The Complete Care Guide for Popcorn Viburnum (Viburnum Plicatum)

The Popcorn Viburnum, otherwise known as the Viburnum Plicatum F. Plicatum ‘Popcorn’ is a pretty well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast 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.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Popcorn Viburnum Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Popcorn Viburnum are the following:

  • Water: The Popcorn Viburnum wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.
  • Light: Keep your Viburnum Plicatum F. Plicatum ‘Popcorn’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Popcorn Viburnum in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Popcorn Viburnum is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Popcorn Viburnum flowers
Plant NameViburnum Plicatum
WateringMedium (1-2x per week)
LightPartial to full sun
TemperatureHeat zones 1-8
Where to buyEtsy has great options

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Popcorn Viburnum belongs to the Adoxaceae family, and the genus Viburnum, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Viburnum Plicatum F. Plicatum ‘Popcorn’ (vy-BER-num ply-KAY-tum).

As with other Viburnum’s, the Popcorn Viburnum is a semi-evergreen plant, which means it will shed its leaves but only for a short period of time.

Growing Region

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Popcorn Viburnum. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Viburnum Plicatum F. Plicatum ‘Popcorn’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Growth and Size

In terms of size and growth, the Popcorn Viburnum is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.

But, what size of Popcorn Viburnum are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

How big does Popcorn Viburnum get?

The Viburnum Plicatum F. Plicatum ‘Popcorn’ can grow up to 5′ – 8′ (150cm – 240cm) tall and 4′ – 7′ (120cm – 210cm) wide.

These dimensions make the Popcorn 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 rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 48″ – 84″ (120cm – 210cm) free so the Popcorn Viburnum can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Popcorn Viburnum is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Viburnum Plicatum F. Plicatum ‘Popcorn’ wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Popcorn Viburnum care

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Popcorn 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, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Popcorn Viburnum since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

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

This is why most experts agree that the Popcorn Viburnum requires soil with loam (silt), sand, clay, high organic matter, and shallow rocky, 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 Popcorn 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 Plicatum F. Plicatum ‘Popcorn’ in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a semi-evergreen plant, the Popcorn Viburnum will shed its leaves but only for a short period of time.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.


You can expect your Popcorn Viburnum to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).

In particular, this shrub is well known for its flowers for cutting and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Popcorn Viburnum produces some beautiful white, or white flowers around this time of year.


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

Popcorn Viburnum new buds

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Popcorn Viburnum is well known for being able to attract butterflies, 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 Plicatum F. Plicatum ‘Popcorn’ will be fine.


Does your Popcorn 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 Plicatum F. Plicatum ‘Popcorn’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most 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 Popcorn 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, hedge, specimen, privacy screen, dry shade, cutting garden, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Popcorn Viburnum’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Syringa, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend. Others consider that a nice Paeonia will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you.

Some other good options include:

• Bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa) – This upright, shrubby plant has tall spikes of creamy white flowers in late summer and early fall. It grows best in moist, shady areas.

• Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) – This large perennial reaches heights of up to 8 feet and features clusters of purple flowers on upright stems from late summer through fall. It prefers moist soil in full sun or partial shade.


And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Popcorn Viburnum to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Related Questions

Are Viburnum frost tolerant?

Yes, they are. In fact, the Popcorn Viburnum is one of the most frost-tolerant viburnums available. It can tolerate temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit

Are Viburnum Popcorn drought tolerant?

Yes, Popcorn Viburnum is drought tolerant. It is a moderate growing shrub that typically matures to 6-8′ tall and wide. It is noted for its tolerance of difficult growing conditions, including drought and air pollution. 

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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