Description & Overview

A Johnson’s Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum was selected by Mike Yanny for its compact habit and late flowering. While other Viburnum carlesii will flower while their leaves are still emerging, Spice Island bears its large, tantalizingly fragrant blooms against its fully developed foliage. In fall, its dark green foliage turns a deep wine red adding interest to any garden location. A truly stunning and aromatic shrub!

Core Characteristics

Category: Shrub

Wisconsin Native: No

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 4

Mature Height: 4-5 feet

Mature Spread: 5-6 feet

Growth Rate: Very Slow

Growth Form: Rounded Shrub, Compact

Light Requirements: Full Sun

Site Requirements: Rich, well-drained soil with average moisture

Flower: Large white cymes, extremely fragrant, self-infertile

Bloom Period: Late April to Mid-May

Foliage: Dark Green

Fall Color: Wine-Red

Urban Approved: No

Fruit Notes: Insignificant, drupe, self-infertile

Suggested Uses

Spice Island is more compact than other cultivars, making it easier to site and enjoy. Use it as a specimen, foundation plant, or border.

For best results, site this plant where its deliciously aromatic flowers can be fully appreciated, either near a window or along a garden walk, or where prevailing winds will carry the fragrance to your home.

Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum is perfectly suited for a variety of landscapes, from foundational plantings to mixed borders, offering a beautiful display as a specimen plant. Its compact growth allows for integration into landscapes where space might be limited. With its remarkable spring bloom and vivid fall colors, it’s an ideal choice for enhancing sensory experiences in residential and public spaces alike. It thrives in both full sun, adapts well to average garden soils, making it a versatile addition to diverse garden designs.

Download Spice Island™ Koreanspice Viburnum Plant Slick

A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum was selected by Mike Yanny for its compact habi…
A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum was selected by Mike Yanny for its compact habi…
A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum was selected by Mike Yanny for its compact habi…

Wildlife Value

The fragrant flowers attract birds, butterflies, and other pollinators in spring.

Maintenance Tips

If you desire to shape your Koreanspice Viburnums, use Heading Cuts immediately after the shrub finishes flowering, usually in June. Do not shear or prune after July, as this will cut off the new flower buds for the next year. This is a slow growing shrub, so be conservative with your pruning choices.

A healthy mulch ring will keep the roots cool and the soil moist, reducing the chance of disease.

A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum was selected by Mike Yanny for its compact habi…
A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum was selected by Mike Yanny for its compact habi…
A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum was selected by Mike Yanny for its compact habi…

Pests/Problems

Spice Island has no major disease or insect issues when healthy. If the shrub is stressed, it can be susceptible to bacterial, fungal, or insect damage. In especially wet seasons, the plant should be monitored for Viburnum Crown Borer damage. This can be treated with a systemic insecticide containing imidacloprid. The best preventative measure for the plant to make sure it is not stressed; it should be sited in well-drained soil, and in full sun.

Bacterial leaf spot and powdery mildew are also occasional problems but can be remedied by improving air flow and reducing moisture on the leaves.

Leaf Lore

Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum was selected in 2000 at Johnson’s Nursery from a block of open-pollinated Viburnum carlesii seedlings. It is a compact form of Viburnum carlesii which develops much more uniformly during the production process. This cultivar branches better than other Viburnum carlesii ‘Compacta’ cultivars in the trade, making for considerably fewer one-sided or poor structured plants. It matures at one half to two thirds the size of a typical Viburnum carlesii plant. Once the leaves have set in spring, showy red flower buds explode into large, fragrant clusters of petite white flowers, lasting for up to 3 weeks. Flowering occurs late April to mid-May.

Possibly the best feature of this shrub is its flowers. To say that they are fragrant is an understatement- their intoxicating aroma will make any passerby stop twice! To appreciate this plant in full bloom, stop by the nursery in spring to enjoy several of our established shrubs. And if you can’t get enough of the delicious, sweet and spicy aroma, take a stroll through our holding yard where you can appreciate dozens of the plant in full bloom!

Companion Plants

It can be paired with low perennials that emerge after the flowering has finished. Use Montrose White Calamint, Palace Purple Coralbells, and Rozanne Geranium to complement bloom times and have interest from spring to fall.

A Johnson's Nursery origination; J.N. Plant Selections introduction, Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum was selected by Mike Yanny for its compact habi…
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Written by Johnson's Nursery