Viburnum Davidii: An Attractive Shrub No Gardener Can Kill

Viburnum Davidii: An Attractive Shrub No Gardener Can Kill

Viburnum Davidii

Photo Compliments of Tim Walker

Viburnum davidii or David Viburnum is a showy evergreen shrub valued for its glossy dark green leaves and metallic turquoise blue fruit.  This is a wonderful foundation shrub, especially when it is used with ferns, azaleas, and other acid loving plants.

David viburnum is a compact, rounded, evergreen shrub that typically grows in a mound reaching a height of 2 to 3 feet and a width of 3 to 4 feet. It produces small white flowers in showy rounded clusters (cymes to 2 to 3 inches wide) that bloom in spring. Fertilized flowers on female plants give rise to showy round fruits that emerge green but change to pink, red, and finally turn a metallic turquoise blue as they ripen. Fruits usually persist on the shrub into winter months. Fruits are attractive to birds. Leathery, deeply-veined, elliptic-oval, blue-green leaves (to 3 to 6 inches in length) are evergreen.

How To Make Your Viburnum Davidii Thrive

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. This plant requires well drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Best results will be obtained if you feed with an acid fertilizer after bloom and you keep the roots cool with a thick layer of mulch. Pruning time is late winter or early spring.

This shrub is winter hardy to Zone 7 (will withstand temperatures that can dip as low as 0 degrees) where it is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in partial shade to full sun (if watered appropriately). Best growth occurs with consistent and even moisture. This is an evergreen shrub, but it tends to be semi-evergreen to deciduous near the far northern edge of its growing range. Plants generally appreciate some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. This shrub is dioecious (separate male and female plants). Female plants need male pollinators in order to bear fruit.

General Viburnum Davidii Information

Pests And Disease

No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf scorch may occur in hot full sun locations (if you are going to locate this plant in direct sun you will have to water more frequently).


Collect semi hardwood cuttings in late summer selecting healthy David viburnum branches. Use a clean, sharp utility knife to cut each branch just beneath a leaf node, about 6 inches from the tip. Strip the bottom half of the foliage from each cutting.

Garden Uses

This shrub makes a great informal hedge, can be used as a foundation plant, or it is also great in borders or open woodland areas. Spring flowers, fall fruit and evergreen foliage make this an interesting and attractive landscape shrub.

Quick Facts

  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 7b to 9
  • Habit: Broad leaf evergreen, compact, rounded dense habit
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Height: 3 to 5 feet high
  • Width: 3 to 5 feet wide
  • Leaves: Opposite, simple, leathery dark blue-green leaves; 2 to 6 inches in length
  • Leaf Texture: Course to medium
  • Flower, Fruit: Pink buds open creamy white on 2 to 3 inch cyme in spring; green fruit turns iridescent pink to red and then to metallic blue, and finally turns black. The fruit persists into winter.
  • Bloom Time: April to May
  • Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil, if planted in direct sun it requires more water.
  • Special Features: Fruit attracts birds, flowers attracts butterfly’s, very dependable; use two or more plants to ensure cross-pollination. This plant is deer resistant.


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  1. I love how the fruits totally change color from when they first emerge until they reach the bright blue of captured their unique hue really well!

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