Viburnum carlesii

Status: In stock

Product ID#: vcarl
Check Delivery Options Learn More >
Shipping to: | Change
Growing Zone:
Ship to Home
Local Pick-up Waterloo, WI
Local Delivery
Starting at: $83.99
Product Description
Sun Exposure Sun, Part Sun/Shade
Bloom Time Spring
Soil Conditions Normal, Clay/Heavy, Wet
Fall Color Burgundy/Purple, Red
Flower Color White, Pink
Fruit Color Red
Mature Plant Size (H x W) 4-6' x 4-6'
Korean Spice Viburnum, or Viburnum carlesii, is celebrated for its clusters of white flowers and a wonderful fragrance that captivates the senses. This rounded shrub features thick, oval leaves that turn a striking red-purple in the fall. The flowers transition into bright red berries that later darken to black, enhancing its seasonal appeal. Reaching a mature size of 4–5 feet tall by 5 feet wide, this shrub is perfect for planting near windows or outdoor living areas to enjoy its sweet scent. The bloom time of these perennials is in the spring when the plant displays its abundant white flowers, promising a spectacular show. Initially, the flower buds appear pink, then bloom into radiant white flowers. This viburnum thrives in full sun to part shade, making it a versatile choice for many garden settings. It’s an ideal perennial, adding consistent beauty and structure to the landscape.

At McKay Nursery, we are dedicated to providing robust and beautiful plants like the Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) shrub, ensuring they are a perfect addition to your landscape. With over a century of expertise, we guarantee the health and vitality of all our plants, backed by superior customer support. For further assistance or to make a purchase, contact us at [email protected] or call 920-478-2121. Our team is ready to help you elevate your gardening experience with quality and care.

Please note: #5 containers cannot be shipped to Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington due to size restrictions.
  • sunshade Sun, Part Sun/Shade
  • Mature Plant Size (H x W) Mature Plant Size (H x W): 4-6' x 4-6'
  • Bloom Season Bloom Season: Spring
Key features
  • Attracts Bees
  • Stone Mulch
  • Walnut Toxicity Resistant
  • Attracts Butterflies
  • Cut Flower
  • Fragrant Flowers
  • Attracts Pollinators
Planting Care

Planting & Care for Deciduous Shrub – Korean Spice Viburnum

  • Prune in April and July. Trim shoots lightly in early spring.
  • Plant in March, and from May through November.
  • Korean Spice Viburnum needs at least half a day’s full sunshine to flourish.
    Shield large-flowering varieties from cold wind.
  • These shrubs prefer well-drained soil enriched with well-rotted organic matter several weeks before planting.
  • In light soils that parch quickly, mulch in spring with moisture-conserving, bulky organics to keep roots cool and active.
Opening Plant Material
  • Containers: Completely saturate all container plants by putting them in a larger water container until bubbling stops. Remove the plant, then dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container, ensuring it’s wider on the sides by an additional 6” or more.
Planting Containers
  • Plant in March, and from May through November.
  • Slide the plant from the pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • With a shovel or knife, trim the bottom 2" off of the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
    Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flares out from the tree. This is called the root flare. This root flare should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flare is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.
Pruning - After Planting
  • Containers: Although it’s not essential after planting, light pruning can help shape a Korean Spice Viburnum. Doing so removes any broken branches from shipping or thins out a heavily branched plant to assist in the transplanting process and the appearance of your new planting.
Pruning - Through-out the Season
  • Prune in April and July. Trim shoots lightly in early spring.
Watering - After Planting
  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the six-week establishment period, water once per week unless rain occurs.
  • Remember to check soil moisture by sticking your finger into the soil around 3”.
Watering - Through-out the Season
  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it’s dry, give it a good soak with the hose end (no nozzle), watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Same as after planting, stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of sun exposure is ideal for Korean Spice bush?

This bush thrives in full sun to partial shade. It requires at least half a day of full sunshine to flourish, although it should be protected from the harsh afternoon sun in very hot climates to prevent leaf scorch.

Are Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) shrubs invasive?

Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) shrubs are not invasive. These plants will form tidy thickets over time without bothering nearby plants. However, you may remove the suckers that form at the base of the plant. This can be done through pruning after flowering or mowing them down if you don’t want them to spread.

Why is my Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) shrub’s leaves drying up?

A common cause of leaves drying up and branches dying back is drought stress. While this shrub is sometimes considered drought-resistant, that reputation only applies to well-established plants and relatively short drought periods, up to about four weeks.

Korean spice viburnum is only drought-tolerant to a certain extent. Beyond that point, the shrub will show signs of distress, such as dried-up and blackened leaves.

Homeowners often let ground covers and garden plants get quite thirsty, believing they will readily go dormant and quickly recover once it rains again. It's best to water your viburnum deeply and immediately when you notice the leaves starting to dry up and turn black.

What are the common problems when growing Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii)?

It's quite likely your Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) is quite resilient against pests and diseases. However, you may encoutner issues with aphids causing leaf curl and Viburnum crown borers. Aphids can be dealt with by using organic neem oil. Afterward, prune the affected branch tips so the plant will recover. Your bush can also be affected by the Viburnum crown borer, an insect that bores into the lower stems, causing die-back. Maintaining the plant's health often prevents these insects from nesting. Applying pesticides to the lower 12 inches of the stems can eliminate the borers before they harm the shrub.

How do I protect my Korean Spice bush during winter?

Viburnums are very hardy shrubs that typically don't need winter protection from the cold if grown within their hardiness range. However, you may apply some level of protection to ensure they survive the harsh winter temperatures. As fall progresses, stop watering and fertilizing the plant. Avoid letting the shrub sit in damp conditions during winter, as this can lead to root rot. In some regions, a blanket of mulch over the root zone can be beneficial. Some growers in these areas also protect the shrub with a tent or burlap wrap to prevent winter burn. However, viburnums generally recover well from minor winter dieback.

Planting & Handling Help

Download our Planting and Handling Guide below to plan for a successful arrival and install of your plants. Be sure to water all plants as soon as they arrive and every day until you’re ready to plant. Keep any bare root bundles in a shady, cool spot with the roots covered at all times.

Learn More

Watch our videos on handling bare root plants, how your order is prepared for shipment and more.

Plant Sizing

What is the difference between Containers, Grow Bags, Bare Root, and Balled & Burlap (B&B)?

Shipping Times

Our FedEx and local shipping times depend on two factors, one is by the region and the second is the type of product being shipped. For example, small fruits are only shipped in spring, but majority of our perennials are shipped from spring until fall. Keep in mind the dates below act as a general guide. Due to unpredictable weather, staffing, inventory and industry demands these timelines can change. Therefore, we cannot guarantee any of these times.


Shipping Dates by Region*


Northern Cold Region: April 22nd - November 7th

Northern Region: April 15th - November 7th

Middle Region: April 1st - November 7th

Southern Region: March 15th - November 7th

Local Delivery (small radius from Waterloo, WI): April 22nd - November 7th


Shipping Dates by Season*


Spring Shipping: Region Start Date (above) - May

Fall Shipping: September - November


Due to unpredictable weather, these times may vary. Some varieties are exceptions due to heat and plant health reasons. Enter your shipping zip code at the top of this page and be sure to check the shipping information on each product before you add it to your cart. If the product is too large or restricted in your state, you will not be able to checkout with that item in your cart.