4 Different Types Of Snowball Bushes (With Photos)

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Snowball bush is a gorgeous plant that many homeowners and most gardeners would grow because they are relatively easy to maintain and would reward your garden with blooms.

One thing that makes it outstanding is the fact that it is drought-tolerant. However, this does not mean that you wouldn’t care for it. To grow a snowball bush, you must leave it in full sun to part shade.

Interestingly, there are different types of snowball bushes, and we will discuss them in this article so you can better decide which one if best suited for your garden.

Let’s get started!

Interesting Facts About Snowball Bushes

A snowball bush (or snowball bush viburnum) is a flowering shrub whose leaves change color throughout its life cycle. Its round, clustering appearance reminds people of snowballs, so the name was given. Depending on the species, these shrubs can be evergreen, semi-evergreen, or deciduous.

Generally, snowball bush flowers start out green, mature to white, and fade to a pinkish hue as they fade. The leaves are vibrant green in the summer, then turn purple in the fall. Before you think of planting snowball bushes in your home or garden, there are a few things you must put into consideration. 

You should know the kind of soil that best fits a snowball bush. The ideal soil for growing the plant is loamy. However, ensure that it is well-drained soil. But it can still do well in many other types of soil.

The best time to plant snowball bushes is during spring or fall. And when it is time to prune them, you would only need to prune them after blooming. Otherwise, you make them reduce their flower buds.

See Also: Snowball Bush Vs Hydrangeas

Different Types Of Snowball Bushes

Let’s take a quick look at a short description of snowball bushes.

1. Chinese snowball bush

  • Plant type: Shrub
  • Sunlight exposure: partial shade to full sun
  • Mature height: 12-15 feet
  • Mature width: 8-12 feet
  • Plant spacing: 6-10 feet
  • Growth habit: upright
  • Flower color: White
  • Seasonal interest: Early summer
  • Foliage Type: Evergreen
  • Foliage colors: green

Commonly referred to as viburnum macrocephalum Chinese snowball is one type of snowball bush from the adoxaceae family. It is a popular flowering shrub native to mainland China.

Chinese snowballs possess this semi-evergreen nature and bloom during the late spring. It would reward your yard with large flowers when you leave them in a welcoming condition.

When it is not blooming, it grows with beautiful green leaves that would make your landscape attractive and admirable. They can grow up to 20 feet wide and 25 feet tall. 

Chinese snowballs do excellently in zones 6 to 9. They are great, and many gardeners would prefer to have them to form hedges or borders in their gardens and home

This type of snowball is relatively easy to maintain. However, for successful growth, you need to water it, expose it to good light, fertilize it, and prune it when needed. That way, you get a rewarding result.

2. Eastern Snowball Bush

  • Common Name: Snowball bush viburnum, fragrant snowball, European cranberrybush
  • Botanical Name: Viburnum x carlcephalum
  • Family: Adoxaceae
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Mature Size: 6–12 ft. tall, 6–10 ft. wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil Type: Average, well-drained
  • Soil pH: Moderately acidic to slightly alkaline
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Flower Color: White, light pink

If you live in cold zones 3-8, then Eastern snowball is what you should consider growing in your garden. Eastern snowball (viburnum opulus sterile) is a great shrub that can grow up to 8-inch ball flowers that begin greenish yellow and then turn bright white soon enough.

And like the Chinese snowball bush, the Eastern snowball bush is relatively easy to grow. You could figure out what works for the plant easily. Once you know how to grow an Easter snowball, you certainly have nothing to worry about.

Plant this snowball in the spring or fall to achieve a great result. When they are doing well, you will most likely notice that the leaves are dark emerald green, almost similar to that of a maple tree.

When flowers shoot, some small red berries would appear on the plant, but they would still turn black.

3. Fragrant Snowball Bush

Also, from the Adoxaceae family, the fragrant snowball bush is a type of snowball bush that you can grow in the comfort of your home because, like the eastern snowball bush and Chinese snowball bush, it is easy to grow.

Let’s look at a short description of a fragrant snowball bush. 

  • Family: Adoxaceae
  • Plant type: Shrub
  • Foliage: Deciduous (loses leaves seasonally)
  • Size range: Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure: full, partial sun and shade
  • Hardiness: Zone 6 to 8
  • Soil type: acidic soil, alkaline soil, well-drained soil
  • Flower color: pink, white

Fragrant snowball bush is really good, and you can use it to form hedges or privacy around your home. It doesn’t take too much to grow a fragrant Snowball bush.

However, you would have to be careful not to ignore it during the first growth because this would determine how long the plant lasts.

It is also important that you look out for pests and diseases. After overwatering, which can result in root rot, pest infestation can undermine the growth of any plant. Simply put, your plant deserves some accommodating conditions to do well.

4. Japanese Snowball Bush

Viburnum plicatum, a Japanese snowball bush, is a type of snowball bush that can easily slip into anybody’s garden because of the lacy white globes.

A Japanese snowball bush is also a low-maintenance flowering plant that does not require more from you but would reward your little acts of service.

It all gets better and admirable when you expose them to the right condition; watering, lighting, well-drained soil, fertilizer, and pruning.

Depending on the variety, Japanese snowball shrubs reach mature heights of 8-15 feet (2-5 m.) and spread a little more. Snowball shrubs are upright, multi-stemmed plants.

Snowball trees bloom heavily in spring, with pure white clusters reaching 4 inches (10 cm). The clusters include showy, five-petaled infertile flowers and small, fertile flowers. Butterflies often visit the snowball trees’ flowers.

How To Care For Snowball Bushes

1. Type of soil 

When you are ready to grow any type of snowball bush, you must remember that the first thing that matters the most for the plant is the type of soil you will use for planting. 

Loamy soil is mostly used to plant snowball bushes. However, any type of soil can go, provided it is well-drained and insect-free. If the soil is overly acidic, it will most definitely affect the plant’s growth. 

Always aim to get well-drained soil; this will certainly keep your foot on the right track.

2. Watering 

It is important to water the soil to maintain moistness; failing to do so would affect the plant. Although snowball bush can be drought-tolerant, it requires watering to grow well. 

Ensure that you feed the soil with enough water because what you feed the soil is what it would feed the plant. Try not to overwater the plant. 

Overwatering the plant leads to waterlogging, and once the plants are soaked, it leads to root rot. This attracts insects. For best results, always check the moist level by dipping your finger 1-2 inches in the soil, and water the plant if you sense the moist level is low.

You can also apply a thick layer of mulch around the roots to conserve more water or protect your plant from frost.

3. Sunlight Exposure

Originally, many plants would do well when you leave them in the sun for 6 to 8 hours. However, snowball bushes do well in partial shade and sun.

Do not leave the plant in the sun for too long, as this would affect the plant’s growth. Early morning sun and evening sun are most preferable. Leaving your plant in the scorching sun would burn your plant.

4. Fertilizer

Many people might frown at fertilizing their flowering plant, but if you want your plant to grow well, you should fertilize it at least twice a year.

5. Check For Pests And Diseases 

Insects that attack snowball bushes include snowball and bean aphids, flower thrips, and scale and spider mites. Snowball aphids are dark gray or green, and you will find them in large numbers on new growth.


If you have always admired snowball bushes and wondered how they would look in your garden, then you should not ignore this guide. Different types of snowball bushes are out there, and they all deserve your time.

They only have a few things differentiating them. So whether you choose to settle for Chinese snowball bush or Eastern snowball bush, whether you choose to settle for Japanese snowball bush or fragrant snowball bush, you will surely not regret it!

We hope you make the right choice!

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