Viburnum Problems: Why Won’t My Viburnum Bush Flower

Viburnum Problems: Why Won’t My Viburnum Bush Flower

By: Kristi Waterworth

Their many shapes and sizes make viburnum shrubs ideal for practically any landscape, either as specimen plants or to add a little privacy. These lovely plants produce a riot of color in the fall, as well as berries and amazing blooms, giving them a lot of interest during the growing season and beyond. Non-flowering viburnums can be a huge disappointment, especially if your plant is well-established. Getting a viburnum shrub to bloom isn’t rocket science, but it does require that you pay close attention to placement, care, and pruning.

Why Won’t My Viburnum Bush Flower?

Viburnum problems are few and far between, but one of the most perplexing issues growers of this shrub face is a lack of blooms. If this is the first year you’re growing a viburnum or you moved and found a viburnum in the new landscape, it may be that the bush is simply spent already. Most viburnum species only bloom for a few short weeks in the early summer and young viburnums almost always require a few years to establish their root systems before presenting their colorful display.

Your mature viburnum needs full sun to bloom at its best and well-draining, acidic soil. Too much nitrogen in the soil, or added as a fertilizer, will encourage your bush to put out a lot of lush, vegetative growth instead of putting energy into forming blooms. Viburnums near fertilized lawns may be soaking up excess nitrogen fertilizer from run-off – carefully fertilizing your lawn will both save you money and encourage your viburnum to bloom once most of the nitrogen in the soil is used up.

Another common cause for non-flowering viburnums is improper pruning. Viburnum shrubs are one of the many ornamental shrubs that blooms on old wood, so waiting until after blooming to prune is recommended. Trimming them during dormancy will result in the loss of all or many of the flower-producing buds. At the end of each bloom season, it’s a good idea to give your viburnum a quick clip to encourage new growth and thin out the interior, removing any old canes that are no longer producing leaves.

Now that you know some of the most common reasons for viburnums not blooming, you’ll be better able to manage this problem in the future.

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Summer Snowflake Viburnum

Summer snowflake is a beautiful long-flowering, medium-size shrub with a broadly rounded form. The tiered horizontal branches magnificently display the showy white flower clusters. The blooms for this variety bear a lot of white lacy capped blooms. These blooms start in mid-spring and continuing throughout the summer season. It also features highly ornamental red fruit that develops in the fall. A great addition to borders and work wonderfully as privacy screens.

Summer Snowflake Care:
Light:
Partial to Full Sun
Watering: Water regularly – weekly or more often in extreme heat
Soil: Average well drained soil. Does not tolerate chalky or alkaline soils.
Landscape Uses: Borders, Cutting Garden, Privacy Screen


Those who grow viburnum say one of their charms is that you really don’t have to prune them. If you do prune, don’t do it early in the year so that you won’t eliminate buds that will turn into blossoms. Don’t prune until after the viburnum blooms. When you prune, eliminate branches that had blossoms. That will encourage the plant to produce more.

  • Some plants need to achieve a certain level of maturity in order to produce blossoms.
  • If you do prune, don’t do it early in the year so that you won’t eliminate buds that will turn into blossoms.

Dip the tip and wounded leaf nodes in rooting hormone powder, if desired, to encourage root formation. Rooting hormone is not necessary, but it may improve your chances of success. Never dip the cutting in the rooting hormone container. Instead, shake a small amount of rooting hormone into a disposable bowl or a coffee filter. Tap the cutting gently to knock off excess rooting hormone.

Fill a seedling flat with well-drained potting mix, such as a mix containing about 60 percent sand or perlite and 40 percent sphagnum peat. Choose a flat with drainage holes. Drainage is especially important for starting cuttings because soils that hold moisture often cause the cutting to rot before roots develop.


Watch the video: Viburnum tour