I have a 'Blue Muffin' viburnum that needs a pollinator. Do I need to get a viburnum dentatum? Or can I use any of the viburnums available in a local garden center?
Viburnum 'Blue Muffin' pollinator
You need another V. dentatum cultivar whose bloom time overlaps that of your Blue Muffin.
Look for Chicago Lustre, Autumn Jazz, Red Feather, Northern Burgundy, Cardinal, Crimson Tide, Perle Bleu, or Red Regal.
Once you find something plant it and hope they bloom at the same time.
More detail (and a few other cultivars) here-
Thank you so much for this info. I had no idea that viburnums needed a pollinator in order to produce fruit. I thought they were all self-pollinators. And unlike blueberries, they need one of the dentatum cultivars that blooms at the same time! Mine has been in bloom for the past two weeks. Now the hunt is on to find one of the ones you mentioned (or one of the ones named in the link) that is in bloom NOW. Thanks again for such valuable input.
I'll add the following modifications to statements above.
...that viburnums needed a pollinator in order to produce fruit...
Close. Viburnums produce most copious fruit when in the vicinity of an appropriate pollinator blooming at the same time. I'm not sure how that differs from blueberries or other fruit-bearing members of Rosaceae - which need a dissimilar separate plant blooming at the same time to achieve the best fruit set. If they weren't blooming together, they could NOT cross-pollinate. Alone, some fruit may be produced - but who plants an apple tree for one apple? Likewise, a viburnum should be grown for its immense potential fruit set, not for a few scattered berries over a whole plant.
Appropriate selections of Arrowwood Viburnum with overlapping bloom times for Blue Muffin (an early season bloomer) should include: Chicago Lustre, Red Feather, Cardinal, Crimson Tide, Perle Bleu, or Red Regal.
Autumn Jazz and Northern Burgundy are both much later blooming selections, often not starting till the early forms like Blue Muffin have long finished flowering. Remember that sometimes nurseries/garden centers have mislabeled plants too - so the best bet is to go looking for that partner when your plant is blooming in the garden. Even this strategy can generate errors occasionally, since many times nursery stock is "pushed" in a greenhouse or is shipped from southern locations.
The fun is in the journey...
I misspoke about blueberries. I did know that the bloom times had to be concurrent. I didn't know, however, that I couldn't plant a V. opulus alongside my dentatum and expect to get berries. Thanks for narrowing down the possibilities. The 'Raspberry Tart' that you and others suggested in an older GardenWeb thread seemed perfect until I tried searching for it. The few nurseries that carried it are sold out. But the ones you listed above might be easier to find when I begin my search tomottow. I also need to find out which viburnum I planted by my front door nearly 15 yrs. ago. No wonder it has so few blooms! It has no companion nearby.
Having another one around for cross-pollination only affects fruit production, not blooms. If the viburnum by your door isn't blooming well, it's due to something else (first guess would be too much shade since often things that are close to the house are shaded for a good part of the day, but there would be other possibilities as well). If it blooms well but produces few berries, then you can help things by providing another plant for cross-pollination.
The viburnum by the front door faces west and gets plenty of sun. I prune it lightly after it blooms to control size. I may need to fertilize. The only type of food it gets is occasional compost. Should I add a shrub fertilizer? If so, can you recommend any specific kind? I'm assuming that this should be done in early spring...right?
Sounds like you get enough light. Know that pruning the flowering tips will remove sources of fruit for that season on that branch.
I would use an inexpensive balanced granular fertilizer (10-10-10), if you don't have a soil test done first to determine what you have nutrient-wise. Following label recommendations, I'd split your application between early spring and midsummer. Arrowwood viburnums don't need anything special.
OK. I have plenty of the granular 10-10-10. And the blooms are what I want out front for their outstanding fragrance. I can't let it get too tall or it would block the window in back of it. So I'll have to forego the berries. Thanks again for your recommendations and advice.
