Container Grown Viburnums: Caring For Potted Viburnum Shrubs

potted-dwarf-viburnum
Image by F. D. Richards

By Liz Baessler

Viburnum is a versatile shrub that is very popular in hedges and borders. Depending on the variety, it is usually evergreen and often changes color in the fall, and it produces brightly colored berries that often last through the winter. Best of all, in the spring it is completely overrun with highly fragrant tiny flowers. It is really a plant for all seasons that never fails to disappoint. But can you grow viburnum plants in pots? Keep reading to learn more about growing viburnum in containers and caring for potted viburnum shrubs.

Container Grown Viburnums

Are container grown viburnums feasible? Yes, as long as you know what you’re getting into. Viburnums are sometimes called large shrubs and sometimes called small trees. In fact, some varieties can grow up to 30 feet in height, which is awfully big for a container plant.

When growing viburnum in containers, it’s best to pick a small variety that will be more manageable.

  • Mapleleaf viburnum is a good choice, as it grows slowly and usually tops out at 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.
  • The David viburnum stays at 3 to 5 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide.
  • The compactum cultivar of the European cranberry bush is especially small, growing extremely slow and reaching only 2 feet high and 3 feet wide over the course of 10 years.

How to Care for Container Grown Viburnums

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Pick the largest container you can manage. No matter the size of your container grown viburnums, however, caring for potted viburnum shrubs will still require well-drained, fertile soil.

Additionally, viburnums grow best in full sun. That said, these shrubs can tolerate some shade.

Although in-ground plants are somewhat tolerant of drought, container grown plants require more irrigation, especially when it’s hot. In fact, you may need to water the plants once a day, if not twice, when temps rise above 85 degrees F. (29 C.). Check the soil prior to watering to ensure they’re not receiving too much.

You can help to maintain the size of viburnum plants in pots by pruning moderately in early spring.

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