How to grow guelder rose

How to grow guelder rose

Find out how to grow the native shrub guelder rose, Viburnum opulus, in our guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does flower in April

Plant does flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Prune
Prune

Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do not Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do Prune in June

Do Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do Prune in September

Do Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

  • Plant size

    4m height

    5m spread

Guelder rose, Viburnum opulus, is a beautiful native shrub, with attractive flowers, foliage and autumn berries. It’s a good choice for shady borders or woodland-style planting schemes. It’s a favourite with wildlife too – birds eat the berries, moths and other insects lay eggs on the leaves and pollinators feast on the large, lacey white flowers that appear from late spring to early summer. It’s often grown as part of a native wildlife hedge.

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How to grow guelder rose

Plant guelder rose in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to full shade. Very little pruning is required – simply trim to shape after flowering, taking care not to remove all spent blooms as these turn into beautiful red berries. Mulch in spring with a thick layer of well-rotted manure or leaf mould.

More on growing guelder rose:


Where to grow guelder rose

How to grow guelder rose - where to grow guelder rose
How to grow guelder rose – where to grow guelder rose

For best results grow guelder rose in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to full shade.


How to plant guelder rose

Plant pot-grown guelder rose at any time of year, digging a generous hole and adding mycorrhizal fungi and well-rotted compost for healthy growth. Plant bare-root shrubs in autumn to spring.


How to care for guelder rose

Guelder rose doesn’t need much pruning once established. If maintaining the shape of the shrub remove a fifth of older and weaker growth after flowering, cutting stems right back to the base. In spring, add a mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.


How to propagate guelder rose

Guelder rose is most easily propagated by taking softwood cuttings in summer and semi-hardwood cuttings in autumn.

How to take softwood cuttings


Growing guelder rose: problem solving

Guelder rose can be affected by viburnum beetle. The larvae attack leaves in spring and the adult beetles continue the damage in summer, so plants can lose all their leaves. However, plants usually survive this damage. Try to pick or spray off the bugs when spotted and keep affected plants well watered and fed. Leaf spot can also cause some damage.


Guelder roses to grow

How to grow guelder rose - guelder roses to grow
How to grow guelder rose – guelder roses to grow
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  • Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ – this cultivar is known as the snowball bush, for its gorgeous, white clusters of flowers in late spring that are a favourite with florists. However, these are sterile, so it will not produce winter fruit, but the leaves turn an attractive red in autumn before dropping.