I'll take some photos tomorrow and post them. It would be nice to know what type of viburnum is growing in the front. It's been there for at least 15 years, and it was never labelled.
Just for the record...
Walked around the collection this evening, glass of Riesling in hand. Blue Muffin™ was beginning to plump its fruit, while Autumn Jazz® and Northern Burgundy® were just beginning to open their flowers. It is important to know the varying flowering times of selections of any one species.
I look forward to assisting in ID of your old codger viburnum.
Here are some photos of my "old codger viburnum." I fertilized it as suggested, and it looks healthy even without flowers. I have no idea which cultivar I have. The leaves of most viburnum look too similar to me, but maybe someone with more expertise and a glass of wine in one hand can hazard a guess.
That old codger is likely Viburnum carlesii 'Compactum'. It looks definitely to be Koreanspice Viburnum, and to be that small after 15 years means the dwarf version to me.
Your 'Blue Muffin' looks quite happy.
Thank you for the ID. I went searching for a Blue Muffin pollinator again today and came up empty handed. I'll have to broaden my search or place a special order.
Classic Viburnums (a Nebraska nursery) has about anything you might want, via mail order. They are listed in Garden Watch Dog.
I have muffins!!
(berries forming, LOL)
While my Blue Muffin was blooming I happened to stop into a strange plant vendor situation set up behind a local mom and pop grocery store. It is poorly organized, poorly maintained, and they only take cash but they have some odd offerings from time to time. I stop in once or twice a year to see what's up.
So I found one blooming 'Red Feather' crammed in among all the dried up Hydrangeas and snatched that puppy up! Brought it home and installed it near my 'Blue Muffin' and hoped for the best. My Muffin was a bit ahead as far as blooming so I wondered if anything would take.
Noticed yesterday that I do indeed have berries coming!
I have had that 'Blue Muffin" for nearly five years and these are my first berries!
Doing the happy dance!
That's great! I hope to find a mate for my Blue Muffin soon, too.
If I lived closer, I'd bring you one - to hasten the delight.
If you lived closer, I'd gladly accept. 3 nurseries today. Zero hits. I'm going to contact Classic Viburnums on Monday and see if they have something in stock that would work. They don't post prices or availability online, so I'm hoping they have at least the runt of the litter left to ship my way.
Couldn't wait until Monday. I called Classic Viburnums and ordered a Raspberry Tart. The owner was terrific, and it was such a pleasure to deal with someone who actually cares about pleasing his customers. So the search is over. Let the mating begin.
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. They are truly "Classic".
Yes, and he knows you, too! When I started to tell him where the recommendation came from, he immediately said, "ViburnumValley." Thanks again for a great lead.
Rats! Gary from Classic Viburnums just called back and said that Rasp. Tart is now beginning to bloom as my Blue Muffin is fading. It wouldn't be a very reliable pollinator, so I decided to go with Little Joe instead. I wanted that red color in the fall, but I want the berries even more. Maybe next year I'll get that Raspberry Tart along with Blue Blaze. More color and more berries.
When you finally reach 25 clones, then you'll have all possible bases covered.
Highly unlikely. There are too many other interesting perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees to focus on just one group. I'd rather be a dabbler in all and an expert in none.
Since we're talking about viburnum and pollinating, I hope I can get an answer to my question here too! I just picked up a viburnum davidii that had berries on it and no one at the nursery told me I had to get 2 for berries...and that it is even more complicated than that! I bought it mainly for the berries, but I really don't want to put in a second one if I don't have to...so many other interesting things to grow! I did get a snowball viburnum (the sterile one I believe) a few years back and have it planted it about 25 yards away from the davidii. Will these two work together to pollinate the davidii? I know the snowball won't fruit because it's sterile but it's the davidii I want the berries on anyway. Thanks for any input I get!
Please copy/paste your question into a new post (with appropriate subject line), so that it gets the attention it deserves, rather than being lost at the end of this other thread where very few at DG will see it.