How to Propagate Viburnum Davidii

Updated April 14, 2018

Viburnum davidii is the scientific botanical name for a small evergreen shrub commonly called David's viburnum. Growing to between 3 and 5 feet tall, it has a mound-like growth habit with a slightly spreading shape and is covered in dense masses of dark, bluish-green leaves with a pale underside. The foliage and springtime display of small white flowers present an attractive appearance and lend themselves to ornamental cultivation in U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 7 through 9. Seed-based and vegetative propagation both work when it comes to making more Viburnum davidii plants, but the species requires plants of both sexes to produce fruit and seeds.

Gather a cluster of ripe viburnum berries in late summer to harvest the seeds. Clip them with bypass pruners and place the berries in a mesh colander. Place the colander in a sink and run water over them while rubbing the flesh away against the mesh. Continue rinsing until the pulp has washed away and allow the seeds to drain while you prepare the rooting pot.

Choose a pot with a depth of 5 to 10 inches and good drainage. Fill it with an equal mixture of potting soil and coarse sand. Water the soil mixture to a 5-inch depth and drain the pot for 10 or 15 minutes before sowing the seeds.

Press the viburnum seeds 1-inch-deep into the soil and sand mixture. Cover them with loose soil.

Place the pots in a cold frame for the winter. Leave the lid of the cold frame open approximately 1/2-inch to allow for evaporation. Water the viburnum seeds to a depth of 1-inch every seven days during the cold season to keep them moist, but not soggy.

Open the cold frame in spring when temperatures reach 15.6 degrees Celsius. Move the pots outdoors to a spot with partial shade during the hottest part of the day until the viburnums are 6 inches tall.

Plant them outdoors 4 to 6 feet apart in a sunny, draining bed when the plants are 1 foot tall.

Choose a plastic nursery pot suitable for rooting Viburnum davidii. Select one with several drainage holes and a 10- to 12-inch depth. Fill the pot with a mixture of equal parts finely milled coir and perlite. Water the rooting mixture until it is thoroughly saturated and allow it to drain for five or 10 minutes before planting the cuttings.

Take several cuttings from a well-established and healthy Viburnum davidii shrub in summer. Select semi-ripe cuttings from the tip of the branch. Look for cuttings with tender new growth at the tip and old growth at the base.

Measure 6 inches from the tip of the branch. Sever the stem at a 45-degree angle using a sharp knife. Remove the leaves from the bottom 2 or 3 inches of the cutting.

Insert one Viburnum davidii cutting into each pot of soil. Push the bottom 2 or 3 inches of the stem into the mixture and firm the soil around the base. Make sure the cutting is upright and not leaning.

Place a plastic bag over the top of each pot. Place the pots somewhere with bright, filtered sunlight and temperatures above 18.3 degrees Celsius. Water the cuttings to a 1-inch depth every five days. Remove the bag after 20 days and check for roots by digging around the base of the cuttings with the tip of your finger. Plant the Viburnum davidii shrubs outdoors in late summer.

Things You'll Need

  • Bypass pruners
  • Mesh colander
  • Plastic nursery pots
  • Potting soil
  • Coarse sand
  • Cold frame
  • Milled coir
  • Perlite
  • Sharp knife
  • Plastic bag
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About the Author

Samantha McMullen began writing professionally in 2001. Her nearly 20 years of experience in horticulture informs her work, which has appeared in publications such as Mother Earth News.