Snowberry: planting and care, haircut, reproduction, photo

Garden plants

Plant snowberry (Latin Symphoricarpos), or snow berry, or wolfberry Is a genus of deciduous shrubs of the Honeysuckle family. In culture, this plant has been decorating parks and squares for more than two hundred years. There are about 15 species in the genus, growing in nature only in Central and North America, except for one species - Symphoricarpos sinensis - which is native to China. The scientific name of the plant is formed from two Greek words that translate as "gather together" and "fruit", and if you look at the densely pressed berries of a snowberry, you will understand why it was called that.
A characteristic feature of the shrub is precisely its berries, which remain on the bushes almost all winter and whose seeds serve as food for waxwings, quails, pheasants and hazel grouses.

Planting and caring for a snowberry

  • Landing: in spring and autumn.
  • Bloom: from July or August.
  • Lighting: bright light or partial shade.
  • The soil: any, including stony and calcareous.
  • Watering: only in drought, in the evening, at a consumption of 1.5-2 buckets of water for each bush.
  • Top dressing: in early spring, 5-6 kg of humus or compost, 100 g of potassium salt and the same amount of superphosphate are introduced into the root area. In the middle of summer, if necessary, the bush is fed with a solution of 50 g of Agricola in 10 liters of water.
  • Cropping: in early spring, before the start of sap flow, sanitary and formative pruning is carried out.
  • Reproduction: root shoots, dividing the bush, layering, cuttings, less often seeds.
  • Pests: do not amaze.
  • Diseases: powdery mildew and gray fruit rot.
  • Properties: the plant is poisonous.

Read more about growing a snowberry below.

Botanical description

In height, the snowberry shrub reaches from 20 cm to 3 m. It has rounded, whole-edged opposite short-petiolized leaves from one to one and a half centimeters long, with one or two lobes at the base. Flexible branches in winter do not break under the weight of snow. Flowers of regular shape, greenish-white, red or pink in color are collected in 5-15 pieces in axillary or terminal racemose inflorescences.

The snowberry begins to bloom in July or August. The fruit of a snowberry is an ellipsoidal or spherical succulent drupe 1-2 cm in diameter, red, black-violet, but most often white, with oval bones compressed from the sides. The pulp of the white fruit resembles sparkling grainy snow. The fruit of the snowberry is inedible. The plant is a honey plant.

In ornamental horticulture, the most popular is the white snowberry, or brush, due to its gas and smoke resistance, and the hedge of the snowberry most often attracts the eye. A snowberry flower with pink fruits feels uncomfortable in a cool climate; it prefers warm winters and black soil.

Planting a snowberry in open ground

When to plant

One of the main advantages of a shrub, in addition to decorativeness, is its unpretentiousness. It can grow in full sun and partial shade, both in wet soil and in dry soil. If you plant a snowberry on a crumbling slope, its dense rhizomes will stop erosion and shedding of the soil. Planting a snowberry in open ground is carried out both in spring and autumn, but whenever you start doing this, the soil on the site must be prepared in advance.

How to plant

If you are planning to plant a hedge, choose two to four-year-old snowberry seedlings for this purpose. Pull a twine along the line of the designated hedge and dig a trench about 40 cm wide and up to 60 cm deep along it. 4-5 bushes are planted per running meter of the trench. For solo or group planting, the bushes are placed at a distance of 120-150 cm from each other. The size of the pit in this case should be 65x65 cm.

Pits or trenches are dug in advance: for autumn planting - a month in advance, for spring planting - from autumn. Preliminary preparation is especially important if the soil is loamy or clayey on the site - before planting the seedlings, the soil in the pit should settle. A layer of crushed stone and a fertile soil mixture prepared from river coarse sand, peat and humus or compost with the addition of 200 g of dolomite flour, 600 g of wood ash and 200 g of superphosphate for each plant is placed in the pit.

The planting of a snowberry is carried out in such a way that after trampling the soil in the near-trunk circle, watering and settling the soil in the hole, its root collar is at the level of the surface of the site, but half an hour before placing the plant in the hole, it is advisable to dip its roots into a clay chatterbox. The seedling is watered daily for the first 4-5 days.

