snowberry plants

How Do You Grow & Care for snowberry plants (Symphoricaros Albus)?

The snowberry plant is a type of deciduous shrub that is native to North America. Scientifically called Symphoricaros Albus, the plant is also known by other names like waxberry or ghostberry. The snowberry shrub blooms in spring and produces pink flowers which are replaced in fall with a cluster of small white berries. The berries are marbled shaped and grow in clusters and resemble snow. Hence the name snowberry.

Snowberry is a resilient plant that can grow in any condition. You will find them in forests, rocky hillsides, and even in riverbanks. They also grow in different types of soils like clay, sandy and loamy soil.

The snowberry plant starts flowering in the late spring to summer. The small pink flowers appear at the end of the branches and are self-pollinating. The berries start growing in the autumn well into winter. The ornamental feature of the snowberry is what makes this plant stand out. You can plant them in gardens or landscapes for that ultimate elegant look.

The fruit of the snowberry plant contains saponin, a soapy substance with many antioxidants and antimicrobial properties. These properties make the berry a good choice for cleansing and soothing the skin and healing burns and rashes.

Since the snowberry plant is native to North America, it is not considered an invasive plant. However, in countries like the United Kingdom, snowberry plants are considered invasive.

How to grow snowberry plants?

Snowberry plants grow well in USDA hardiness zone 2-7. It can grow in any soil type with full or partial sunlight exposure. A typical snowberry plant grows to a height and width of 2-6 feet. Thus, planting them in a spacious area with enough space between two plants is advisable. It is not advised to grow this plant as a houseplant as they don’t do well in containers and is more suited for outdoor gardens. Snowberry fruits are enjoyed by birds so it is a plant suited for wildlife gardens but you have to be careful otherwise birds may even become a nuisance.

The right time to plant snowberry is autumn when the temperature is moderate. You can prune the plant in late winter and propagate it in autumn. Since the snowberry plant is deciduous, it does not offer proper screening once the leaves have fallen. Thus, you can grow them with other plants and not as a border in your garden.

How to care for snowberry plants?

a) Light Requirements

Ideally, you should plant the snowberry plant in full sunlight or partial shade. When grown in full sunlight, the plant produces abundant flowers and fruits. It grows well in partial sunlight, but the flowering will be less. You can also grow the plant in full shade but without any flowers.

b) Soil Requirements

Snowberries do not have any specific soil requirement and can grow in any type of soil. Whether you plant them in clay, sandy or rocky soil, the plant grows well. The soil’s pH level should be maintained as slightly acidic and slightly alkaline for the plant’s abundant growth. The ideal pH level is 6.0 to 8.5.

c) Water Requirements

Snowberry is a drought-resistant plant. Thus, it can go a long period without water. However, during the initial stage, you should water the plant up to an inch every week until the plant is established after getting established it can handle periods of droughts well. You should give it additional water if the temperatures are higher

d) Temperature Requirements

Snowberry plants grow well in US hardiness zones 2-7. Thus, it can withstand harsh winters, including frost. The plant can even tolerate temperatures less than -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

e) Humidity Requirements

The peculiarity of the snowberry plant is that it can tolerate all humidity levels. This makes it easy to grow.

f) Fertilizer Requirements

The Snowberry plant requires a balanced fertilizer of 20-20-20 NPK for its healthy growth. If the plant grows in enriched soil with organic matter, you can fertilize it only once during spring. If the plant grows in nutrient-deprived soil, you should fertilize it once during the spring and once during mid-summer. If you are using granular fertilizer in the soil you should use 2 pounds per 100 square feet.

How to prune the snowberry plant?

Snowberry plant is invasive so pruning is encouraged otherwise they will take over your garden. Pruning of snowberry is usually done to maintain their shape and to remove diseases and the damaged part of the plants. It is best to prune the plant during spring after the fruiting season. You should not prune the plant in summer as flowering occurs during this time.

You can prune the snowberry plant to balance its shape or reduce its size. If the plant is spreading and you want to limit it, dig out the shoots growing from the ground. Similarly, if the plant is growing as a thick bush, you should prune it in the center to let light pass through.

While pruning, always try to remember to remove fragile branches and dead wood.

How to Propagate snowberry plant?

The snowberry plant can be propagated by cutting suckers and planting seeds. Since the plant produces a lot of suckers, replanting the suckers is the best and easiest way to propagate the plant. For this, slowly dig out the sucker with some soil and plant it in a new area where you want to grow the shrub.

Stem cutting

For propagation through stem cutting, first cut a stem 4-6 inches long using sterilized pruning snips. Place them in a pot with the cut end going down the soil up to one to two inches deep. If needed, you can apply rooting hormones to the cut end before planting.

Now place the plant outdoors, away from direct sunlight. Try to maintain the soil’s moisture level to encourage the growth of new roots. You can either grow the plant in the same area or replant it into a larger pot in the following spring.

Root cutting

The peculiarity of snowberry is that it grows roots in all directions. Thus, root cutting is another preferred way of propagating the plant.

For propagating the plant through root cutting, first, dig beneath the shrub till you find a long root. Cut a portion of the root, preferably around 30 cm, and transplant it elsewhere. You should keep the soil moist until you find new root growth.

