Native Shrubs

Well I went to the Virginia Living Museum’s Fall Plant Sale yesterday.  They have these sales in the spring, summer & fall each year.  They had 80 different types of perennials (which included ferns, grasses & vines.  In addition they also had 18 types of shrubs and trees.  They have them separated by sun, shade, dry & moist locations.  I am trying to add more Native species to my garden each year to attract wildlife & for drought tolerance.  Native species adapt better to the climate in which you live.  This fall I was particularly interested in adding some native shrubs to my garden.  They had several I was interested in but I decided on the Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’.  I was attracted to the berries that deepen to a dark blue in the fall.  In the spring it gets large clusters of white flowers and the foliage turns a deep maroon color in the fall.  Another bonus for me was the songbirds and butterflies it is said to attract to the garden.  I’m trying to replace my abudance of Nandina domestica with some native species that are beneficial to the wildlife that visit my garden each year.  These should make for some year round interest in the fountain garden.  The flowers and later berries will add some much needed color to this color of my yard.    Here are the two Viburnums I selected:

Some facts on these shrubs include:

  • Hardy in zones 5-9
  • Deciduous shrub
  • Height about 6 ft in cultivation
  • Blooms April – May 
  • Blooms are White clusters
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Medium water needs
  • Low maintenance
  • Prune lightly in fall if needed
  • Berries change from pink to deep pink to blue to black
  • No pests or disease problems noted

18 responses to this post.

  1. The Viburnum you picked sounds such wonderful. I have one on my wishlist this year. I am thinking it would be nice at the back end of our yard where we have pulled out all of the invasive Scotch Broom. I love the berries!

    Thanks Cynthia. Sounds like you have the perfect place picked out for yours too. 🙂


  2. Posted by greenwalks on September 22, 2008 at 12:31 am

    I had viburnums in my previous garden, the berries were a plus but I really loved the fragrant blooms in the spring. Hope you get those too! Fun purchase, and nice that you’re trying to increase the percentage natives in your garden.

    Thanks GW! According to the info they gave me I should be getting the fragrant blossoms too which means this is a great plant that just keeps on giving.


  3. It sounds like they included detailed information to help select the best ones for your situation. I wish the previous owners of my place had read the tag on their viburnum shrub. It has grown over 15 feet (5 m) tall and 10 feet (3 m) wide, but they planted it 6 inches from the house, yikes. I have to take it out, but I’ve been delaying, since the chickadees have such fun playing in it. I do get a great view of them from my bedroom window.

    They have pamplets they hand out with info on all the plants they are selling NS. It helps because then you have something other than the tag (which is normally just the name). Some do get massively big I know. I was looking for one that gets about 5-6 ft tall to replace some of the same size Nandinas domestica that are in adundance in my garden.


  4. The viburnums are so lovely and easy to grow. Yours will shine for sure.

    Thanks Tina. I’m looking forward to having another wildlife attracting plant in the garden.


  5. Hi Racquel, excellent choice. We are doing the same thing here and have read that Winterthur is also a pollinator for Brandywine, Blue Muffin and Cardinal Candy among others. We bought all of those, very small ones but Wayside had a buy one get two free deal on them last year. They are planted in the same area and then the Winterthur died!(drought). We had to order another one of those and now all are happily growing. I don’t know how many years it will be before we see a flower or berry on any of them, but there are high expectations. Good luck with yours.

    Hi Frances! Thanks, I’m pleased with the selection I chose. I would love to have Blue Muffin as well. That sounds like a great deal you got from Wayside. I’m hoping for great things from these two new additions to my garden. 🙂


  6. Good choice! I love viburnums. I see them at the Arboretum. They are so pretty in the fall, and the birds love them. I didn’t know they were so maintenance free though. Another reason they are such a good choice!

    Thanks Linda. I love them too, I’ve been wanting some for ages now. According to the information provided they were low maintenance, we’ll see.


  7. It should be lovely once it’s established — the birds do love them. Anything that requires little fuss is a good thing, too.

    That’s what I’m thinking Nancy. The wildlife attraction was a big selling point for me. 🙂 We’ll see about the little fuss thing.