Caring for a snowberry in the garden

Growing conditions

Due to the absolute unpretentiousness of the snowberry, you could not take care of it at all, but if you give it a minimum of time and attention, it will reward you with well-groomed and luxurious beauty. Caring for a snowberry consists in mulching the trunk circle immediately after planting with a layer of peat 5 cm thick, loosening the soil to a depth of 8-10 cm, removing weeds, feeding, pruning, watering and protecting against insects and pests, if necessary.

Watering a snowberry is carried out only in dry season - one and a half to two buckets of water are poured under each bush in the evening. If the summer is relatively humid, then there is no need to water the snowberry at all. It is more convenient to weed and loosen the soil in the trunk circle after rain or watering. In the fall, they dig up the soil around the snowberry.

In the spring, 5-6 kg of compost or humus, 100 g of superphosphate and the same amount of potassium salt are introduced into the plant trunk circle. The second time, if necessary, the snowberry bush is fed in the middle of the season with a solution of 50 g of Agricola in 10 liters of water.


If for some reason you decide to transplant a snowberry, do it as quickly as possible, until the bush has built up a powerful root system. The plant transfers the transplant easily, but it is carried out in the same order and at the same time as the initial planting. The main thing in this process is to properly dig up the bush, causing as little damage as possible to its roots. The fact is that the radius of the feeding area of ​​an adult snowberry bush is from 70 to 100 cm, that is, in order to dig it up without sad consequences for health, you need to dig it in a circle at a distance of at least 70 cm from the bush.

A haircut

The snowberry tolerates pruning easily. The best time for cutting the crown is early spring before the start of sap flow. All broken, dry, frozen, thickening, too old and damaged by disease or pests are removed, and healthy branches are shortened by half or at least a quarter.

Do not be afraid to prune the bush - flower buds of the snowberry are laid on the shoots of the current year, and after pruning, the shrub is easily restored. Slices on branches thicker than 7 mm must be treated with garden varnish. On bushes over eight years old, the leaves and flowers are small, the shoots are weak and short. If you notice this, then it's time to carry out anti-aging pruning "on a stump" at a height of 50-60 cm. During the summer, young strong shoots are formed from dormant buds on the remains of branches.

Pests and diseases

The snowberry is very resistant to diseases and pests, and most likely they bypass it, because the snowberry is poisonous. It is extremely rare, but nevertheless, the plant is affected by powdery mildew and gray rot of fruits. To prevent the infection of the snowberry with these fungal infections, in early spring, before the buds swell, the bushes are treated with a 3% solution of Bordeaux liquid. If you did not carry out the treatment and the plant got sick, spray the bush with one of the modern fungicides - Tiovit Jet, Fundazol, Topaz, Skor, Quadris, Topsin or some other drug from this series.

Snowberry breeding

The snowberry is propagated by seeds, cuttings, layering, root shoots and bush division.

Seed reproduction

This method of breeding is the most laborious of all, in addition, it will take a lot of time, but if you are in no hurry, then why not give it a try? Separate the seeds from the fruit pulp, place in a nylon stocking and squeeze well. Then place the seeds in water, poured into a small container, shake well and let the suspension settle: the remaining pulp will float and the seeds will settle. Take them out and dry.

It is better to sow seeds before winter, but not in open ground: the seeds are very small, and when the snow melts, they can come off with it. The seeds of the snowberry are sown in boxes filled with fertile soil from equal parts of river sand, peat and humus, and on top they are "salted" with sand and covered tightly with glass. Water the crops from a fine-dispersed sprayer or into a pan so as not to wash the seeds out of the substrate. The first shoots will appear in the spring, and at the end of the season they can be dived right into the open ground.

Reproduction by root shoots

A lot of root suckers appear around the bush of the snowberry - large dense clumps are formed of them. This feature of the snowberry allows it to move from its landing site and grow. Dig one of these curtains and replant. By doing this, you will at the same time save the bush from thickening.

Dividing the bush

In early spring, before the start of sap flow, or in the fall after leaf fall, an overgrown bush of a snowberry is dug up, divided into parts and the cuttings are planted in the same way as the seedlings during the initial planting. Each part should have well-developed roots and strong young branches. And do not forget to process the cuts on the roots with crushed coal after dividing the bush.

