Arrowwood viburnum is a deciduous shrub native to the eastern United States, growing in both the mountain and piedmont areas. It has simple, oval or rounded, dull green leaves that can be as long as 4.5 inches and reddish-brown or gray bark. Younger twigs are fuzzy, while older ones are smooth.
Arrowwoods grow small clusters of white flowers in the late spring and blue berries in the late summer and fall. The fruit is edible, but the berries have large seeds with minimal flesh and attract a variety of birds and insects.
Arrowwood viburnum is a large outdoor plant. It prefers acidic, well-draining, loamy soil that is a mix of organic material, sand, and clay, but it can tolerate a variety of growing conditions, including clay soils and different pH types. You can plant arrowwood viburnum hedgerows to create privacy, but they also make a stunning stand-alone centerpiece for your landscaping.
Arrowwood viburnum can reach about 15 feet tall in ideal conditions, but they usually grow to about 5 or 10 feet and as wide as 15. The plants have a tendency to spread quickly from new stems or suckers growing from the base and can take up a lot of space in a short amount of time.
This shrub needs full sunlight for four to six hours a day and then partial shade. It prefers temperate climates but can tolerate some temperature changes. If it doesn't get enough sun, arrowwood vibrurnum may not produce any flowers or berries.
Avoid planting arrowwood viburnum in an area where it will get too much direct afternoon sun, especially in hot climates. Humidity generally isn't an issue, but you should protect the leaves from colder temperatures.
Arrowwood viburnum needs a moderate amount of water. It's a great choice for soil that is too wet for other plants, as it is tolerant enough to handle occasional flooding. The shrug is also tolerant to dry conditions as it matures, but be sure to water well in hot weather to avoid stressing the plant.
Arrowwood viburnum generally doesn't have many issues with pests but may be affected by the viburnum leaf beetle. Both adult and immature viburnum leaf beetles eat the leaves of this shrub and can quickly overwhelm the plant.
Female leaf beetles lay their eggs on the stems that hatch in the spring; the best way to stop an infestation is to remove the stems covered in eggs and dispose of them carefully.
Luckily, arrowwood viburnum is not affected by many diseases, and it's even immune to some that affect other varieties of viburnum, including bacterial leaf spots, downy mildew, and powdery mildew. Again, these diseases rarely affect arrowwood viburnum but can cause problems in other varieties of the plant.
This shrub doesn't require any special nutrients, and care is pretty straightforward. Pruning is the most important part of caring for an arrowwood viburnum if you are concerned with controlling its spread. To prevent them from growing too broad, trim the new stems or suckers from the base regularly.
When the shrub finished flowering, prune it as necessary to maintain a neat shape and remove any damaged or diseased twigs. Take care not to remove more than a third of the shrub at any one time because this can stress the plant.
You can propagate arrowwood viburnum from softwood or hardwood cuttings, but softwood cuttings are easier and more likely to be successful.
Take cuttings that are about 4 to 6 inches long, ideally in the morning and after rain. Remove the leaves from the bottom third and place each cutting in a mix of one part perlite and one part peat. Cover them with plastic and keep them in an area where they will get indirect light, keeping the potting mixture moist. Roots should develop in about four weeks.
Although the berries of the arrowwood viburnum are edible, they have large seeds and minimal flesh, so most people do not grow them to eat their fruit. The flowers and berries attract a variety of pollinators, including butterflies, bees, and moths, and are a good meal for birds. The plants are also extraordinarily beautiful in the fall when the dull green leaves change to a rich tapestry of red, gold, and bronze.
Arrowwood viburnum is one of many viburnum varieties. Others include the Burkwood viburnum, which is slightly smaller and doesn't spread as much as arrowwood, with shiny leaves and aromatic flowers. Mapleleaf viburnum leaves change to an eye-catching pink in the fall, and snowball bush viburnum features large, round, white flowers.