Massive Snow-White Blooms and a Handsome Privacy Screen
A show-stopper in early summer, Chinese Snowball Viburnum shrub and its grapefruit-sized flower blooms make an excellent statement piece in your yard and provide cut flowers for your home.
Viburnum macrocephalum 'Chinese Snowball' is a perennial shrub native to China. Named for their substantial white flowers, they are sometimes mistaken for hydrangeas. You may also hear it called Chinese Snowball, Snowball bush, or Chinese Snowball Viburnum.
Viburnum Snowball bush has a round shape up top and a narrow base, giving it a classical vase shape. Foliage is dark green in the summer and can be semi-evergreen in the south.
Late spring flowers are large ball-shaped inflorescences, sometimes 7-8 inches across. They open lime-green and then change to bright white. The attractive green foliage is an excellent backdrop for flowering plants and bushes all summer. In fall, the snowball viburnum leaves will turn yellow for a brief time before dropping off. The color changes give it excellent fall color features!
Chinese Snowball Viburnum is stunning as a solo shrub in the yard, but they are also an excellent privacy screen. Their large size makes them valuable to block unsightly views of neighboring houses or properties. They can provide the illusion of separation between outdoor spaces.
A planting of several Chinese Snowball Viburnum in the front yard can screen the house from the street while adding a classical, old-world look.
Planting these flowering shrubs along an existing privacy fence can extend the height of the blocked view without sacrificing a lot of space down at the ground level. With a growth rate of 1-2 feet per year, a hedge of closely-spaced Chinese Snowball Viburnum will quickly begin to provide privacy and a wall of brilliant white blooms in late spring and early summer.
Use a pair of Chinese Snowball shrubs to define your property edge without a fence, separate the front and back yard, or fill your front yard with stunning displays of enormous white blooms every year. Your 'Chinese Snowball' will be the envy of the neighborhood.
Chinese Snowball Care
Chinese Snowball Viburnum are hardy in USDA zone 6 to about zone 9. You may be able to plant them in zone 5 in a protected location sheltered from harsh winter winds.
Plant your V. macrocephalum 'Chinese Snowball' in full sun to partial shade. It will be happy with at least 4 hours of sun per day.
Tolerant to most soils, the Chinese Snowball Viburnum does need well-drained soil. Wet soils with poor drainage are problematic. It likes soil on the acidic side, preferring soil with a pH of 6.0 or lower.
If you want to plant it in a wetter area, make a large berm of soil at least 12 inches high and two feet across, and grow in the raised bed.
Chinese Snowball Viburnum Growth Rate & Mature Size
Fragrant Snowball Viburnum shrubs will reach 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It will be smaller in the northern portion of its hardiness range.
Once a year, after blooming, give your Chinese Viburnum Snowball a quick prune to remove dead wood and broken branches.
Cut some of the older, less vigorous stems down to the ground level to encourage new lush growth as it ages.
Longer 'stray' branches can be pruned to keep the shrub shape more orderly and less wild if desired.
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Full Sun / Partial Shade
Growing Zones 6, 7, 8, 9