I have a 'Blue Muffin' Viburnum, I'd guess 5-7 years old now. It is much larger than advertised, but I kept it anyway because it is so healthy and easy and drought-resistant, and even bought a V. 'Chicago Lustre' so maybe there would be more berries. I just spent an afternoon out doing blackberry and English Ivy patrol (ugh). The 'Blue Muffin has made maybe 8-10 new shrubs, rooting strongly where the lower branches touched the ground. In one year they have grown up about 5 feet. Each has multiple thick woody stems. Oh dear. This could easily become a huge impenetrable thicket in just a few years. I will have to go back out and dig them up. I was thinking about how to stop this from happening again. Pruning out the low branches seems like kind of a pain, and might leave me with an odd looking shrub. Then I thought maybe once every 3-4 years I could just whack it off at the base in late winter, that wouldn't be too hard, might keep the size under control, and I could use it for kindling. Does anybody do this? And what about the 'Chicago Lustre', will it make new shrubs like this too? Will I add Viburnum to my list of hated invasive plants like ivy and blackberries?
Viburnum \'Blue Muffin\' self-layering
Some of my viburnum do this too. I've potted up some suckers and gave them away or planted them somewhere else. My worst one is V opulus Compactum which I've cut back and tore out suckers several times. I finally got it into a beautiful standard when we had that October snowstorm a couple of years back. It was in full leaf and the weight snapped it in half. Now its back to a spreading shrub.
The worse part is if you try to keep it to size or shape, you lose the flowers the next year. Which also means I lose the berries on my sargent viburnum since they pollinate each other.
This message was edited Mar 17, 2016 9:52 AM
I would do, as I suspect Loretta has done and limb it up. Because my yard is compact, I purchased some Viburnum specifically with the intent on growing them more of a standard. Vertical interest is always good for me and since your V. dentatum Blue Muffin is intent on vigorously rooting when it touches the ground, just prevent those lower branches from touching the ground.
Personally, I would not whack it off at the base.
Although I would say that I've done that when it gets too woody and it grows back fast. I like the texture of the younger branches better.
Anyway, are the berries as pretty as they show in the pictures?
Few berries so far. That is why I planted the 'Chicago Lustre' so it would have a mate ;-)
I may whack it off, I had no intention of having a massive shrub or small tree there, the label said 5 feet tall and wide...
My V. Chicago Lustre may be too young to notice any problems but it's in it's third year and the growth has been slow with no suckering. Good luck Pistil, whatever you decide to do.