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Japanese Snowball Plant

Description of the Japanese Snowball Plant

The Japanese Snowball Plant (Viburnum plicatum) is a ground-cover shrub with masses of rounded, blue-green clusters of flowers in spring and autumn. It has narrow leaves that are slightly five-lobed and light red flower clusters. It grows too high, up to three feet, and spreads with age. The flowers are a deep magenta color with purple tingeing. They have five small, cupped petals with long stems reaching the sky.


This shrub is best adapted for full sunlight in well-drained soil without requiring supplemental water, such as under bridge areas or near streams. It is also grown well in containers that can be potted up into a taller position out of the sun's glare or kept low in hanging baskets, as it will spread on its own without needing pruning. This shrub is at its best when massed in a solid block of color, but it can be kept more compact in various forms.


Japanese Snowball Plant flowers

The flowers are an essential attractor to many insects and birds, who contribute to spreading the seeds around and growing into new shrubs. The shrub is evergreen and deciduous in colder regions. It is a very vigorous grower and spreads quickly by suckers. It can grow easily from cuttings and produces light pink flower clusters around the same size as the flowers on the main plant.

Uses for the Japanese Snowball Plant

There are no specific uses for the shrub outside its use as a landscaping shrub. It is helpful as a barrier and can hide an unsightly area, but it requires cutting to keep it at a desired height and width.

One can plant near streams or a creek bed in full sunlight. It looks best when massed together in large groups but can be maintained at smaller sizes by clipping it at will during the spring or fall months just before new growth begins. It is also quickly done when you remove some suckers that grow around its natural base.

The leaves have the same color and texture as their flower clusters, with a distinct bluish-green hue. It makes it easy to spot while contrasting with the other shrubs around it, so you can easily match your landscape color scheme.

In addition to its use in a landscape, it can be used as a container plant convenient for people who frequently travel. It only cares about soil conditions and roots well from cuttings or seeds planted directly into containers with potting up.