Viburnum rhytidophyllum

One of the most unusual looking of the Chinese shrubs introduced by those adventurous Victorian plant hunters. Hardy, reliable and easy but it does need the right place. Too windy and the leaves get battered and tatty, too shady and the plant loses its shape. They respond well to Creative Maintenance – shaping the top and raising the skirts to expose their shapely branch work.

After flowering in early summer, they produce masses of little blue berries in June.

You’ll occasionally see these in parks and gardens up to 20ft tall but these would be many years old. 10ft after 15 years would be reasonable. Any reasonably well drained soil in an open spot sheltered from strong winds.

Propagated from cuttings.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

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