How and When to Prune Viburnum

by Ken C | Last Updated: 25/05/2021

About this article

Hedges are a classic landscaping choice because of their ability to provide privacy and block out the noise from traffic, and Viburnums are one of the most popular hedging plants for this reason- they have dense, rounded shapes that fill in an area quickly.

Pruning is necessary to keep your viburnum healthy and looking its best, and in this article, I will tell you the right way to prune your viburnum, what tools to use together with how often and how much to prune.

How and when to Prune Viburnum

Viburnum shrubs don’t require excess pruning, but occasional viburnum trimming every year will help keep the shape and beauty.

It is best to light prune the plant year-round, but you should leave major shearing or severe pruning for late winter or early spring.

How Much Can a Viburnum Shrub be Trimmed Back?

It is best to trim back about a third of your viburnum each year in order to keep it healthy and looking its best. One of the most common reasons people prune a Viburnum is to give it shape.

However, after several years, your shrub may require some rejuvenation and trimming in order to maintain its appearance. That’s when thick branches can be trimmed away for a younger look and unsightly ones can be thinned out as well to provide more space to allow new growth.

How to Prune Viburnum

Viburnums are trees or shrubs that provide both privacy and beauty. So to keep your Viburnum healthy, I recommend that you prune them every year following these handy tips:

5-Tips for Pruning Your Viburnum

1) Although viburnums can be pruned all year round, save the heavy pruning for late winter / early spring.

2) Always use clean, shape tools like shears or loppers.

3) When small, young shrubs are pinched out to maintain their shape and remove any unruly shoots that could compromise the future look of the shrub.

4) Cut branches back to an outward-facing bud rather than the trunk.

5) To keep your viburnum looking its best, it may be necessary to prune the shrub heavily. Being a hardy shrub, you can prune up to a third off a Viburnum without causing harm.

Bonus Tip

Sometimes, with overgrown shrubs, reshaping may take several years of pruning to correct. Trim these plants by cutting the stems at the ground level, leaving sturdier branches and removing any weak ones.

In Conclusion

Viburnum hedges are beautiful, but to keep them looking their best they should be pruned every year.

The best time of the year for this is late winter or early spring when plants are dormant and you can see where branches come from better.

Sometimes older overgrown viburnums will need reshaping which takes years to accomplish, so make sure not to do it all at once. Patience will pay dividends.

I hope you find this article helpful. If so, please share it with your friends!

Ken Crowther is an award winning broadcaster, author and member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. He has been gardening for over 50 years and his knowledge and experience are drawn on to provide advice and information about garden design, plants for all seasons, gardening techniques and gardening tips. Gardening with Ken's broad appeal means he reaches a wide audience across the UK from amateur gardeners to top level horticulturists.