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How to Grow and Care for a Snowball Bush

How to Grow and Care for a Snowball Bush

In search of the reason behind those black spots underneath your Snowball plant? Or why the blooms of your plant are not at par with that of your neighbor? This Gardenerdy article answers your queries about the growth and care of Snowball plants.
Gardenerdy Staff
The Hues of Snow!
The Snowball flowers begin with a green tinge, then turn snow-white, followed by a pink shade before withering.
Before approaching the ideal process of growing and caring for a Snowball bush, it is necessary to understand the plant well, as there is a common misunderstanding about the plant. Often, people tend to confuse between the right kind of this plant, as there are other plants that have been made its namesake. These snowball-like flowers are often confused with the plants of the genus Hydrangea. Both are called snowball bush by commoners. Snowball belongs to the genus Viburnum. The plant is known to be available in three types, viz., Chinese snowball viburnum (Sterile), Japanese snowball viburnum (Popcorn), and European snowball viburnum―popularly known as European cranberry, water elder, and cramp bark.

The plant is a woody shrub that grows up to 6 to 12 feet, and even higher at times. The flowers are seen as clusters of numerous, small star-shaped white flowers. They are ornamental plants, and can lend a beautiful background to your yard. The origin of this plant may be traced back to Europe and Asia. If you are hovered with questions like how to grow a snowball bush in your garden, and how to provide it with utmost care, read the section below to find answers to such similar questions regarding planting, pruning, and growing of this variety of ornamental plants. Please bear in mind that the plant is a low-maintenance plant, and can reward you with picturesque flowers and foliage each year with bare minimum effort.

Growing Requirements

✦ USDA Zone: 3 - 8.
✦ Begin by digging a pit in the soil that is deep.
✦ Water the roots of the plant immediately after planting it. This will make the roots cling to the soil, which will result in desirable growth of the plant.
✦ Add good amounts of humus and mulch to it. The soil should be in a 50:50 ratio of soil and peat moss.
✦ Always choose an area for growing the plant, which is spacious and allows the plant to grow freely, without any hindrance from the sides.
✦ Add some mulch around the planting area, maintaining some distance from the trunk.
✦ Keep up pruning to ensure healthy foliage and adequate blooming.

Tips for Snowball Bush Care and Maintenance

Climate: Snowball bushes grow in a temperate climate.

Season: To get the best results, you can plant them in spring or early winter. Flowers bloom in spring.

Soil: The soil needs to be well-drained and very fertile. The pH balance is not a concern for these woody shrubs. The soil can be acidic or alkaline. The only requirement is moist and well-drained soil.

Water: The water requirement of the plant is high. It is good to water it on a regular basis. Always bear in mind that the plant is moisture-friendly. Therefore, water it as often as 3 - 4 times a week, during the hot summer months.

Temperature: Warm temperature supports the growth of these plants. It grows well at 20°C and above during the summers. During winter, the plant can tolerate cold temperatures of up to about -30°C. It can also tolerate the frost, snow, and turbulent winter winds.

Pruning: The plant spreads wide. Therefore, to keep it neat, it is essential to do the pruning of the plant correctly. Get rid of the woody, old parts of the branches, and allow the growth of the newer ones. After the flowering months, the flowers should be removed quickly. This is to ensure new bud growth in the following year.

Fertilizers: These are essential for all plants. But, these shrubs are hardy. Thus, they don't require excessive fertilizers for optimal growth. In fact, adding too much of fertilizers can result in undesirable decay of the plant. The fertilizer used should be balanced in all nutrients. The best way to fertilize it is during planting and after the blooming period is over.

Keeping Diseases at Bay

Beware of the diseases that attack the snowball. These are:
  • Beetles: These are the small bugs that bug your dear snowball plants! They can be characterized by the small black spots on the twigs and leaves. They can be treated by pruning.
  • Aphids: These are insects, also known as plant lice. Use good pesticides to kill them.
  • Spider mites and caterpillars: You can use soap sprays and detergents to remove them.
  • Scales: These too can be removed by using soap water directly on the affected area.
These plants are excellent ornamental plants and a delight to watch at. They are wonderful to grow as hedges, in yards, near the fountain place, or even work well as border divides.