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Varieties Of Snowball Viburnum Shrubs

Updated on February 5, 2016

If you have ever seen a Snowball Viburnum shrub in full bloom, I am almost sure you would love to have one such plant in your yard. They are such beautiful shrubs which can make any garden truly beautiful.

Snowball Viburnums shrubs produce clusters of beautiful white flowers that just resemble actual snowballs. They are either the Chinese Snowball bushes or cultivars of other viburnum species that belong to the family of Adoxaceae.

These shrubs have large white flower balls or clusters that comprises beautiful small white and flaky flowers.

It is actually very common to get confused between the varieties within the snowball viburnum plants, and sometimes they can also be confused with hydrangea flowers since the flowers appear to be too similar if you look from a distance.

There are varieties within the Snowball Viburnum bushes, namely the Chinese snowball viburnums, the European snowball viburnums and the Japanese Snowball Viburnums.

They all produce clusters of small white flowers which look like cute snow balls.

Snowball bushes are hardy enough to survive winters even though the leaves will fall off during the winter season. New growths will appear in the branches during early spring and flowering happens throughout the spring season.

It is apparent that there have been new cultivars within the Snowball Viburnum shrubs, but here you can read about the most popular ones.

Snowball viburnum bush in full bloom
Snowball viburnum bush in full bloom | Source

Chinese Snowball Viburnums or Viburnum Macrocephalums

These are shrubs that can reach about 10 to 20 feet in height and they can produce flower clusters of 4 to 8 inch diameters all through the spring season.

You can easily grow them in US zones 5 through 7. The blooms can be expected in April and when the flowers emerge they appear to be in light green colour which gradually turns to pure white.

Once the shrubs are established and started blooming, you can see a fully bloomed plant in your yard every spring!

The picture you see above is that of a Chinese Snowball Viburnum bush in full bloom.

The original Chinese snowball viburnums produce showy fruits once the flowers are over, but today there are also cultivars that produce sterile flowers.

Japanese Snowball Viburnum Bushes or Cultivars Of Viburnum Plicatums

Another variety within the snowball viburnums, they too are suitable to be in grown in U S zones of 5 through 7. They are usually smaller shrubs than the Chinese viburnums,as their maximum height can be only about 15 feet.

Japanese snowball bushes are actually popular cultivars of Viburnum Plicatums, which originally produced small white flowers in flat corymbs with a yellow clustered centre. The flowers of the cultivar are sterile, and so they do not produce any fruits.

Japanese snowball viburnums usually bloom during the month of May and the flowers, that turn from light green colour to pure white, are little smaller than the Chinese snowballs. But if you have a smaller garden, they are more suitable for planting as they have smaller sized shrubs that blooms fully during the spring.

The first image shown below is that of a Viburnum Plicatum plant with flowers, and the second image shows the Japanese Snowball Viburnum shrubs which are cultivars of Viburnum Plicatum.

Viburnum Plicatum flowers in plant
Viburnum Plicatum flowers in plant | Source
Japanese Snowballs
Japanese Snowballs | Source

European Snowball Viburnum Bushes or Viburnum Opulus Roseum

The European snowball bushes are also known as the common snowball viburnum bushes, and the scientific name for the plants that produce snowballs like white flower clusters is Viburnum Opulus Roseum. This is a popular cultivar of the Viburnum Opulus plants.

They can be grown in U.S zones 3 through 8 and they usually reach a height of about 12 feet.

Even though the real viburnum opulus plants produce red berries, this cultivar is sterile and so the flowers produce no fruits. These flowers are particularly suitable for flower arrangements.

European Snowball Viburnum flowers or Viburnum Opulus flowers
European Snowball Viburnum flowers or Viburnum Opulus flowers | Source

Have you ever seen Snowball Viburnum plants and flowers?

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Growing and Caring for the Snowball Viburnum bushes is easy!

It is very easy to grow and care for the snowball bushes, if you plant them in the appropriate U.S hardiness zones as mentioned above. Choose a healthy new plant from the market, or you can also try growing from stem cuttings that are about 4 to 6 inches in length.

You can plant them in well drained soil, just make sure to choose a place in your garden where the bushes can spread the branches easily and also where the bushes get direct sunlight or at least partial sunlight to help produce maximum blooms.

Regular watering is needed till the plant is well established.

Pruning or mulching is not necessary, but you can do if you wish to. In fact, mulching can protect the roots in winter. Pruning is needed only if there is any damage to the branches.

Snowball bushes are believed to be rarely affected by any disease, so you don't have to worry much once they are grown.

The snowball bushes produce flowers only during the spring season. But the leaves colour change from green to yellow and then orange and red in fall season, which make them truly beautiful during the fall time too!


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    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks DDE!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Gorgeous indeed! Interesting, informative and so useful.

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Chicago

      Hi FlourishAnyway, thanks so much for reading. I hope you will have them grow in your garden and have a beautiful bloom in spring :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      I've never heard of them before and now I want one, as I have the perfect spot. Thanks for the introduction. They are beautiful.

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks so much for reading AliciaC :) I am so glad to know that this hub made you know about the beautiful snowball shrubs!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      These are beautiful plants. The flowers really do look like snowballs from a distance! Thanks for introducing me to this lovely shrub, which I've never heard of before.

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Faith Reaper, thanks so much for stopping by :) Yes, they are easy to grow shrubs, maybe you should give a try since you love them. Again, thanks so much for the tweet and pin!

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Chicago

      Hi RTalloni, thanks so much for sharing your experience on growing the European snowball bushes! It is really a great tip that you can try growing the roots quickly by putting the stems in a cup of water. This might help those who have difficulty growing the shrubs from stem cuttings. They are such beautiful plants, I am so glad that you could grow several plants over the years. I can imagine how beautiful your garden is with all the snowball bushes, next to the hydrangea. Thanks so much for reading and commenting :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, I love these snowball bushes. I have seen them here in the deep South and have wanted to plant some. I am glad to know they are easy to grow. They are spectacular plants!

      Voted up ++++ tweeting and pinning

    • RTalloni profile image


      4 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for this look at various snowball bushes. From what I can tell mine is a European variety, but the story of how I now have this huge bush growing and producing beautiful blooms makes me smile to this day. It began late one spring with a visit to an elderly aunt's house 3 states away where I obtained 2 4" slivers of tender green shoots with tiny leaves at the end. I put them in a cup of water for the drive home, then let them make roots for the next 6 weeks. Then I planted them in pots which they outgrew quickly. After going in the ground and making it through a couple of years, I've gotten several other plants from this bush and am looking forward to many more from it. It is in a location that will allow it to grow to its full potential beside an old fashioned hydrangea. They will be viewable from a carport we are planning so I will be smiling even more. :)


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