Viburnum (Viburnum Obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’)

Plant: Table of Contents

All About Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’)

As a plant scientist, exploring the realm of flora provides endless fascination, and one plant that never fails to captivate are the viburnums. Among these, the Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ stands out as a charming and versatile choice for various landscapes.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricate details of the viburnum (Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’), covering topics ranging from its cultural needs, uses, to management strategies and much more. By the end of this discussion, you will gain a profound understanding of how to care for this beautiful variety, ensuring its growth and vibrancy in your garden or landscape.

What is a Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’)?


Scientific Name: Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’
Common Name: Dwarf Walter’s Viburnum
Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub
Mature Height: 3-5 feet
Mature Spread: 3-5 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate
Flowering: Spring
Hardiness Zone: 7-11
Native Range: Southeastern United States

Key Takeaways – Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’):

  • Adaptable and versatile evergreen shrub.
  • Compact size makes it suitable for various landscaping needs.
  • Lovely spring blooms and attractive foliage.
  • Tolerant of different soil types.

Now, let’s dive into the intricate details of nurturing and harnessing the beauty of the Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ for various settings and purposes.



The Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ offers a multitude of uses in landscaping and gardening scenarios. Some of the key applications include:

  • Hedging: Its dwarf form makes it a perfect choice for creating low hedges or borders.
  • Foundation Planting: The compact growth and year-round interest of this viburnum make it an excellent choice for foundation planting around structures.
  • Specimen Plant: Planting it as a standalone shrub highlights its attractive features, making it a focal point in gardens or landscapes.
  • Wildlife Gardens: This viburnum is a valuable addition to wildlife gardens, attracting birds and pollinators with its blooms and berries.


Proper watering is crucial for the establishment and continued health of Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’. Here are some essential pointers for watering this shrub:

  • Newly Planted Shrubs: Water deeply and regularly, ensuring the root ball remains consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  • Established Shrubs: Once established, this viburnum exhibits good drought tolerance. However, during prolonged dry spells, supplemental watering is beneficial, especially for optimal blooming.


For vibrant growth and prolific flowering, providing adequate sunlight is essential for Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’:

  • Full Sun to Partial Shade: This viburnum thrives in a wide range of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade. However, a location with part sun to part shade is often ideal, offering a balance of light and shade.


Proper fertilization supports the vigor and bloom production of Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Timing: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring before the onset of new growth.
  • Amount: Follow the fertilizer manufacturer’s recommendations for shrubs, adjusting based on the specific needs of the surrounding soil.


Understanding the soil preferences of Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ is crucial for providing an optimal growing environment:

  • Well-Drained Soil: This viburnum thrives in well-drained soil. Amending heavy or compacted soils with organic matter can improve drainage and overall growing conditions.
  • Soil pH: While adaptable to a range of soil pH levels, a slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.0-7.5) is ideal for this shrub.


Pruning plays a pivotal role in shaping the growth and overall appearance of Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’. Here are some pruning guidelines:

  • Timing: Prune this viburnum immediately after flowering to shape the shrub and remove any dead, damaged, or overgrown branches.
  • Pruning Frequency: Regular pruning isn’t always necessary. Minimal pruning to maintain the desired shape and size is often sufficient for this compact shrub.


For those interested in propagating Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’, several methods can be employed:

  • Softwood Cuttings: Propagation from softwood cuttings taken in late spring or early summer is a common and effective method.
  • Seed Propagation: Growing this shrub from seeds is another viable option, although it requires more time and patience compared to vegetative propagation methods.

Container Popularity

The compact size and ornamental qualities of Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ make it a popular choice for container gardening. However, some considerations for container cultivation include:

  • Well-Draining Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix to ensure excess moisture doesn’t accumulate in the container.
  • Container Size: Choose a container that accommodates the root system with ample room for growth. Regular repotting may be necessary as the shrub matures.

Common Diseases

While relatively resilient, Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ may encounter certain diseases under unfavorable conditions:

  • Leaf Spot: Fungal diseases like leaf spot can affect the foliage, causing unsightly spotting.
  • Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew may appear on the leaves, especially in humid conditions.

Disease Diagnosis:

Visual inspection of the shrub for signs of discoloration, spots, or abnormal foliage can help in diagnosing potential diseases. Additionally, consulting with local horticultural extension services can provide valuable insights into prevalent diseases in your region and appropriate management strategies.

Common Pests

Pest infestations can pose a threat to the health and appearance of Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’. Some common pests to be mindful of include:

  • Aphids: These small, sap-sucking insects can cluster on the new growth, causing distortion and damage to the foliage.
  • Scale Insects: Scale insects may infest the stems and foliage, leading to weakening of the shrub.

Botanist’s Tips

Consider these expert tips to enhance the growth and visual appeal of Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’:

  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the shrub to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and enhance the soil structure.
  • Companion Planting: Pairing this viburnum with complementary plants can create visually striking combinations and provide a diverse ecosystem for pollinators and beneficial insects.

Fun Facts

  • The Viburnum genus encompasses over 150 species, with a wide range of ornamental and practical uses in the landscape.
  • Many viburnum species, including Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’, produce berry-like fruits that are attractive to birds and wildlife.

Links to External Resources

Explore these valuable resources for further information on Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’:

  1. Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ – University of Florida IFAS Extension
  2. Viburnum obovatum – Missouri Botanical Garden
  3. Selecting Shrubs for Georgia Gardens – University of Georgia Extension


The Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ stands as a captivating and adaptable shrub, offering year-round interest and a host of landscaping possibilities. From its compact size to its ornamental blooms and attractive foliage, this viburnum holds immense potential for various garden and landscape settings.

By understanding its cultural needs, maintenance requirements, and potential challenges, you can effectively cultivate and showcase the inherent beauty of this delightful shrub. Whether used as a low hedge, a foundation planting, or a standalone specimen, the Viburnum obovatum ‘Reifler’s Dwarf’ adds a touch of elegance and charm to any outdoor space, enriching both the visual appeal and ecological value of the landscape.


Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.