Why plant Audubon® Native American Highbush Cranberrybush Viburnum?
It’s not a true Cranberry Bush, but the American Cranberrybush Viburnum, also known as the Highbush Cranberry, does sport clusters of similar-looking, succulent red fruits. Like cranberries, its fruits are high in vitamin C, but they’re sour, and taste much better in jellies and sauces. Bird-lovers will want to leave the berries on the plant for the robins, cardinals, bluebirds, and Cedar Waxwings to enjoy. Birds will also forage on the caterpillars that American Cranberrybush sustains. Many of these caterpillars—if they escape the birds—become wonderful adults that you’ll want in your garden. The spring azure butterfly is one, and the hummingbird clearwing moth is another.
Cold-climate gardeners, this one’s for you! American Cranberrybush Viburnum is native to Canada, the Upper Midwest, New England, and Washington State, and it’s hardy to 50 below zero. You’ll find it growing in moist or even boggy areas in the wild. American Cranberrybush is distinguished from our other native Viburnums by virtue of its lacecap flower clusters. Like some Hydrangeas, it has a mass of tiny, fertile blossoms, which feed native miner bees, sweat bees, and hoverflies, surrounded by a ring of showy sterile flowers, which catch the insects’ (and our) attention.
How to use Audubon® Native American Highbush Cranberrybush Viburnum in the landscape?
Autumn foliage to light up your garden! When the days start to get chilly, American Cranberrybush Viburnum puts on another show. The Maple-like leaves morph from green to crimson-red, often with hints of purple and gold. A fabulous fall finale.
Hardiness Zone: 4-7
How To Plant Audubon® Native American Highbush Cranberrybush Viburnum
American Cranberrybush Viburnum in full sun for the greatest flower and fruit production. It blooms less in part shade but will grow happily there as well. It prefers rich soil, though this adaptable plant will accept most well-drained sites without complaint. A destructive insect called the Viburnum leaf beetle has become a problem in some areas, and American Cranberrybush Viburnum is particularly vulnerable to it. It may be a good idea to check with your local extension service about the prevalence of the pest in your area before planting this species.
How To Water
Provide water on a weekly basis and mulch with wood chips, bark, or pine straw to conserve moisture and moderate temperatures in the root zone.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.
How To Prune
Prune your Viburnum shortly after the flowers fade to avoid sacrificing the next year’s blooms.