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Viburnum plicatum f. plicatum ‘Mary Milton’ (Japanese Snowball)

Japanese Snowball 'Mary Milton', Mary Milton Japanese Snowball

AGM Award
Viburnum Mary Milton, Mary Milton Japanese Snowball
Viburnum Mary Milton, Mary Milton Japanese Snowball

‘Mary Milton’ is a cultivar of Viburnum plicatum f. plicatum, commonly known as Japanese Snowball. This ornamental shrub is characterized by its stunning, pink snowball clusters of flowers, along with its intricately pleated, horizontally arranged leaves.

Viburnum ‘Mary Milton’: An In-depth Look

Native: The species Viburnum plicatum is native to Japan, China, and Taiwan. The ‘Mary Milton’ cultivar has been developed for ornamental use and is often found in gardens and landscapes outside its native range.

Plant Type and Habit: This is a deciduous shrub with a spreading habit. It usually grows with multiple stems, creating a layered appearance.

Size: ‘Mary Milton’ generally reaches a height and spread of 8 to 10 feet (240-300 cm).

Flowers: This cultivar is particularly admired for its pink to rose-colored flowers, uncommon in this species typically known for white blooms. The flower heads are globe-shaped, resembling snowballs, and can be up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. They bloom in late spring to early summer, generally from May to June.

Fruits: Unlike its tomentosum counterpart (Doublefile Viburnum), Japanese Snowball does not produce berries.

Foliage: The leaves are mid-green, pleated, and somewhat oval in shape. In the fall, the foliage may turn to attractive shades of red and purple.

Hardiness: It is hardy in USDA zones 5-8, making it a versatile choice for many climates.

Award: Winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Uses: ‘Mary Milton’ is commonly used as a specimen plant due to its striking appearance. It also works well in shrub borders and can be used for hedging. Its height and spread make it suitable for creating privacy screens as well.

Wildlife: While it doesn’t produce berries to attract birds, the flowers can attract pollinators such as butterflies.

Deer and Rabbits: The shrub has moderate deer resistance, which means it may escape browsing in areas with low deer pressure. Rabbits generally avoid it.

Toxicity: Viburnum plicatum is generally considered non-toxic to both pets and humans.

Drought: Once established, it has moderate drought tolerance but prefers consistent moisture for optimal growth and flowering.

InvasivenessFind where this species is invasive in the United States. Discover beautiful U.S. native plant alternatives.

Benefits: This cultivar offers multiple benefits: aesthetic appeal through its unique flower color, the ability to attract pollinators, and seasonal interest through its foliage. Additionally, it is a relatively low-maintenance shrub, requiring only minimal pruning to maintain its shape.

How to Grow and Care for Japanese Snowball

Light: Prefers full sun to partial shade. The more sun, the more flowers.

Soil: Well-drained, loamy to sandy soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH.

Water: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Drought-tolerant once established.

Fertilizer: Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer in early spring. Organic matter like compost can also be beneficial.

Pruning: Best to prune right after flowering not to affect next year’s blooms. Remove any dead or diseased branches.

Propagation: Softwood cuttings are most successful when taken in late spring or early summer.

Pests and Diseases: No serious insect or disease issues. Keep an eye out for aphids, scale insects, thrips, or viburnum beetle. Occasional disease problems include leaf spot and powdery mildew. Apply appropriate treatments as needed.

Follow these guidelines to give your Viburnum plicatum the best chance for a healthy, vibrant life in your garden.

Viburnum: How to Grow and Care with Success


Want to learn how to grow and care for Viburnum like a pro? Follow these simple steps and enjoy the beauty of these striking shrubs.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Adoxaceae
Genus Viburnum
Common names Viburnum, Japanese snowball
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 8' - 10'
(240cm - 3m)
Spread 8' - 10'
(240cm - 3m)
Spacing 96" - 120"
(240cm - 3m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Viburnum
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Viburnum opulus ‘Nanum’ (European Cranberrybush)
Viburnum odoratissimum (Sweet Viburnum)
Viburnum farreri (Farrer Viburnum)
Viburnum setigerum (Tea Viburnum)
Viburnum ‘Pragense’ (Prague Viburnum)
Viburnum macrocephalum (Chinese Snowball Viburnum)

Recommended Companion Plants

Rhododendron ‘English Roseum’
Myosotis sylvatica (Wood Forget-Me-Not)
Hosta (Plantain Lily)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Small Trees and Shrubs That Attract Birds
Pure White Flowers for a Touch of Elegance in Your Garden
Choosing Your Ideal Hedge: A Guide to Top Shrubs for Any Garden
Add a Splash of Color: Perfect Flowering Shrubs for Small Gardens
35 Flowering Shrubs That Thrive in Full Sun
40 Beautiful Native Shrubs for Shade
Viburnum – What Is Wrong With My Shrub?
Viburnum – Pests and Diseases to Watch Out For
Viburnum: How to Grow and Care with Success
10 Creative Ways to Incorporate Viburnum in Your Garden
Why You Should Avoid Growing Invasive Viburnums
Native Viburnums: Ideal Shrubs for Your Garden
Viburnum
Create a Garden with Great Winter Interest
Shrubs and Trees with Colorful Fruits and Berries in Winter
Native Plant Alternatives to Viburnum opulus (European Cranberrybush)
Native Plant Alternatives to Viburnum plicatum (Japanese Snowball)
Native Plant Alternatives to Viburnum dilatatum (Linden Viburnum)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Adoxaceae
Genus Viburnum
Common names Viburnum, Japanese snowball
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 8' - 10'
(240cm - 3m)
Spread 8' - 10'
(240cm - 3m)
Spacing 96" - 120"
(240cm - 3m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Viburnum
Not sure which Viburnum to pick?
Compare Now

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