General gardening topics

Viburnum carlesii – Koreanspice shrub you need to grow now

Last updated on January 24th, 2022

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Viburnum carlesii (Koreanspice) deciduous spice

This shrub is yet another outstanding variety of Viburnum. The ‘carlesii’ is a medium-sized shrub, reaching sizes of approximately 180cm (6ft) makes it ideal for small and larger gardens alike. Dark-green lobed foliage appears in the spring and this is a coppery-orange colour when young, alongside this, are red buds that open up into highly scented, beautiful, pale pink, snowball-shaped flowers. In autumn you will be delighted with another show of colour as red berries appear before turning to black.

It is ideal for formal hedges and shrub borders and is hardy down to -15°C (5°F) which is enough for most parts of the UK, except for very cold areas, such as in Scotland. It originates from Korea and China and attracts local wildlife.

Viburnum carlesii

Viburnum carlesii – source:

Growing positions

The Viburnum carlesii like to be planted in moist, well-drained soil and will grow well in full sun, partial shade and shade, making it ideal for most positions in the garden. To reach its ultimate height it takes around 5-10 years depending on growing conditions and does respond well to hard pruning if needed. Generally easy to grow, producing a vibrant show of colour from early spring with its coppery orange new foliage, all the way through until autumn thanks to its red berries, not forgetting the fragrant flowers in summer.


  • Very fragrant snowball-shaped pink flowers.
  • Red berries in the autumn.
  • Attracts wildlife.
  • Ideal for formal hedges and shrub borders.
  • Hardy.
  • Grows to around 6ft x 6ft (a compact, roundish-shaped shrub).
  • Deciduous.

Propagating Viburnum carlesii

Softwood cuttings will give you the best success rate when trying to propagate Viburnum carlesii and cuttings are taken in spring from the new growth. Cuttings will root quickly and be ready for potting on into larger pots in mid-summer, if not overwinter until the following season.

Take a cutting from the newest fresh growth, around 4 inches (10cm) long, remove the lower leaves and take a fresh cut just below the node (where the leaves are). This is where the new roots should shoot, pinch the top out and dip in rooting powder to help promote root growth. Make a hole in the compost, this should be 50% seed compost and 50% grit sand and then insert the cutting. Tap the sides to settle the compost and water well. Ideally, you want to place it in a propagator with bottom heat. Softwood cuttings root quickly so it shouldn’t be too long before they are ready to pot on.

Pest and diseases to look out for

Look out for, and spray with either a fungicide or pesticide at the first signs of:

  • Leaf spot
  • Honey Fungus
  • Viburnum beetle
  • Aphids

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  1. When should I plant my potted viburnum carlesii in the garden?

  2. John

    Hi you usually plant then either late autumn or spring when the ground is warm which encourages them to root. Plant around March / April once the weather starts to warm a little.

    Hope this helps.

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