Snowball Bush Vs Hydrangeas: Complete Overview

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By Bryan Peters

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Over the years, there has been a bone of contention over the differences between the snowball bush vs hydrangeas, mostly because of their great similarities. 

In this article, we will discuss extensively the difference between the two species and what makes each unique. Stay tuned and pay close attention!

Snowball Bush Vs Hydrangeas: Complete Overview

The snowball bush, which is known as viburnum plicatum scientifically, and the snowball hydrangeas, which is also known as hydrangeas arborescent scientificcally, are very similar. Still, there are well-noted differences if you look closely, and we will discuss these differences in this article. 

The two plants are both deciduous and with very similar characteristics and few differences; their origin is not the same thing. 

The well-known snowball bush, also called the Japanese snowball bush, is a native of China and Japan, but the snowball hydrangeas are native to the Eastern United States. 

Another worthy difference between the two is their growth zones; while the Japanese bush grows in zones 5 through 8, the hydrangeas grow in zones 3 through 9.

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1. Appearance and Structure 

Their appearances and structure are different from each other, the snowball bush grows to a height of 8 to 17 feet tall and 10 to 29 feet wide, and the snowball bush is known for being wide largely because of the number of nutrients it consumes. 

Furthermore, the snowball bush is well rooted into the soil with very broad leaves, which is one of the reasons it is called picatum in Latin. Another notable fact is that the snowball bush usually blooms around April and May of every year. 

However, the snowball hydrangeas are different from the snowball bush in appearance and structure, the snowball hydrangeas are smaller in structure and grow to a height of 3 to 7 feet and width of 2 to 4 feet, and branches are smaller but wisely spaced from others. 

Like the snowball bush, the snowball hydrangeas have toothed leaves, but in contrast, they have more shallow veins. 

The blooming season of snowball hydrangeas is different from that of snowball bush, the snowball hydrangeas bloom from June through September and come in different colors, of which the white species is the most prominent and well-known species. 

The snowball hydrangeas grow in a different zone than the snowball bush, they grow in zones of 3 to 9, but in general, they’re very similar to the snowball bush. 

2. Nutritional Needs 

The snowball bush and the snowball hydrangeas have similar growth needs but very few differences. 

In general, both require adequate water, a good and well-manured soil with the required amount of nutrients in the right proportion. But the notable difference between the two is the amount of sunlight they need for effective growth and development. 

The snowball bush grows better and reaches maturity faster in full sunlight, while the hydrangeas grow in partial sunlight and much better in areas with shades. 

In addition, the snowball bush has a large tolerance for drought conditions, and this is why you don’t have to worry most times about always watering them. 

In contrast, snowball hydrangeas are intolerant of drought, and when not watered adequately and fast, it will lead to the wilting of the leaves, which will lead to the death of the plant in the long run. 

Similarly, both are susceptible to infestation from white fungus, but their pruning season differs. At the same time, the snowball bush gets prin after the plant finishes flowering.

After the plant has well-reached maturity, hydrangeas prefer to be pruned close to the ground later in the winter before they reach full maturity. 

In summary, both require sufficient amounts of sunlight for effective growth and development; irrespective of the fact that one is resistant to drought, that does not mean it should be left unwatered; it will still die after a long time if left unwatered. 

3. Landscape Uses

The snowball bush is resistant to drought and stays alive throughout the winter season, unlike the snowball hydrangeas that die in the winter season.

This makes snowball bush to be used for making a good hedge, provided you don’t mind the plant losing its leaves in the winter season. 

This difference is one of the reasons the snowball bush has different uses than the snowball hydrangeas. 

4. Pest and Diseases

One of the similarities between these two plants is that they are both low-maintenance plants, which means that when planted, it’s very easy to care for them since what they require is the same thing most other plants require, which is sufficient sunlight and sufficient water, and good soil. 

When it comes to pests and diseases, the snowball bush and the snowball hydrangeas don’t have any serious pest and disease problems except for the infestation of white fungus, which can be taken care of by removing them with hands or planting them in well-sufficient sunlight. 

However, when you start noticing considerable changes in both of them where you spot a whitish substance on them, chances are that they’re effects of white fungus, which must be removed immediately to avoid it spreading to other parts of the plants. 

Some of the other differences that may exist between the snowball bush and the snowball hydrangeas are disease and pest resistance. 

The snowball bush has a higher disease-resistant tolerance than the snowball hydrangeas. This is largely because of its strong nature of surviving even in the coldest climate.

The snowball bush, when planted in a pot, tends to be root bound, this is because of its wide width and tallness; this is why most farmers don’t plant them in a pot; they require sufficient space to grow effectively. 

Moreover, they tend to be evasive, meaning that when planting the snowball bush, you should be careful and always check on it to avoid it from growing in other areas. 

In contrast to the snowball hydrangeas, they don’t get root bound, and this is because of their small width. This is why the snowball hydrangeas can easily be planted in a pot, and you’re more likely to see the snowball hydrangeas in the home than the snowball bush.

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