Propagating from seeds

First, take a seed tray and fill it with a mix of sand and peat moss. Now, bury the seeds a quarter inch deep into the soil. You should space the seed at least 2 inches apart for the plant to grow well.

Once done, cover the seed with soil-peat moss mix and sprinkle water. Remember to keep the soil moist throughout the germination stage.

Propagation from seeds is not an effective method as the seeds take a long time to germinate. The best method to propagate snowberry plants is through suckers.

Snowberry Plant Varieties

These are the varieties of snowberry plant

  1. Variegata is a variety of snowberry that has variegated leaves
  2. Symphoricarpos chenaultii is a cultivar that has pinkish fruit and grows along the ground
  3. Symphoricarpos orbicalitus is a cultivar  that has darkish red colored fruits
  4. Bright fantasy which is a cultivar with big snow-white colored berries
  5. Charming Fantasy which is a cultivar with pink shaded berries
  6. Scarlet Pearl which is a cultivar with pink-colored berries
  7. Magical Candy is a variety that has pink flowers and pink berries
  8. Magical Galaxy which is a variety with white flowers and white berries


While snowberry is hardy and can withstand frost and cold conditions during the first year when it is in the midst of growing you should overwinter the seedlings of the plant indoors in temperatures that are above the freezing point and with partial sunlight exposure. from the second year onwards overwintering is not required.

Where should you plant Snowberry? 

Snowberry bushes are usually planted on hillsides, exposed areas, and on the banks of streams as they are very good for stabilizing the soil and can face winds that are strong. Snowberry plants are also a good option if you have a wildlife garden as they give shelter to birds and mammals and bees and butterflies are also attracted to them.

Toxicity of Snowberry

The Snowberry plant’s white berries are poisonous as it contains alkaloid compounds. Thus, if you have kids or pets at home, it is best to avoid planting snowberries.

What are the common problems found in snowberry plants?

Curling, wilting, or browning of leaves

Snowberry is a drought-tolerant plant. But sometimes, you will notice the curling, wilting, or browning of the leaves. This is an indication of underwatering.

If you find any of these in the leaves, you should water the plant immediately.


Like any other plant, overwatering can result in root rot in the Snowberry plant as well. If you notice yellowing and dropping off leaves or a generally unhealthy plant, it indicates overwatering.

If you suspect overwatering of the plant, you should immediately adjust your watering schedule.

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is another problem affecting the snowberry plant. To prevent this condition, ensure the plant gets proper air circulation. You should also avoid watering from above, as moist leaves can aggravate mildew formation.

Spots on leaves

Spots on leaves are an indication of fungal growth. The spots will appear as dark brown lesions, slowly expanding, affecting the whole leaf. You will notice blackened or dry berries and stunted growth of the plant.

The best way to control the spread of the fungus is to pluck and discard the leaf. If there is a thick growth of branches, you can even prune it to increase air circulation. While watering, make sure to water at the base to prevent moisture build-up on the leaves.

Drying of branches

The main cause of the drying of branches is scale infestation. Scales feed on the plant sap and eventually dry out the branches.

If the infestation is low, pick out the scales with your fingers or a small brush. In case of large-scale infestation, you can use horticultural oil to remove it.

What are the common pests and diseases affecting snowberry?

This plant is commonly affected by Anthracnose, aphids, berry rot, scale, leaf spot, powdery mildew, and rusts amongst plant diseases. Amongst pests, Vasthi Sphinx moth and snowberry clearwing moth are the only ones that trouble this plant.


Aphids are sap-sucking insects that feed on most plants. They suck the sap from leaves and stems, resulting in stunted growth of the plant.

The best way to get rid of aphids is to spray them with water. You can also make a mixture of horticultural oil and insecticidal soap and spray it on the affected areas.


Anthracnose is a fungal infection affecting the snowberry plant. This infection appears as dark purple to black spots on the leaves. This eventually enlarges and develops greyish color.

No special treatment is required for anthracnose except for discarding the affected leaves. This infection is not severe and may not affect the plant’s growth.


Scales are small insects that feed on the sap of plants. If untreated, they can dry out the branch of the snowberry plant. Low infestation of scales can be cleared by picking with your fingers or a small brush. For large-scale infestation, you can use horticultural oil.


The larvae of the Vasthi Sphinx moth and snowberry clearwing moth feed on the leaves of the snowberry plant and destroy it. The best way to control this is by spraying Bacillus thuringiensis, a type of biological pesticide used in plants.


The snowberry plant is a perfect choice if you are looking for an easy-to-care plant for your garden. With its tiny pink flowers and white globe-shaped fruits, this plant will catch anyone’s attention.

Since the snowberry plant is drought tolerant and can grow in any type of soil, it is very easy to care for. You can propagate the plant easily either through cuttings or by planting suckers. Since the plant grows widely, it can easily cover a large area with its beautiful bloom and snow-like berries.

Also Read
Why is my Corn Plant Leaves turning Yellow
Anaheim Peppers Plant Care

Maria Arrowhead Plant Care
String of Dolphins Propagation

How to Prune African Violet

Polka Dot Plant Propagation

Are Bonsai Trees Poisonous to Cats

Silver Lady Fern

Hostas Bloom

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant
Distant Drums Rose Guide

What Colours go with a Black Sofa Living Room

How to Clean a Cowhide Rug

Pea Gravel Patio Pros & Cons