How to Prune Viburnum Plicatum

garden shears closed image by Kathy Burns from

Viburnum plicatum is a deciduous shrub which is commonly called doublefile viburnum. It features white flowers which appear in late spring or early summer. Doublefile viburnum prefers light shade to full sun. In early to midsummer, the shrub produces small red berries that are a popular food source for birds.

In the fall, the shrub's stalks turn maroon and the leaves turn dark green, making it an appealing ornamental landscaping choice for all seasons. Viburnum plicatum grows to around 10 to 12 feet tall and wide at maturity. Keep viburnum plicatum healthy and attractive with regular pruning.

Use sharp, well-oiled pruning shears to prune your viburnum. Have shears professionally sharpened if they are dull or have chipped edges.

Prune viburnum after it is done blooming for the year, usually in late spring or early summer. Don't prune until the plant has dropped all its flowers.

Cut off any dead wood, which won't have leaves on it, to where it connects to a larger branch or the base of the shrub.

Cut back branches near the main trunk to create open spaces for light to filter in. This encourages the interior of the shrub to generate more leaves and new, healthy growth.

Cut back any shoots that cross another shoot or branch. Cut back branches that are growing too close to other shoots. Maintain the natural shape of the shrub when pruning.

Cut branches at an angle about 1/4 of an inch above buds to encourage new growth. The bud should be on the side of the branch that you want the new growth to fill in.