Viburnum Sterile

Viburnum 'Sterile'

Butterflies Love this Heat- and Drought-Tolerant Shrub!

Item # 36277

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Once this easy-care, profusely flowering shrub makes itself at home in your border or foundation, you'll wonder how you ever got by without it. Chinese Snowball Shrub -- a species of Viburnum -- is a lovely choice for a hedge, privacy screen, or sunny to partly shaded border standout. It offers a longer and more profuse season of blooms than any other, with no messy fruits to clean up. Find a place of honor for it this season!

This vase-shaped shrub is densely clothed in dark green foliage, toothy and somewhat small at 2 to 4 inches long. Naturally symmetrical, it forms a beautiful silhouette, so that even a solo planting is attractive. But its best use is in groups, where the power of its blooming beauty can be seen in full force!

Beginning in late spring and continuing into summer, lime-green bloom clusters fully 5 to 8 inches wide open up all over this shrub. They're as big as Hydrangea blooms, and every bit as beautiful, made up of dozens of 1½-inch florets. The flowers keep their lime tones only a few weeks, turning cream and then white. For much of the season you can see both colors (and many in-between shades) at once on the shrub!

Chinese Snowball concentrates all its energy into flowers because it's sterile -- there are no fruits to follow the blooms, so new buds just keep setting all season. This makes it a far more appealing garden choice for busy folks like us, who don't want to be bothered raking up messy fruits at the end of the season.

Expect this shrub to reach 6 to 10 feet high and wide in most climates. In the southern and western edges on its hardiness range it may get even taller and wider, but wherever you live, you can keep it trimmed to just the size you want. Cut it back after flowering; it blooms on both old and new wood, so you'll want to prune it promptly to give new growth a time to bud before winter.

Chinese Snowball is deciduous in northern and temperate climates, semi-evergreen in the deep south and far west. It is very densely branched, with excellent resistance to bacterial leaf spot and powdery mildew, which can bother other Viburnums. It is also superbly tolerant of adversity, from heat and humidity to drought and poor soil. So easy, so carefree, so long-lived! Make this colorful shrub part of your permanent landscape this season. Zones 6-9.