Snowberry Growing Guide

Symphoricarpos albus


Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil with a near neutral pH.


Full sun to part shade.

Frost tolerant

This extremely cold tolerant deciduous shrub is winter hardy to -40°F (-40°C).


None generally needed. Keep plants mulched year-round to prevent weeds and maintain soil moisture.


Single Plants: 3' 11" (1.20m) each way (minimum)
Rows: 3' 11" (1.20m) with 3' 11" (1.20m) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Set out purchased plants from spring through early summer. Water regularly, and cover the root zone with an organic mulch to keep the soil moist at all times. Space snowberries 4 feet (1.2 m) apart when planting them as a hedge. Purchased plants can be held in containers for one season if they are attentively watered.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Native to cooler parts of North America, snowberries grow into leafy deciduous shrubs, to 3 to 6 feet (1-2 m) tall and wide. Tiny pink spring flowers give way to berries that start out green and ripen to white. When the plants shed their leaves in winter, the berries are quite showy on bare stems, though the berries eventually turn brown. Snowberry slowly spreads with underground root suckers, and will grow into a thicket in hospitable sites. Its spreading habit makes it a good choice for slopes, where the plants do a good job of controlling erosion.


Berry-bearing snowberry stems are much sought after as cut flowers. When cut just after the berries turn white, they will keep in a vase for 10 days or more when the water is changed every other day. Snowberry rarely needs pruning, and is at its best when allowed to grow into its natural shape.


In North America, snowberry is a host plant for several native moths, so expect some feeding on the leaves. Snowberry has few disease problems when grown in sunny, well drained sites. It has a low tolerance for high heat.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Snowberry