Snowball Tree

Facts About Growing a Snowball Tree

The Snowball tree is known to botanists as Viburnum opulus and is a relative of the honeysuckle. These shrubs are gorgeous and prove to be an excellent addition to your landscape, especially for those living in the southern region of the United States. The Snowball tree is native to Japan, as well as other parts of Asia. Throughout this article we will explore the plant’s characteristics in detail focusing on assisting you with successful growth of this spring shrub.


This beautiful plant is known for the white flowers it produces that form in clusters. These clusters of flowers look like Snowballs, which is where the tree gets its common name. In terms of height, the plant can grow anywhere from ten to twelve feet tall, on average. It is recommended that you plant the shrub at least twelve feet away from other trees and objects to allow it sufficient room for growth. Generally the snowball tree grows best in hardiness zones between five and eight, inclusively. The blooms are white in color and tend to appear during the middle of the spring season.

The foliage of this tree actually has the structure of maple leaves and tends to be relatively long. During the summer months they are a gorgeous shade of green, but these leaves actually turn a lilac or a light hint of purple during the autumn months. Furthermore, berries are produced that are frequently consumed by birds of all types.

When planting this tree, be sure to allow the plant to have access to a large amount of sun, but partial shading is highly recommended. It prefers soil that is acidic or neutral, but make sure to avoid all levels of alkaline in order to foster successful growth. The soil needs to be well drained and relatively moist. Be sure to prune this plant and remove the weak branches after flowering. It is also recommended that you use mulch without allowing it to touch the base of the plant.

After finding a location and obtaining mulch, as with most plants, dig a hole that is two times the size of the roots. Be prepared to more than adequately water the newly planted roots and mulch immediately following, approximately two times a week. Be sure to keep the soil relatively moist. Aside from this, the Snowball tree is very low in terms of maintenance. In terms of pests, you should not have many problems out of this plant.

The biggest downfall with this tree is the lack of ability for it to grow in areas that tend to be relatively cold, like the northern area of the United States. They enjoy the heat, but prefer to have shade to the extremely intense afternoon sun in most places throughout the south.

If you wish to add one of these trees to your landscape, you should be able to obtain them from your local nursery. The ideal time for planting is after the last frost of the year. Be sure to pick a plant that appears extremely healthy for best results in growing.

In conclusion, these trees make a great addition to any yard that proves to remain relatively warm in terms of temperature. Not only do you get beautiful clusters of white, fragrant flowers during the blooming season, but the fall brings a red to purple foliage that is like no other. This plant proves to be gorgeous from the last frost until the beginning of winter. Make sure to plant it where it is visible to get the most out of your new oriental shrub. Stop by your local nursery to pick up a Snowball tree that is ready to be planted after the first frost of the year.