Red Robin Hedging container grown hedging perfect for Spring planting


Guelder Rose Hedging

Guelder Rose Hedges, also known as Viburnum opulus, is an attractive deciduous hedging species that provides seasonal interest and produces large clusters of wildlife friendly red berries. The plant is also commonly referred to as the European cranberry bush, a name that echoes its historical use as a food source and its cultural significance in Eastern Europe and Russia.

In addition to its ornamental beauty, the Guelder Rose plays a crucial role in supporting biodiversity. The dense foliage offers ideal nesting sites for birds, while the flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, during their blooming period in spring. The berries, which ripen to a vibrant red in the autumn, are a vital source of food for birds and small mammals during the colder months, making this plant not only a visually appealing choice for gardeners but also an important contributor to local ecosystems.

Popular varieties of Guelder Rose Hedge Plants

Choose from our most popular varieties of Guelder Rose Hedging plants, available in a range of sizes and root types.

Guelder Rose Hedge

Guelder Rose Hedge

(Viburnum opulus)

Guelder Rose is a deciduous hedging plant, that produces white lace-cap flower heads in spring followed by juicy red berries in the autumn. It has large ornate green leaves that turn red in the autumn.

Growth rate: Medium 20-40cm per year

Overall height: Medium up to 5 metres

Position: Full Sun, Full Shade, Exposed, Sheltered

Root Types: Bare Root, Pot Grown

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What is Guelder Rose Hedging?

The plant’s distinctive ornamental features include its vibrant green, maple-like leaves that turn to a stunning shade of red-purple in the autumn. In spring, it boasts beautiful white flowers arranged in a snowball-like cluster, which later develop into its characteristic bright red berries.

With its seasonal changes, Guelder Rose Hedging offers year-round interest in the garden, providing a dynamic and evolving landscape view.

Its hardiness and low maintenance requirements further contribute to its popularity. While it benefits from occasional pruning to maintain shape and encourage healthy growth, Guelder Rose is relatively easy to care for, making it an appealing choice for both experienced gardeners and those who are just beginning to cultivate their green spaces.

Guelder rose hedging plants

Benefits & Features of Guelder Rose Hedges

Guelder Rose Hedges not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of gardens and landscapes but also offer numerous ecological and practical benefits. Below are some of the key features and advantages of incorporating Guelder Rose into your gardening or landscaping projects:

  • Wildlife Attraction: The blooms attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, while the berries serve as a food source for birds and small mammals.

  • Year-Round Interest: With its changing seasonal appearances, from spring flowers to autumn berries and vibrant foliage, it provides continuous beauty and interest.

  • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it ideal for both novice and experienced gardeners.

  • Hardy and Adaptable: Thrives in a variety of soil types and conditions, from full sun to partial shade.

  • Natural Barrier: Its dense growth can form an effective and decorative barrier or privacy screen.

  • Rich Biodiversity Support: Contributes to the local ecosystem by supporting a variety of wildlife.

  • Erosion Control: Helps prevent soil erosion in certain landscapes due to its sturdy root system.

  • Aesthetic Versatility: Adds ornamental value to any garden design, from rustic to more formal landscapes.

Incorporating Guelder Rose hedges into your landscape not only boosts its ecological value but also elevates the visual appeal of your outdoor space throughout the year.

Planting tips for Guelder Rose Hedge Plants

When planting Guelder Rose, it’s essential to promptly plant bare root guelder and bare root plants upon delivery to prevent the tender roots from drying out. This is crucial for their survival and establishment. A general guideline is to plant them 1.2 to 1.5 meters (approximately 4 to 5 feet) apart, allowing ample space for the plants to reach their full size without overcrowding. However, for a denser hedge, you might consider reducing the spacing slightly.

Before planting, it’s recommended to prepare the soil by loosening it and ensuring it is moist, as Guelder Rose prefers moist soil conditions. Mixing in some well-rotted compost or manure will enrich the soil and promote healthier, more robust growth. This preparation is particularly important for supporting the Guelder Rose in periods of waterlogging, which it can tolerate well. After planting, thorough watering is crucial, especially in the initial stages as the plants establish themselves. Mulching around the base can help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and provide the plants with necessary nutrients as the mulch breaks down over time.

Annual mulching and a regular watering schedule, especially in dry periods, will support the Guelder Rose’s growth. Although it’s a hardy plant, in its first few years after planting, taking these steps will help ensure that it becomes well established in its new environment, leading to a beautiful and healthy hedge for years to come.

Growth Rates

Guelder Rose Hedge plants generally exhibit a moderate growth rate, often adding between 20 to 40 cm (about 8 to 16 inches) annually. This rate can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of soil, the amount of sunlight received, and the amount of care and maintenance the plant receives.

When to Plant Guelder Rose Hedging

The best time of year to plant Guelder Rose hedges is during the dormant season between late autumn and early spring. This gives the plant time to establish its root system before the growing season begins, ensuring a strong and healthy start.

Guelder Rose hedge spacing chart

Please refer to our plant spacing chart below for the correct distances to space your guelder rose hedge plants.


Preferred Soil Types & Positions

Guelder Rose Hedging, Viburnum opulus, is recognized not only for its aesthetic appeal but also for its adaptability to a wide range of soil types and conditions. This makes it an excellent choice for gardeners and landscapers looking to introduce a versatile and hardy plant into their spaces. Ideally grown in moist, well-drained soil, Guelder Rose can thrive in both full sun and partial shade, making it suitable for various garden designs and locations.

Pruning and Caring for Guelder Rose Hedges

Pruning and caring for Guelder Rose Hedges is relatively straightforward, ensuring their health and promoting vigorous growth. It’s recommended to prune these hedges in late winter or early spring before the onset of new growth. This timing allows gardeners to shape the hedge without risking damage to the upcoming blooms, including the frothy white flowers of the snowball tree, a common name for Guelder Rose, which are a highlight in any garden.

When pruning, focus on removing any dead, damaged, or diseased branches to maintain the plant’s vitality. Thinning out older branches can also encourage fresh growth and improved air circulation within the hedge, enhancing its overall health and appearance. Starting with smaller plants can be beneficial, as they are easier to manage and can grow into a dense, bushy hedge with time.

Aside from annual pruning, Guelder Rose requires little by way of maintenance. Keep an eye on watering needs, especially in dry conditions, and consider applying a balanced hedge fertiliser in early spring to support healthy growth throughout the season. The dark green foliage of the Guelder Rose turns a stunning red in autumn, adding to the visual appeal of the hedge throughout the seasons. For a diverse and attractive display, consider combining Guelder Rose with other species to create a mixed country hedge or mixed hedge, which can provide year-round interest and a haven for wildlife.

By adhering to these simple care guidelines, your Guelder Rose Hedge will remain a vibrant and thriving feature in your garden, providing year-round interest and a haven for wildlife.


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