What is guelder rose and what does it look like?
Guelder rose, or Viburnum opulus is a plant from the adoxaceae family of shrubs. In its natural conditions, this plant grows in Asia Minor and Europe. Because of its flowers and fruits, it’s a popular ornamental shrub grown in home gardens – especially large ones.
If you decide to grow guelder rose in your yard, remember it’s a big shrub which grows quite extensively, plus it’s wide and lush. Without a gardener’s control, the plant can grow up to 6 meters (ca. 20 ft) tall.
The shrub is covered with many green leaves of serrated edges. Their upper surface is smooth and a bit shiny, while the bottom is slightly fuzzy. The leaves turn scarlet in fall. During its blooming season, the plant gets covered with a lot of tiny white flowers. They form balls, hence another name of the shrub – snowball tree. After blooming, they are replaced by characteristic fruits looking like tiny red beads.
Guelder rose – the most popular varieties
When picking a perfect garden decoration, make sure to choose a plant that amazes with its looks not only in spring and summer, but also in fall. Viburnum opulus is perfect for this purpose. This plant has many popular varieties. Here are the most interesting ones:
- Compactum, a dwarf variety that grows up to 1 meter (3.28 ft) tall, its leaves have a characteristic orange-red color in fall,
- Roseum – it’s valued for its flowers shaped like balls, that’s why it’s known as the snowball viburnum, it grows up to 4 meters (ca. 13 ft),
- Park Harvest – the leaves are yellow, and the whole bush grows maximally 4 meters,
- Nanum – a dwarf variety of a round habit, it rarely blooms, and grows up to 0.5 meters (1.64 ft).
Guelder rose – picking a location
Guelder rose is an ornamental shrub of a relatively low difficulty level. For this reason, it’s recommended to every gardener, regardless of one’s gardening skill. Picking the right location is the most difficult part of growing this plant. Sunny places are the best option. The soil should be rich in humus – make sure it’s also moist enough. The exact pH of the soil should be acidic or neutral. The plant is frost-resistant, thanks to which you don’t have to worry about damage from cold – but it doesn’t like droughts. Make sure to water the plant regularly, especially in summer, when temperatures are high.
Are guelder rose berries poisonous?
The characteristic fruits are poisonous when raw. If you decide to grow this shrub in your garden, pay attention to children. The colorful balls look very encouraging. Sometimes, even a moment of distraction might lead to a tragedy. After processing – in cold temperature, and preparation, they can be used in various preserves.
When to plant Viburnum opulus?
The best time for planting a guelder rose is spring or fall. The place where the plant is going to grow, has to be cleaned from any weeds, and then aerated – sometimes, lawn dethatching is also required.
The hole should be 30-70 cm (12-28 in) deep and 40-70 cm (16-28 in) wide, depending on the shrub’s size. They are available in the form of small seedlings and large, few years old bushes.
Snowball bush care – does guelder rose need trimming?
Viburnum opulus doesn’t require regular trimming. But occasional cutting to form the plant into a particular shape is recommended. Also, remember about sanitary pruning, that is, removing damaged and dead branches. Thanks to this, you can protect the plant from withering.
Plan rejuvenating cuts for July and August. Trim the branches 30 cm (12 in) above ground.
Guelder rose – watering and fertilizing
Snowball viburnum doesn’t tolerate droughts. Planting it in a sunny spot promotes rich blooming, but determines the necessity of regular and frequent watering. Make sure the soil in which the bush grows never gets quite dry. But avoid extremities in which the ground of the guelder rose is always wet, as it’s equally harmful to the plant, and might cause fungal diseases.
You can also enrich the guelder rose using fertilizers that support blooming. Use mixes with a dose of phosphorus and potassium. You can purchase a suitable product in any gardening store.
Guelder rose – propagation
Guelder rose is quite easy to propagate. You can use seedlings, seeds, cuttings, or layering. Using seeds or cuttings (both green and lignified), is the easiest way to propagate this shrub.
If you decide on seeds, plant them in a container, burying them under at least 2-centimeter (0.79 in) layer of soil. When the seedlings grow enough, they can be planted in the garden.
Is guelder rose prone to any diseases?
Guelder rose is rarely attacked by any diseases. Fungal diseases such as leaf blotch are the most common ones. The fungus attacks the leaves of the plant. If you want to get rid of it, remove all the affected elements of the shrub. Also, use antifungal sprays.
Guelder rose – is it vulnerable to pests?
Viburnum opulus, just like many other garden plants, is most commonly attacked by aphids. But they are quite easy to fight off. They can be removed using a product purchased in a garden store or natural solution based on onions and garlic. What’s more, you can also use certain preventive measures. Spraying your guelder rose with water mixed with soap flakes repel aphids from guelder rose.
📍 Why won't my guelder rose bloom?
Guelder rose is a well-growing garden plant which can grow both in sunlight and shade. If there is too much shadow in the location, blooming might be very limited, or, in extreme cases, completely blocked. To prevent this, think well about the right spot for your guelder rose before you decide to plant it.
📍 When does guelder rose develop flowers?
Guelder rose decorates home gardens between May and June. That's when you should expect beautiful flowers. But the bloom time might get delayed – if the temperatures are low for a long time, and there are still frosts in April.
📍 How to plant a guelder rose?
Planting a guelder rose is not a complicated process. But you have to prepare the spot where the shrub is going to grow. It should be free from weeds, and the hole has to be deep and wide enough.
📍 How fast does a guelder rose grow?
Viburnum opulus grow quite fast. The growth rate might be even 40 cm per year. For this reason, remember about spacing, Each plant should be planted 50-60 cm (20-24 in) apart.