Sweet Viburnum

Viburnum odoratissimum

  • Sweet Viburnum a longtime landscape favorite.
  • Evergreen leaves add year-round color to plantings.
  • Produces clusters of fragrant, small, white flowers.
  • Suitable for use as a small tree.
  • Full sun to part shade.

In warmest areas of the country, Sweet Viburnum is a favorite landscape plant. Its evergreen leaves add year-round color to plantings. As a whole, Sweet Viburnum is pest and problem free, a low-maintenance gardener’s dream. This viburnum shrub adapts to sun or part shade and definitely benefits from some afternoon shade in the hottest parts of its range.

Left to its own devices, Sweet Viburnum forms a tall shrub to small tree to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. In lower light, the plant gets a little more scraggly and open, but in full sun settings, it forms a lush, full canopy. Many gardeners opt to remove branches closer to the ground to shift Sweet Viburnum into a tree form. This creates a lovely small tree that fills the spring landscape with wonderful fragrance.

Sweet Viburnum has a tight branching pattern that makes it a plant of choice for creating privacy screens and hedges. It takes well to pruning and can be pruned into narrow shapes to edge a patio or screen a walk. As a hedge, it is known for its ability to create an impenetrable mass. To form a thick hedge, place plants 5 feet apart from the center of one plant to the center of the adjacent plant.


SWEET VIBURNUM CHINDO –  is a recent introduction as far as Sweet Viburnums go, it has a smaller leaf and a denser habit than regular Sweet Viburnum. This Viburnum is fairly fast growing, evergreen, and the leaves are a dark glossy green color. The leaves resemble that of a Magnolia and with its growth habit this Viburnum would be great if used as a screen since it holds the lower foliage. The white flowers are held in clusters and are extremely fragrant. After flowering the  Chindo Sweet Viburnum produces red fruit in the fall and winter. Viburnum awabuki ‘Chindo’ can reach up to 12 feet tall with a 8 foot spread.