  8. Very nice post Racquel. Native shrubs are excellent choices for low maintenance, beauty, and food and cover for wildlife.

    We have a variety of native shrubs in our yard. The owners previous to my husband were bird lovers, and planted cornelian cherries, serviceberries, viburnums, cedars (juniper berries,)and honeysuckles, and let a mulberry seedling turn into a tree.

    I’ve added dogwoods, pussy willows, and more varieties of viburnums, with more to come in the future. Combined with the seeds of many of our perennials (including many native perennials,) the trees, a bog and a birdbath, and an established neighborhood with lots of trees and shrubs including natives (not to mention lots of gardens,) we get to enjoy a very nice variety of wildlife even though we’re in a suburban subdivision setting.

    Thanks Linda. I’m slowly but surely adding more natives to my garden each year. Sounds like you have alot of wonderful plants in your garden too, lots of berries & fruit for the birds. It’s nice to be able to add something that gives back. 🙂


  9. Sounds like a great shrub Racquel. I’ve not grown Viburnum before. The maroon fall foliage sounds wonderful to me! Looks like you have a winner there.

    Thanks Susie. I love the bonus of the berries, flowers & fall foliage. I’m expecting great things from these additions to the garden.


  10. I’ll have to check the Viburnum out.

    I hope you do Darla, it’s another great wildlife magnet for the garden.


  11. I agree that you made an excellent choice Racquel. But then again, I don’t know how you could go wrong with a viburnum of any sort! Can you tell I’m really partial to them (for all the reasons you mentioned ~ flowers, berries and foliage). I have several varieties in my yard and love them all as do the birds. Happy planting!

    Thanks Kathleen! I’ve been wanting some of these wonderful shrubs for years now. They are so multipurpose in the garden which the spring blossoms, berries in the summer & fall, and the fall foliage. I’m planting them for my feathered friends to enjoy. 🙂


  12. You can’t go wrong with a viburnum! I’ve got several and have plans collect more as I can. They are great for the birds and look good too. Good luck with yours I hope they do great.

    Thanks Dave! I’m very pleased with my find at the Native Plant Sale. The nice thing about it is all the plants are propogated on site & they have mature versions so you can see what they look like in the landscape. I definitely will be on the outlook for more varieties as well. 🙂 Thanks so much for the vote of confidence today!


  13. I’ve seen the viburnum pictured on someone else’s blog as well, and thought now, there’s a shrub I’d like to have. Now you have really convinced me!
    It’s interesting that we are all leaning toward planting more native plants, but it does make so much sense. I have wasted time and money in the past on plants that looked pretty in a catalog, but weren’t really suited for my area. Now I look for those that are native, because I know they should thrive and the wildlife will enjoy them as well.

    Hi Rose! I’ve wanted a Viburnum or two for awhile now. It was just the right opportunity & knowing where I could place them in my existing garden. Isn’t that the truth, I’ve bought tons of stuff in the past that just wasn’t right for my area & it’s long gone. Now I stick with natives or cultivars of natives that I know should do well in my area.


  14. I love Viburnums…my most favorite is actually in tree form!
    V rufidulum…Rusty Blackhaw. With the weather changes we are experiencing here in Middle Tennessee hardy and adaptable native shrubs make sense! Great post and next time take me with you! Gail

    Oh I bet the tree form is gorgeous Gail. I love natives, they give so much back in return for so little attention. Next time I go you are more than welcome to tag along, lol. It’s somewhat of a drive to get here though, right? 🙂


  15. Very nice.

    Thank you Darla. 🙂


  16. So pretty!!

    Thank you Gretchen. 🙂


  17. I have already learned something just by reading your first post. I look forward to coming back and reading more.

    Thank you Valerie. I’m glad my blog is a source of information for you. 🙂 I look forward to chatting with you in the future. I enjoyed your post of your day with your Mom.


  18. Raquel, I love that red wash tub planter.

    Thanks Deb. I’ve had that for years. A friend of my husband gave it to us when he moved and I initially used it to bathe a rather large dog in. lol It’s been a couple of colors. A blue that is peaking through in areas and the red. It makes a great planter with some carefully drilled holes on the sides near the bottom.


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