Viburnum, vigorous and hardy, should be on every list of the top shrubs for hedges. All viburnum shrubs are easy care, and some have fragrant spring flowers. Creating a viburnum hedge isn’t very difficult. If you want to know how to grow a viburnum hedge, read on.
How to Grow a Viburnum Hedge
Planning a viburnum hedge comes before planting one. Taking the time to assess your needs and landscape situation now will save you problems later. Lots of types of viburnum are available in commerce, many that are perfect for someone planting a viburnum hedge. Before you choose among the varieties, figure out the basics. You need to decide how tall and how deep you want the hedge. You also need to know your own hardiness zone to be sure that your shrubs fit well with the climate, your soil type and whether the hedge will have a sunny, shady or mixed exposure. When you are creating a viburnum hedge for a sunny area, you need to consider different types of plants. Here are some types of viburnum that could work well:
- Look at the variety V. odoratissimum if your hedge will be in direct sun. Its white flowers appear in spring and have a sweet and beautiful fragrance.
- If your hedge site will be in shade, the variety V. suspensum is one for your short list.
- If you want a very tall hedge, consider Aawabuki viburnum, also called "Mirror-Leaf." Yes, its leaves are very shiny, and the shrubs are tall, perfect for a 10-foot (3 m.) privacy hedge.
Find out the mature width of the viburnum variety you select. You need this to figure out viburnum hedge spacing. Divide the mature width by two and plant your viburnum shrubs that distance apart.
- For example, if your variety gets 8 feet (2+ m.) wide, half of that is 4 feet (1 m.). Be sure not to plant the viburnum any closer than 4 feet (1 m.) apart. If you use this figure for viburnum hedge spacing, you will end up with a thick, dense hedge.
- For an airier hedge, increase the distance between shrubs to 75% of their mature spread. This type of viburnum hedge spacing will create a lovely, open hedge.
Viburnum Hedge Care
Planting a viburnum hedge is best undertaken in fall, although spring is a close second. Work in organic peat moss as well as composted cow manure to the soil before you begin. Alternatively, add them to each hole when you plant. Viburnum hedge care often involves regular trimming. The more manicured you want the hedge to look, the more often you should prune. If you decide to prune the hedge severely, do it in springtime after the shrubs flower.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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