Reproduction by layering

In early spring, bend a low-growing young branch, lay it in a groove made in the soil in advance, fix it in this position and cover it with soil, leaving the top above the soil surface. Take care of the layer all summer long: water with the bush, fertilize, loosen the soil around it. In autumn, the rooted cut is separated from the mother plant with a secateurs and transplanted to a permanent place.

Propagation by cuttings

You can propagate a snowberry with green and lignified cuttings. Lignified segments 10-20 cm long with 3-5 buds are harvested in late autumn or early winter and stored in the basement until spring, placed in the sand. Cut off the top edge above the kidney, and the bottom obliquely.

Green cuttings are harvested in the early morning, in early summer, as soon as the flowering of the snowberry ends. You need to cut off large, well-developed and ripe shoots. It is very simple to determine whether the shoot is ripe enough for propagation by cuttings: it is bent, and if the shoot breaks with a crunch, this confirms its maturity. After cutting, the cuttings are immediately placed in a container of water.

Green or lignified cuttings are planted in boxes with a substrate of the same composition as for seed propagation. Planting depth no more than 5 mm. A box with cuttings is placed in a greenhouse or greenhouse and rooted in conditions of high humidity and moderate humidity of the substrate. By the fall, the cuttings will acquire a stable root system, and they are transplanted into the ground, covered with leaves and spruce branches for the winter.

Snowberry after flowering

Winters in the middle lane are tolerated by the snowberry without shelter - even highly decorative hybrid varieties of plants can withstand cold temperatures down to -34 ºC. But even if the plant freezes under more severe frosts, then it will fully recover during the growing season. It is advisable to huddle young bushes high with earth for the winter.

As you probably already understood, planting a snowberry and caring for it will not take much of your time and effort, but its extraordinary fruits will decorate your garden and feed the birds almost all winter.

Types and varieties

Snowberry white (Symphoricarpos albus)

The most famous species of the genus is the white snowberry, aka snowberry carp, he is snowberry cluster, native to open slopes, along river banks, and in the mountainous forests of North America from the west coast to Pennsylvania. The height of the white snowberry reaches one and a half meters. It is a deciduous shrub with slender shoots and a rounded crown. The leaf of this type of snowberry is ovoid or round, simple, notched-lobed or whole-edged, up to 6 cm long, green on the upper side of the leaf plate and gray on the bottom. Small, pale pink flowers are collected in racemose dense inflorescences located along the length of the entire shoot. Flowering is abundant and so long that at the same time on the bush you can see both buds and fruits - white, elegant and juicy spherical berries up to 1 cm in diameter, which stay on the bush for a very long time.

The winter hardiness of the snowberry bushes is as high as its unpretentiousness to growing conditions. In culture, this species since 1879, most often it is used for group plantings, hedges and borders. Our readers ask: is a white snowberry - poisonous or not? Its fruits are inedible, and the substances they contain can cause dizziness, weakness and vomiting. An attractive variety for gardeners is a variety of snowberry bushes - white, slightly glittering snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus var.laevigatus).

Common snowberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)

Or rounded snowberry, or snowberry pink, or coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus), in its homeland received the name "Indian currant". It grows in North America in meadows or along river banks and is a large shrub with thin shoots and small dark green leaves with a bluish underside. Its pink flowers, like the flowers of the white snowberry, are collected in short dense inflorescences. The plant is very beautiful in autumn, when coral or purple-red hemispherical fruits, covered with a bluish bloom, begin to ripen along the entire length of the shoots, and the leaves acquire a purple hue.

This type of snowberry is not as winter-hardy as the white one, but its resistance to cold is quite enough for wintering in the middle lane. The common snowberry is very popular in Western Europe, especially its varieties Variegatus with an uneven yellowish stripe along the edges of the leaves and Taffs Silver Age with a white border.

Western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis)

From the eastern, western and central regions of North America, where it forms thickets along rivers, streams and on rocky slopes. The plant reaches a height of one and a half meters. Leaves are pale green on the upper side and tomentose pubescence on the bottom. The flowering of white or pale pink bell-shaped flowers, collected in dense and short racemose inflorescences, continues from early June to late August, gradually giving way to the appearance of soft, almost spherical berries of a pale pink or white hue.

