The Complete Guide for Nannyberry Viburnum (Viburnum Lentago) Care

The Nannyberry Viburnum, otherwise known as the Viburnum Lentago or Nannyberry, Sheepberry, Sweet Viburnum, is a somewhat well known shrub plant native to the Southeast, Northeast, and the Rocky Mountains of the United States.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Nannyberry Viburnum Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

In order to take proper care of your Nannyberry Viburnum you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Nannyberry Viburnum needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Viburnum Lentago in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Nannyberry Viburnum in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your Nannyberry Viburnum will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.

Description and Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Nannyberry Viburnum belongs to the Viburnaceae family, the genus Viburnum and the species Lentago, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Viburnum Lentago (vy-BER-num lent-AH-go).

As with other Viburnum’s, the Nannyberry Viburnum is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

NameNannyberry Viburnum (Viburnum Lentago)
WateringTwice per week
TemperatureCan tolerate as low as -22°F
LightPartial shade to full sun
PruningEvery winter

Growing Region

The Nannyberry Viburnum is a plant native to northeast and midwest North America. This is why the Viburnum Lentago is used to growing in specific regions such as the states in the Southeast, Northeast, and the Rocky Mountains of the United States.

You might be wondering why your Nannyberry Viburnum’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Viburnum Lentago will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

Growth and Size

In terms of size and growth, the Nannyberry Viburnum is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.

But, how big does the Nannyberry Viburnum actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

How big does a Nannyberry Viburnum get?

The Viburnum Lentago can grow up to 10′ – 20′ (3m – 6m) wide and 6′ – 12′ (180cm – 3.6m) tall. 

These dimensions make the Nannyberry Viburnum a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful narrow shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 72″ – 144″ (180cm – 360cm) free so the Nannyberry Viburnum can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Nannyberry Viburnum is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs. Specifically, most experts agree that the Viburnum Lentago needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out. Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Nannyberry Viburnum in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Nannyberry Viburnum then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Nannyberry Viburnum needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Nannyberry Viburnum prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the Nannyberry Viburnum requires soil with clay, and loam (silt), which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Nannyberry Viburnum requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Viburnum Lentago in from little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to dappled or moderate shade (under other plant’s canopy), to full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a deciduous plant, the Nannyberry Viburnum will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


You can expect your Nannyberry Viburnum to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring). In particular, this shrub is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Nannyberry Viburnum produces some beautiful flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Nannyberry Viburnum have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with the opposite organization in its leaves. You can expect the leaves from your Viburnum Lentago to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Nannyberry Viburnum is well known for being able to attract butterflies and birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for drought conditions, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Viburnum Lentago will be fine.


Does your Nannyberry Viburnum have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Viburnum Lentago owners agree that this shrub will look great in most cottage and rustic gardens of all types. Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Nannyberry Viburnum’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a mass planting, urban garden, border, specimen, or a wildlife garden.


Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Nannyberry Viburnum, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Related Questions

Is Viburnum Lentago an evergreen?

Yes, the Viburnum Lentago is an evergreen shrub. This means that it will retain its leaves year-round, offering interest in the landscape even during the winter months.

How fast do Nannyberries grow?

Depending on the soil, water and sun conditions, Nannyberry bushes can grow from 1ft (30cm) to more than 2ft(60cm) in a year.

What is the best fertilizer for Viburnum?

There are many different types of fertilizer that can be used on viburnum plants, but in general, organic fertilizer is going to be the best option. This is because organic fertilizer will provide the plant with a slow release of nutrients that it can use over time, and it will also help improve the soil’s overall health. This is important because viburnum plants can be very sensitive to environmental changes, and healthy soil will help them thrive.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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