Plant of the Week: RED BALLOON® Viburnum

Red Balloon® viburnum blooming in a garden

Pollinator Week

It’s officially summer, which means I’m enjoying my late spring/early summer bloomers, and so are the pollinators! It’s National Pollinator Week this week, and I wanted to talk about another pollinator-friendly shrub today to celebrate: Red Balloon® viburnum (Viburnum x rhytidophylloides). If you’re looking for a way to celebrate pollinators, consider adding some (more) pollinator-friendly plants to your garden! You can check out our shrubs for pollinators collection to give you some inspiration.

Close up of the red fall berries of Red Balloon viburnum

In spring, Red Balloon® is covered with creamy white blooms that turn to bright red berries in the fall. Its thick textured foliage ensures that this beauty creates a statement in the garden all season long. Use this large shrub as a specimen plant, a hedge, or in a woodland or wildlife garden, as it’s a perfect habitat for birds, pollinators, and even small mammals (it’s also deer-resistant).

Red balloon® is suited for USDA zones 4-8 and grows to 6-8’ tall and wide. Plant it in full to part sun. It doesn’t require a pollinator plant for berries, but it will produce more berries if planted near a ‘Mohican’ or ‘Alleghany’ viburnum. 

Pruning is not recommended. It blooms on old wood, so if any pruning is desired, do so after it flowers in spring (pruning will affect fruit production).

Shrubs for Beginners

Gardening can be overwhelming when you’re just starting, especially when looking at all the plant options out there. Narrowing down your selection to easy-care plants that are beginner-friendly and forgiving can help ease you into it. Kristina gives you different types of shrubs that are beginner-friendly in her “7 Types of Shrubs for Beginners” blog. Whether you’re looking for something that’s drought tolerant or something that needs no pruning (like viburnum), Kristina gives you plenty of suggestions to get your garden started.

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