Nannyberry Care – Learn How To Grow Nannyberries In The Landscape

Nannyberry Care – Learn How To Grow Nannyberries In The Landscape

By: Teo Spengler

Nannyberry plants (Viburnum lentago) are large native tree-like shrubs native to the U.S. For more information about nannyberry shrubs, or information on how to grow nannyberries, read on.

Nannyberry Plant Info

Shrub or tree? You decide. Nannyberry plants mature to about 18 feet tall and 10 feet wide (5.48 x 3 meters), making them fit the definition of a small tree or a large shrub. It is a type of viburnum commonly grown for its ornamental appeal.

Nannyberry shrubs are very ornamental with their shiny green leaves with serrated edges. Then there are the ivory flowers that appear in late spring, flat-topped inflorescences as wide as your palm. Each groups numerous tiny blossoms.

These flowers develop into a colorful mixture different colored fruits, some light green, others pale yellow or red-pink, and all in the same cluster. They darken into blue-black and mature from fall through early winter. Wild birds delight in this banquet.

How to Grow Nannyberries

Growing nannyberry viburnum shrubs isn’t difficult, considering that this is a native plant and doesn’t need to be coddled. Begin cultivation by looking for a full sun location. This will help prevent powdery mildew. But they will thrive in partial shade as well.

For soil, select a site that is well draining if possible. But the plant will adapt to poor or compacted soils, dry or wet soils. It also adapts well to moderate heat, drought and urban pollution.

Nannyberry care is fairly simple. Nannyberry shrubs thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 8, so those in hot climates are out of luck. You won’t spend much time nursing these shrubs. Nannyberry plants have no serious pest or disease problems.

The only thing to watch for is powdery mildew if air circulation is poor. This disease appears in late summer, covering the shiny leaves with whitish powder. Although making the leaves less attractive, powdery mildew doesn’t damage the plant.

One other issue requiring nannyberry care is the plant’s tendency to sucker abundantly as it gets older. It can form a large thicket or colony. If you do not want this to happen, make removing suckers part of your care regimen.

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How to Grow Viburnum tinus Plants in your Garden

Viburnum tinus is an evergreen shrub that is easy to grow and adds interest to the garden all year round.

It is a native of the Mediterranean.

As a member of the Adoxaceae family it is closely related to the Adoxa, Sambucus, Sinadoxa, and Tetradoxa genera.

Many species of Viburnum are frequently grown in the garden, including Viburnum opulus (Guelder rose), Viburnum plicatum (Japanese snowball), Viburnum lantana (Wayfaring Tree), and Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry / Sweet Viburnum).

Commonly grown cultivars include Eve Price, and Gwenllian (both pink and white flowers) Variegatum (varigated white flowers) Bewley's Variegated (cream-edge to the leaves 60 inches (1.5 m) tall) Viburnum Spring Bouquet (smaller commonly grown variety Robustum (rounder leaves of about 4 inches (10 cm), pink flowers) and French White (white flowers, up to 120 inches (3 m).

Growing Viburnum tinus will bring yearlong color to the garden. They bloom in late winter through to spring, carry blue fruits throughout the spring, and have attractive evergreen leaves all year long.

It is great for hedging and screening purposes, and can look good in an informal, coastal, or cottage garden, and even as a background or wall-side border plant. As it is low maintenance, grows well in most light conditions, and is a medium drought tolerant plant it is a relatively easy to grow garden plant. It is also a nice plant to grow if you want to attract butterflies to your garden.


Begin pruning the viburnum nudum at the base of the plant. Remove any old, woody branches growing from the ground. Do not remove any of the young shoots that are the thickness of a pencil.

  • Finally, using sharper pruners, remove any branches that extend too far to the side by cutting them off at their base, at the trunk they sprouted from.

Prune any too wide or tall branches to bring the plant to the desired shape. Prune these back to a node (swollen part of the branch where the leaf joins it).

Rake the planting bed to remove any fallen leaves, twigs and branches. Water the viburnum nudum until the water puddles at its base.


Watch the video: Trees with Don Leopold - nannyberry