For the second year in a row my two snowball bushes don’t have many blooms and the end of each green stem is kind of curled up in a ball like it is protecting something inside?. Do you know what has happened and how I can help them?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Carolyn: Snowball bush is a common name for a few different plants but most commonly referred to as one of several different Viburnum. This is a large group of plants that are low-maintenance and bloom best when grown in full sun. From what you have described, it sounds like your snowball bush may have an insect issue. Some plants are more disease resistant than others but all plants that are growing in less than ideal conditions, become stressed and are more susceptible to insect and disease problems. Curling of foliage on your snowball viburnum can be an indication of aphids or thrips. Thrips are the likely culprit if they are feeding on the actual flowers. Treatment differs for individual insects so it is best to have the insect identified before treating your viburnums. You can take a sample to a local garden center, nursery, or your County Cooperative Extension Office. They will be able to identify and offer treatment options. Contact the Ballard County Extension Office at (270) 665-9118 for details.
Kentucky Living-Ask the Gardener