Japanese snowball, spring snow

Viorne de chine Viburnum plicatum

An amazing blooming, beautiful leafage, ornamental fruits… Birds and insects love Japanese snowball. And we do, too!

On top of its amazing flowering, the silhouette of viburnum plicatum is also appealing in itself. The architecture that the staged branches present is extremely rare in the plant world and make this a very distinctive plant. This remarkable shape is highlighted during the blooming thanks to the wide flat umbels or the round corymbs that unfold at that time. This teleports us in mind to Japanese gardens and their cloud-shaped trees.

How to succeed in growing Japanese snowball

Japanese snowballBecause of their extremely thin root system, Japanese Snowball doesn’t cope well with either extreme drought or waterlogged soil. Rich, soft, deep, humus-rich and rather acidic soil produces the best results. Consequently, prepare the soil very diligently when proceeding to plant, and add as much organic matter as you can. That is the key to succeeding.

Plant in fall or at the beginning of spring preferably from a specimen grown in a container and already standing at least 16 inches (40 cm) to 3 feet (1 meter) tall. Japanese snowball appreciates veiled light, and soil that stays cool in summer. Planting it near a tree with small leaves will give it light shade which is perfect. In areas where the sky is often covered, planting in a clear spot is possible. Strong direct sun is not well coped with. As for the climate, the best areas are seaside venues with mild temperatures all year long. In case of strong heat, water abundantly in the evening and even shower the leaves.

Pruning is useless since the plant grows symmetrically and regularly. Simply remove dead wood at summer’s end. In smaller gardens or if you want to grow your specimen in a garden box, you can eventually shorten the branches after the blooming.