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Viburnum planted last Summer-leaves just starting OCT

Germansville, PA

I thought I'd asked this but can't find it----my viburnum bush (drawf sized) that was a gift with no tag--planted last August. It did nothing all summer but last week of Sept. it woke up and started growing leaves.

Now in October it is in full leaf--what do I do (or not do) to protect it from freeze with it being ready for Spring NOT Fall? Only plant in all my years that got it's seasons mixed up! LOL!

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Well, I could see 2 alternatives:
If you want to protect it through the winter you could build a mini greenhouse over it, and put Christmas lights in the greenhouse, on the branches. This will keep it from freezing if it insists that it must have leaves. I would also spray the leaves with Cloud Cover. That sure helped my Avocado and my Lime (both would have frozen without it).

Or, you could try enforcing dormancy by waiting until it is getting frosty then pulling off the leaves. If it stays cold enough then the plant might stay dormant. You could also try tricking it into thinking it is later in the year by making the nights longer. Cover it with a dark tarp for an hour or two more of darkness than nature is giving us right now. Maybe make the plant think it is December!

Germansville, PA

Thank you--I'll try the less drastic one (my hubby wouldn't like to figure out how to
"jury rig" a greenhouse around it!! He's retired working 5 1/2 days a week!

Thank you again for your help.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Hi jesjenmom, Hate to spoil your train of thoughts but there must be a couple of hundred different types of Viburnum, but they are mostly split into around 3 types, some that flower in winter on naked stems / branches, Others that flower in spring and Summer while making foliage.
Then others that are grown solely for their bright Red berries in winter, the flowers are mostly tubular with about 5 lobes spreading outwards, the tubes are really longer in the winter flowering ones than those that flower in summer time.

I guess you need to wait a little longer now to find out which type you actually have especially as you have no label to help you identify it or, give info on where to keep it over winter.
To be honest I find them all, well most all to be quite hardy over winter BUT, I have no idea of the lowest temps you get in your area.

IF it's still a miniature plant you can buy either plastic or glass dome's to give protection over winter for some plants, they were used by Victorian gardeners for winter forcing of veg or protection of more tender plants, but you can rig one up yourself with garden canes cut to size and plastic type glass, use chicken wire as a frame around the canes and cover with clear polythene and use wire pegs to hold in place, BUT first maybe add a mulch of leaf mould around the roots.
I would not remove the leaves as IF this is a normal time for making leaves then you could kill the plant as it wont want to grow leafless.
I know it's a chance you take but that's what gardening is all about, trying to save, grow, and watch over our plants especially when like NOW, your trying to push the boundaries by growing a plant that maybe needs different care but you do the best you can.
Good luck and let's all know how you get on come spring.
Best Regards. WeeNel.

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Why does your husband need to figure out how to rig a greenhouse sort of shelter?
Really easy:
I stuck 4 pieces of PVC pipe in the ground, making a square around my Lime and draped a sheet of plastic over it. Anchored it down with rocks or bricks. That baby tree lived through the winter just fine! A little protection was all it needed. Nothing fancy about it at all. (I don't do fancy).

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Well said Diana, fancy is for a show off with more money than sense as My good old plain speaking Dad would have reminded us all LOL. I remember our fruit cage being made from an old large tent frame, OH boy, I was so embarrassed when my friends came around but hey, before you knew it, there was requests for old tent frames from old army stores and Boy Scout groups, and I seem to remember a rush on chicken wire too.
Naturally my red face went quickly when the neighbours thought we had all struck gold LOL.
the poor birds were not amused though. OH and worse, in winter my Dad threw a polly sheet over it for winter protection, the neighbourhood looked like WW11 evacuation camps, but then in summer we had the best fruit LOL.

Best Regards.
WeeNel.

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

LOL! Wonderful ideas from WeeNel!

ANYthing to make a frame. Just hold the plastic sheeting away from the leaves. This may mean making the structure larger as the plant grows.

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