S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Viburnum ‘Copper Top’
For Northeast Florida
Jacksonville | St. Augustine area Landscapes
( Viburnum Odoratissimum ‘Brant 01’ being grown and sold under the trade name ‘Copper Top’ presumably to extend the life of the patent from the current 20 year expiration law with the use of a trademarked name, while it may cause some confusion to the home gardener looking for information it is an understandable action for both those who breed plants and purchase the rights from breeders to propagate their unique hybrids and mutations, although I do love plants intentional hybridizing is quite the undertaking that I don’t wish to participate in, but am glad that others do it for me! maybe when I retire someday….. )
Viburnum odaratissimum ‘Copper Top’ Origins:
– Viburnum odoratissimum is native from the Himalayas to Japan but has been evaluated by UFIFAS and found to be Florida friendly.
Copper top is a vegitatively reproduced clone of the parent plant found growing in a field of Viburnum Odoratissimum in Bushnell Florida. It is cultivated for its compact growth habit and bronze – red new growth flush.
More information on the selection in its patent information here
Preferred Exposure of Viburnum Copper Top:
– Viburnum will tolerate full sun to partial shade situations in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine areas gardens.
Foliage of the Copper Top Viburnum:
-Large evergreen foliage makes Viburnum Odoratissimum a showy landscape accent any time of the year. Copper top has a slightly smaller more narrow leaf than that of traditional Odoratissimum and a beautiful new growth flush of color that is a bronze – red color throughout the growing season as more flushes of new growth emerge you get more color on the plant.
Soil Preference / Salt tolerance of Copper Top Viburnum:
– Viburnum Odoratissimum Copper Top will prefer well drained soils but is not particular about the makeup or content of that soil. It tolerates clay, sand, loam acidic or alkaline conditions equally well.
– Not recommended for use in poorly drained areas that will stay wet during our heavy rain season. If you just must plant Viburnum into a moist area raise it 3-6 inches above the existing soil level to help its roots get up out of the water after a rain.
– Sweet Viburnum has a low salt tolerance and should be avoided on coastal properties.
Size Variance of the Viburnum odoratissimum Copper Top:
– The new compact selection of Viburnum Odoratissimum can reach sizes of 8-10 feet High | 5-6 feet Wide depending on how many trunks are allowed to develop.
Growth Habit of Copper Top Viburnum:
– Viburnum shrubs will need clipped and shaped annualy to keep it as a squared hedge for privacy screens and foundation planting. Their natural habit if left untrimmed will form a semi – upright/ to rounded or oval shape.
Growth Rate of the Copper Top Viburnum:
– Fast growing shrub quickly establishes itself into the landscape. Expect them to reach their full potential within their third to fourth year of growth from a three gallon container.
Bloom of the Copper Top Viburnum:
– Large very fragrant, clusters of attractive white flowers cover the plant
each spring followed by small red berries that mature to a deep black are are moderately showy in summer.
Water Requirements of Copper Top Viburnum:
– Viburnum odoratissimum is drought tolerant once established into the
landscape. Good choice for low water areas as they will continue to grow well once supplemental irrigation is reduced.
Check water needs daily during the establishment period to get plants rooted in and growing quickly. Watering New Smaller Plants
Butterfly or Bird Attracting :
– attractive as a pollinator food source during the short bloom period in early spring, fruits that follow the flowers are utilized by birds and provide an excellent food source.
Best Uses For Copper Top Viburnum odoratissimum:
– Viburnum odoratissimum Copper Top is a great choice for a moderate to fast growing shrub or small patio accent tree. Use them as the backdrop to the perennial border or as a back layer in foundation plantings on home landscapes to add a pop of color. Can also be used as a hedge screen that is just perfect for a quick privacy fence. Excellent choice for a small landscape specimen tree as its root system is not invasive it can be planted close to the foundation of a home or sidewalk etc. with no damage.
– Normal Sweet Viburnum may not be the best choice for hedges that need to be kept under 4 ft unless you just love pruning your hedges. Copper top is a compact selection and grows to less than half the mature height of traditional viburnums making them an ideal candidate for smaller hedges that can easily be maintained with simple annual or semi annual pruning. Remember Viburnum flushes almost 4-6 inches of new growth immediately following a pruning so if attempting to keep them as a foundation plant remember to prune down 4-6 inches beneath where you would like to see their growth be to give yourself some time before the next pruning is needed.
Care of S & J Nurserys North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine Shrubs:
– Shrubs can be planted in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine
area at any time during the year. In normal and well draining soils dig the hole as deep as the root ball and two to three times as wide. Plant the top of the root ball level or slightly higher than the surrounding soils. When planting in poorly drained soils make sure to plant your shrubs into a raised mound a minimum of 3 inches ABOVE the surrounding soil level.
– Water every day during the establishment period. For most 3 gallon size
shrubs in the North Florida landscape in average soil, that is neither heavy clay that holds water or really sandy that will take 2-3 weeks of daily watering to ensure that your newly planted shrub will begin to put out new roots and grow into its new home happily. After the first few weeks begin
tapering back your watering to every other day then every third day and so on until your newly planted items are flourishing without your assistance.
– If planting larger shrubs you may need to extend the initial care a bit
longer to protect your investment and get your shrubs off to the best start possible.
– IMPORTANT: If planting shrubs in heavy clay soils that hold a lot of
water after a rain or irrigating, remember to check the soil for moisture by sticking your fingers into the soil near the rootball of the newly planted shrub down to 2-3 inches. If it remains wet from the previous watering
wait for the top 2-3 inches to dry out before watering again.
– IMPORTANT: When planting shrubs into poor sandy soils be sure to amend the planting hole by mixing compost or cow manure etc. with the native soil that will go back in the hole around the new plants root ball when installing your shrub material, this will not only give your new shrubs good soil to grow its new roots into but help it hold water.
– When planting shrubs from containers be sure to loosen the roots as much as possible pulling loose roots away from the root ball before installing your new plants, if the roots are to tight to easily loosen with your hands use a knife to cut a few slits into the root ball being careful to go all the way from the top to the bottom and making the cut at least an inch deep. This will ensure that your plant will immediately begin to form new roots into its new surrounding soil.
– Mulch newly planted shrubs whenever possible.
– Fertilize each spring with a shovel full of good garden compost or a mixture of Milorganite and a Slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the tree.
– Prune as needed to shape each spring and or summer.