Plants - Perennials

Versatile viburnums

Easy to grow viburnums deserve a place in every garden

Name: CARDINAL CANDY LINDEN VIBURNUM (V. dilatatum 'Henneke') ZONE 4
HxW (m): 2 x 2
Form & Foliage: Abundant small, fragrant, creamy white flowers; dark green, pleated leaves turn russet in fall; excellent four-season display; reliably winter-hardy
Fruit: Persistent, showy, bright red; good yield without needing extra pollinator plants

Name: 'WINTERTHUR' SMOOTH WITHEROD (V. nudum 'Winterthur') ZONE 5
HxW (m): 2 to 4 x 2 to 4
Form & Foliage: Rounded, multi-stemmed, upright shrub; flat-topped clusters of fragrant white blooms; glossy, dark green, deciduous foliage turns maroon in autumn
Fruit: Pink fruit ripens to blue, purple and black; plant in groups for best pollination and fruiting

Name: 'SHASTA' DOUBLEFILE VIBURNUM (V. plicatum forma tomentosum ‘Shasta') ZONE 5
HxW (m): 1.5 to 2 x 3 to 4
Form & Foliage: Horizontally branched shrub; large, showy, flat-topped, white blossoms with large outer sterile flowers and smaller central fertile ones; dark green leaves turn reddish purple in fall; grows in well-drained soil
Fruit: Red fruit matures to black; fruit attracts wildlife

Name: 'ONONDAGA' SARGENT VIBURNUM (V. sargentii 'Onondaga') ZONE 3
HxW (m): 2.5 to 3 x 2 to 3
Form & Foliage: Multi-stemmed, upright shrub; lace-cap-type blooms; white outer sterile flowers and small pinkish, inner fertile ones; deciduous three-lobed leaves open maroon, then turn dark green, followed by red-purple fall colour
Fruit: Red, cranberry-like fruit matures to black; attracts birds

Pests and disease
Although viburnums have few serious insect or disease problems, some species are more susceptible to attacks than others. Here are the most common threats and treatments.
• Powdery mildew: improve air circulation around plant.
• Aphids, which cause twisting and curling of new growth: most susceptible are European highbush cranberry (V. opulus) and snowball viburnum (V. o. 'Roseum'). Wash off pests with strong jet of water.
• Viburnum leaf beetle, which causes defoliation: highly prone is European highbush cranberry; moderately susceptible are wayfaring tree (V. lantana) and rafinesque viburnum (V. rafinesquianum); slightly prone are arrow wood viburnum (V. dentatum) and American highbush cranberry (V. trilobum).

Insects in both adult and larvae stages skeletonize leaves. Consecutive years of severe defoliation can kill shrubs. Olive green adult beetles are about five millimetres long and feed in late summer. Eggs are laid in fall, and overwinter in lines along the undersides of the current season's twigs. The yellow-brown, spotted larvae hatch and begin feeding in May and June. To control, grow less susceptible species or shake off adults onto groundsheets and dump them into a pail of soapy water. Prune out any remaining egg sites in late winter.

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