Korean Spice Viburnum

Hi, I’m Karen Russ, a horticulturist with the Home & Garden Information Center at Clemson Extension. Today I’ll be talking about Korean spice viburnum, Viburnum carlesii.

Good morning. We’re in the Hosta Garden section of the South Carolina Botanical Garden this morning, and I wanted to talk about one of my favorite, very fragrant shrubs. This is Korean spice viburnum.

This is an Asian viburnum. It does well in the upstate, in either full sun or part shade. It’s probably happiest in either morning sun and afternoon shade, or filtered light throughout the day. It blooms during the early spring, mid to late March through early April. This plant gets between 4 to 8 to possibly 10 feet tall depending on the variety you get. The leaves as they expand this will become a very full, dense, thoroughly foliaged plant. In the fall it has fantastic leaf color, anywhere between a burgundy red and a deep orange, depending on the variety and growing conditions.

Like most viburnums, it likes a rich, woodsy soil. When you’re preparing a bed, if you have straight clay, make sure to dig in at least 10 to 20 percent good rich organic matter. Composted leaves, composted pine bark would be great. You want to avoid overhead irrigation hitting the leaves. You want to make sure it doesn’t go into drought stress, so give it good watering during the summer heat. Avoid over-crowding. You want good air circulation around the plant.

This is a very easy, wonderful plant to grow in your own home garden. It contributes a fabulous scent. The scent is of cloves and it carries for a great distance.

Again, this is Korean spice viburnum, Viburnum carlesii.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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