Guide to Growing the Guelder-Rose Tree

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Real Men Sow

Guelder-Rose, one of many names for this shrub, fills every balcony and garden with beautiful flowers. It brings color and life to a dull environment with its berries in fall. If you provide the right conditions, the perennial plant will survive for many years.

How To Plant Guelder-Rose

Planting Period

Fall and spring are the best times to plant. You should take care of your planting in fall so that snowball tree species have enough time to settle in before the first frost.

Flower Patch Planting

Once you’ve found the perfect spot for your snowball tree you can start planting. Dig a planting hole at least twice as large and deep as the bale. Place drainage made of quartz sand, gravel on top of your planting soil. Then spread a layer of soil over the top

You can now place the plant in a pot and cover it with soil. If necessary, enrich the soil with clay or sand. Additionally, a little compost can provide more nutrients and for more stability, press the plant bale into the soil. To keep the soil loose and permeable, you will need to lightly press on it.

Make sure to water moderately and remember that the minimum distance of the plant is one meter. Winter is the most dangerous time for Viburnum Opulus to be infested by plant lice. Both Jasmine and Viburnum opulus are susceptible to the same type of lice, so they should not be kept in close proximity.

Container Planting

You should follow the same steps as in “Planting in a Flower Patch” when planting in a tub. It is important to only use high-quality substrate and to ensure drainage at the bottom of your tub.

The snowball tree should be planted so that there is at least 2 cm between the soil surface and the tub rim. This will ensure that there is no sludge buildup after watering. A tub that is twice as big as the plant bale should be used. The tub can easily gain weight and circumference quickly so it is prone to tip over in the wind.

The snowball tree should be repotted every three years, or whenever the tub gets too small. This happens when stability is not possible or the roots are reaching the ground or the drainage hole.


The snowball tree is most at home in a semi-shaded or sunny area. It does not like direct sunlight or the bright midday sun. It should be in a spot where both the morning and evening sunlight shines on it. The wind is not a problem for it. However, the cold draft air can cause problems for young plants in the winter months. It should therefore be protected from the wind.

Also, avoid choosing a location with constant moisture, such as ponds, creeks, or shores. It is also not a good idea to be located near plants that have a high water demand. This could cause excessive moisture and lead to root decay.


A high-quality substrate is required to plant a water elder tree in a tub. Common flower soil can clump a lot and the permeability is no longer there. Mold can also grow on the ground. The same applies to the turf.

You should ensure that the substrate has a pH level of at least 7.0. A substrate with added perlite, which increases the substrate’s permeability, is ideal. High-quality flower soil can be used to enrich the substrate. You can mix it with some sand or clay. You can substitute perlite for clay granules.

Guelder-Rose Care Guide

The snowball or water elder tree is an example of a low-maintenance plant that even laymen can care for. This garden plant will bring you years of enjoyment.


The location determines the watering schedule and watering amount. It basically means that cramp bark needs more water if it is in a warmer and sunnier area.

Always check the soil and tub substrate to determine the moisture level. To do this, you can press your thumb on the soil surface. When the soil surface has dried slightly, but can still be pressed in for approximately two centimeters, it is time to water. Avoid allowing the soil to dry completely. Tub plants dry faster due to their small soil volume and need to be watered more frequently.

If you have installed drainage at the base to prevent water-logging, your snowball tree can be watered generously during hot summer days. You can save water and the ground will not get clogged up daily.

Guelder-Rose that have been planted in a container shouldn’t be placed on a saucer. This is because excess water may not drain properly, or the tub is too heavy. In summer, watering should be done early in the morning and at night when the sun is not shining on the shrub.


It is only when the snowball tree has been placed in nutrient-low soil that it is recommended to apply an organic complete fertilizer once every six to eight weeks. To ensure Viburnum Opulus’s optimal flowering period, the first fertilizer application should be made in May.

It is recommended to fertilize the snowball tree with compost every few weeks if it is in moist soil. This will create a slightly acidic environment. To maximize the blooming period and growth, fertilize with phosphorus every two weeks beginning in April. Avoid fertilizers with nitrogen as it can negatively affect blossoming. In the first four to six week, fertilizer will not be applied to newly planted or re-potted plants.


The snowball tree can only blossom when shrubs are at least two years old. Therefore, it is important to be cautious with any drastic pruning. If the Viburnum is sagging at the sides, this should be avoided. Radical pruning can help the shrub grow back to its full potential. This will result in the shrub not blooming after one year of no flowering. It is best to limit it to a thinning once the flowering period has ended. To do this, cut the new shoots and old wooden handles to a maximum length. One third.

A cut should be made in spring from May to May, or fall between September and Oct. It is best to seal the wood parts by using wax or Sulfur powder when cutting in fall. The cut will dry faster and won’t suffer frostbite from an early frost.


The European cranberry shrub is extremely hardy and can be left outside even in the coldest months. Protecting young plants during their first year should be enough to keep them from freezing. You can wrap a protective covering of raffia or brushwood around the plant. If you want your young plants to be kept outside in winter, wrap them in Styrofoam (or something similar) with insulation properties to keep the ground cold from reaching the roots.

Propagation of Guelder-Rose

It is worth it to grow your own Viburnum opulus flowers for a stunning garden or patio decoration. With the correct instructions, even non-garden-professionals will succeed.

Propagation through Cuttings

It is the ideal time to multiply by cuttings when the snowball tree grows strongly in summer. Start by separating a new cut or at least 10 cm from the mother plant. Then, reduce the lower leaves to about half the length

Place it in a transparent container filled with water and put it in a sunny spot, away from direct sunlight and wind. The ideal temperature: 2°C to 25°C. 

Once the roots develop, you can plant the cut into the soil. You can use a special cultivation soil to enrich the soil. It’s important to keep the soil moist, but don’t water-log it. When frost is imminent, young plants should be kept in a warm place or covered with a jute bag. You can start treating the young Viburnum plants the same way as adult Viburnums from the next spring

Pests and Diseases of Guelder-Rose

The guelder-rose or snowball tree isn’t particularly susceptible to disease. The leaves can turn brown if they get too much or too little moisture. If the leaves are discolored or damaged and the blossoms don’t mature, it is most likely that the snowball tree has plant lice.

Home remedies are a good option for quick relief consisting of a high-concentrated soap solution with a few drops of spirit. Use the garden hose to clean the plant. You will be able to get rid of most plant lice. After that, spray all the branches with the soap solution. You will now be able to forget about any more plant lice infestations.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.