How to Prune a Leatherleaf Viburnum


According to Backyard Landscape Ideas, the growth rate of a leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum, USDA plant hardiness zones 6-9) is medium-fast and averages around 6 feet each year. Although that is a respectable rate, by the time they are mature, they will only reach between six and ten feet tall and broad. These evergreen shrubs with a gritty texture work well in mixed borders and small groups. You may trim them to maintain them in good shape and ensure that they remain healthy.

Caring for Viburnum

According to HGTV, viburnums, depending on the type and the manner in which they are trimmed, may be cultivated either as shrubs or as tiny trees. The leatherleaf is the only evergreen in the group; the other members are either semievergreen or deciduous. They do best in soils that are both rich and well-drained, and the best time to plant them is either the spring or the autumn. For the majority of flowers and berries, you’ll want to choose a place that gets plenty of direct sunlight; but, there are some species that may thrive in partial shade. After planting your viburnum, mulch the area around it to help keep the soil wet; since viburnums are such resilient bushes, they only need supplemental watering when there is less than an inch of rainfall per week.

When necessary, Plant Addicts suggests doing severe pruning on viburnum in the late winter or early spring. However, light trims or the removal of suckers at the base of the plant may be done at any time throughout the growth season. If you want your viburnum bushes to have flowers, you shouldn’t trim them until much later in the year. To do a severe pruning on the viburnum, cut it back all the way to the ground, retaining just the stems that are in the healthiest condition while discarding the weaker ones.

If you wish to control the size and form of the shrub, trim it back so that it is just above its nodes. This will stimulate it to send out new shoots. If you like, you may pinch off the side shoots to keep the shape. By removing dead or diseased branches and those that are too close together, you may thin down the bush. Once every year, you may safely prune your viburnum by cutting off a third of its height without causing any damage to the plant.

Is Viburnum Rhytidophyllum Invasive?

The Leatherleaf Viburnum does not appear on any of the state or national invasive species lists, as stated by the Invasive Plant Atlas. In spite of the fact that it may not be an invasive species, you should still be concerned that it will take over your garden even if it isn’t one. It is also useful to be aware that leatherleaf viburnum is resistant to deer; the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station identifies it as a plant that is seldom severely damaged by deer. This is useful information to have. These bushes not only produce flowers and fruit, but they also tend to attract butterflies, so if you are a fan of those winged creatures, you are in luck.

According to an article published in Fine Gardening, the leatherleaf viburnum has an upright growth habit and has leaves that are oval in shape, strongly veined, and dark bluish-green on the top and light green on the bottom. Flowers with a delicately sweet aroma and a creamy white colour develop in clusters on this plant, and in June, blue berries begin to form on the plant. Those continue to put in weight until September, at which point they become a glossy black.

Leatherleaf Viburnum Varieties

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the majority of leatherleaf viburnum types favour full sun over partial shade and are resistant to diseases as well as pests. The genus Viburnum comprises around 150 to 175 distinct leatherleaf viburnum variations. The Wayfaringtree viburnum, also known as Viburnum lantana ‘Mohican’ and growing in zones 4-8, is distinguished by its dark green, leathery, thick ovate leaves; its clusters of tiny, white flowers; and its fruits. This particular species has the potential to grow to a height of 5 metres. Witherod viburnum, also known as Viburnum cassinoides and growing in zones 3-8, has blooms that are a creamy white colour and is smaller overall.

Cree viburnum, also known as Viburnum rhytidophyllum ‘Cree,’ may be grown in zones 5-7 and is characterised by the NC State Extension as a multistemmed, compact, erect, and thick shrub with a more gradual pace of development. It produces clusters of blooms, which are then followed by red fruit that eventually turns black in the autumn and winter. The Korean spice viburnum, also known as Viburnum carlesii, is only able to grow between 4 and 6 feet tall and between 4 and 7 feet broad on average. The lovely blooms of this plant begin as red buds, progress from pink to white, and finally develop in clusters that resemble snowballs.