Mountain-loving snowberry (Symphoricarpos oreophilus)

From the western part of North America, it grows in height up to one and a half meters. Its leaves are oval or rounded, with slight pubescence. The flowers are paired or single, pink or white, bell-shaped. Fruits are white, spherical, with two seeds. Average winter hardiness.

Chenot's Snowberry (Symphoricarpos x chenaultii)

A hybrid descendant of an ordinary snowberry, or round, and a small-leaved snowberry, characterized by short stature, dense pubescence, sharp leaves up to 2.5 cm long and pink berries with white cheeks. Unfortunately, this hybrid does not differ in frost resistance.

Chenaultii Snowberry (Symphoricarpos x chenaultii)

Hybrid shrub up to 1.5 m high and the same crown diameter.Leaves of a rich dark green color from the upper and gray-gray from the lower side, open early and late, fall off, pink flowers are collected in inflorescences, rounded fruits in color from white to purple do not fall off the bush for a long time. The best variety of this species is the Hancock Snowberry.

Dorenboz's Snowberry (Symphoricarpos doorenbosii)

It combines a group of hybrid varieties bred by the Dutchman Doorenbos by crossing a white snow berry with a rounded snow berry and differing in compactness and an abundance of fruits:

  • Mather of Pearl - a snowberry with dark green elliptical leaves and white fruits with a slight blush;
  • Snowberry Magic Berry differs in fruits of bright pink color, abundantly covering the branches;
  • White Hage - a dense, erect bush with small white berries;
  • snowberry Amethyst has increased frost resistance. Its bush reaches a height of one and a half meters, the leaves are dark green, the flowers are pinkish, inconspicuous, the fruits are round, white-pink.

In addition to the species described, there are Chinese, round-leaved, soft, small-leaved and Mexican snowberries.


  1. Read the topic on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the family Honeysuckle
  3. List of all species on The Plant List
  4. More information on World Flora Online
  5. Information about Garden Plants
  6. Information on Perennial Plants
  7. Shrub Information

Sections: Garden plants Perennials Flowering Shrubs Ornamental deciduous Plants on C Honeysuckle


shade, direct sunlight, partial shade

cuttings, offshoots, seeds, division, layering

He is familiar to us since childhood: discreet in summer, but very attractive in autumn and winter. Once upon a time, we joyfully crushed his soft white crackers with our feet, because they are still tasteless.

This unpretentious shrub from the nearest yard - snowberry... And his homeland is North America: there he took a fancy to dry stony calcareous soils of mountain slopes and sunny river banks.

Latin name - Symphoricarpos - the plant received for large dense clusters of fruits, and in Russia it has a sonorous middle name - the snowfield of the bristle. Indeed, very often the flexible branches of the snowberry gracefully bend to the ground under the weight of their fruits, and the shrub takes on a hemispherical shape.

For humans, the fruits of the snowberry are inedible, but for insects and animals this shrub is a real buffet. During flowering, it is always surrounded by bees, its fruits are food for domestic and wild birds and mice. For hares, it serves as a reliable shelter throughout the year.

Snowberry can be used in group plantings, as a ground cover plant under large trees, to strengthen slopes and banks, create free-growing and clipped hedges.

A stunning autumn contrast can be obtained when planting together with "flaming" bright red fruits rowan weeping (Sorbus aucuparia f. pendula) and shrubs, "powdered with snow".

And you can create a "white" garden with a mixed hedge of abundant flowering rose wrinkled (Rosa rugosa) 'White Grootendorst'and snowberry- it will be decorative for a long time.


Unpretentious, undemanding to soil and light.

It is very rarely affected by anthracnose (fruit and leaf spot) and fruit rot.

Standard varieties

In the last decades of the last century, standard varieties of Russian selection were created. This is Tarusa, Krepysh, Monika, Fairy Tale. The varieties Tarusa and Krepysh are similar in appearance to each other. Slightly different in appearance of leaves and roots. Experts believe that it makes no sense to grow both varieties. Raspberry tree Krepysh reviews are advised to grow gardeners engaged in the reproduction and sale of bushes, and those who grow berries - Tarusa.

