. Great background plant for the border or as an informal hedge.