Viburnums are a joy to grow because they are so trouble-free, and they offer so much. Most bear white flowers in mid or late spring, some of them are very fragrant; these are followed by berries many of which are showy and either red, black, or yellow. In addition, may have colored foliage I fall, some of it quite striking. Moreover, size varies, so select the right one for the site.
Among the best fragrant viburnums is Burkwood viburnum “Viburnum burkwoodii” whose flowers are clusters of 3 inch pinkish-white balls. Fragrant snowball (v. carlcephalum) is the same and normally grows to 9 feet. Korean spice viburnum “V. carlesii” is the most fragrant of all, is only 5 feet tall, and its variety Compacta even smaller. All are hardy to zone 5. Southeerners favor sweet viburnum “V. odoratissimum” which normally grows to 10 feet and is hardy to zone 8.
Well, other attractive viburmums include double-file viburnum (V. plicatum tomentosum) a tall and broadly spreading shrub with wide flowers clusters atop the branches (in the variety “Mariesi” They are very special showy. Linden viburnum “V. dilatatum” has very showy red berries as well as rust-red fall foliage and grows to 9 feet. Both are hardy to zone 5. Moreover, American cranberry bush “V. Irilobum” has flat flower clusters and red berries that are edible.
It is hard to zone 3. Though not particular viburnums appreciate a good, light, moist loam. They are shallow-rooted and appreciate a mulch to keep roots moist and protected in winter. All will tolerate some shade, though full sun produces the best flowers and fruits. Viburnums can be propagated by layering. They rarely need pruning, though old plants can be thinned at the base. Spring blooming species bloom on old wood, so prune the tops only after flowering if needed.