The stem of Tarusa differs from many others in the absence of thorns. Brown color. The height of the shoots is about 2 m. The leaves are large, with noticeable veins. Young stems are covered with a waxy coating. The fruits are oblong, oval, red, the weight of one can reach 12 g. They taste sweet, delicate, with a pleasant taste and aroma.

Snowberry breeding

The snowberry can be propagated both by seeds and vegetatively. For seed reproduction, you need to take the fruits of the plant, peel them from the soft shell, plant them in a wet mixture of coarse sand and peat and cover with glass or cling film. After planting, the container with seed material should be placed in a cold room and once a week, airing and spraying the crops should be carried out. After 3 months, at the beginning of spring, when the first shoots appear, the pots should be transferred to a warm place and the film should be removed. Caring for young seedlings is quite simple - only sunlight and regular watering are needed for their growth and development.

Planting seedlings in a permanent place should be done at the beginning of autumn - so they will have time to take root and gain strength before the onset of frost.

Vegetative propagation of a snowberry is carried out through cuttings, layering, and also by dividing the root growth into several parts.

The easiest way to reproduce a snowberry is to divide an adult plant into several independent parts. To do this, you need to dig out a bush and divide it into 2-3 parts. Places of cuts should be treated with charcoal or garden varnish and the cuttings should be planted in a permanent place.

The plant reproduces quite easily with the help of layering. To do this, you should choose a young, strong shoot, bend it to the ground, fix it with a clothespin or peg, and sprinkle the place of contact with nutritious soil. When the cuttings acquire their own root system, they can be separated from the mother bush and planted in a permanent place.

The snowberry also propagates by cuttings. To do this, several young, annual shoots with 4-5 internodes are cut off from an adult bush, placed in a nutritious soil mixture and watered abundantly. After 2-3 weeks, they completely take root, however, they should be transplanted to a permanent place when they are well strengthened, not earlier than after 2-3 months.


Since in the historical homeland the snowberry is found on dry slopes of light mountain forests, along the banks of fast water streams, the conditions for its cultivation in our gardens are well within this range. In other words, he will be able to decorate the edge of large trees and grow in a sufficiently open sun. At the same time, his preferences are inclined towards neutral soils, which in most areas near Moscow with their acidic and sour soils would require the introduction of deoxidizers - for example, dolomite flour or limestone gravel as drainage during planting. If he had not experienced all the troubles with the resilience of an experienced yogi.

So, I met snowberry bushes under huge poplars (literally in the near-trunk circle) and at the foot of a caragana (yellow acacia). Who else can endure this? Although fruiting in these conditions was so-so. The advantages of the snowberry include its significant resistance to pests and plant diseases. The fight against fungal diseases is limited to inspection and spraying with soda ash solutions, Bordeaux liquid and laundry soap.

Interesting notes for gardeners about the snowberry

Even despite the fact that "wolf berries" are poisonous, folk healers knew about them and actively used their properties in alternative medicine. For example, in America, the indigenous population used the berries of the snowberry to heal stomach ulcers. So the pulp of the fruit was kneaded to a mushy state and medicinal drugs were prepared. They are tinctures and decoctions. Such funds helped to get rid of many diseases, such as tuberculosis or sexually transmitted diseases. These drugs help to heal wounds.

However, today scientists have not fully clarified all the properties and features of the snowberry and they have to be applied at their own peril and risk, since they can lead to irreparable consequences. The first signs of wolfberry poisoning are nausea and dizziness, increased weakness, followed by vomiting. It is required to immediately call an ambulance, and the person should take a solution of potassium permanganate, which will cause a gag reflex and clear the stomach.

The Argut shrub is aging over time, seedlings will be required for new plantings. Gardeners should be aware of the breeding characteristics of meadowsweet. You can get new plants by cuttings and layering.


Cuttings are cut in the summer. Leaves are cut off at the bottom, and the stem is lightly scratched with pruners to stimulate root formation. Then they are buried at an angle to a depth of 2 cm. Sprinkle with earth on top, and watered well and covered with a plastic bottle. In the future, you need to water. The seedlings are transplanted for the next year.


In spring, young shoots of spirea are bent and pinned to the ground. Top covered with soil. Regular watering is required during the summer. The following spring, the rooted cut is separated from the mother bush and transplanted to a permanent place.

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