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Hobblebushes require cold, moist soil. These plants have numerous uses, from recipes to decorative purposes. Whether you have a massive hobblebush or multiple cuttings, you’re bound to find a fun project for the plant.
The most common uses for hobblebushes include eating the berries raw, making jelly out of them, or steeping nutritious tea. You can also use hobblebush shrubs as property boundaries, indoor decorations, or natural houses for various birds and other wildlife.
Throughout this article, I’ll explain all of the fun, delicious, and interesting uses for hobblebushes. I’ll also talk about recipes and pruning techniques.
1. Edible Berries
Hobblebush berries are edible for humans and don’t need to be cooked. However, these berries can be dangerous to dogs, so make sure your pets don’t get near them.
Pluck the ripe berries before they fall on the ground. You can wash and eat them immediately or use one of the recipes mentioned in this post.
Keep these tips in mind when eating hobblebush berries:
- Many plants have ‘hobblebush’ in their nicknames, but viburnums are the hobblebushes referred to when discussing eating the berries.
- Always wash the berries before eating them because they might have pesticides, herbicides, and droppings from animals eating nearby hobblebush berries.
- You can harvest multiple berries by pruning a branch or stem with berries clusters (this also leaves room for new growth).
- Never give hobblebush berries to your pets.
Read on for a must-know hobblebush berry recipe!
2. Jams, Jellies, and More
Hobblebush berries make excellent jams and jellies. These sweet berries have earthy undertones that make them very similar to a mixture of figs and sweet berries.
You’ll also need sugar, lemon, water, and a few cooking utensils to get the job done. The berries can rot, so make sure you pick them fresh and use them right away.
Follow these steps to make hobblebush berry jelly:
- Boil four cups of water and one cup of berries.
- Pour out the water and mash the berries.
- Pour the mashed berries and the juice through a food processor, then back into the pot.
- Add one cup of boiling water to the berry mash, then add one teaspoon of lemon juice and mix them together.
- Add ¼ cup of sugar (or more if you prefer sweeter jelly), then mix everything while it’s hot.
Store the jelly in an airtight container to prevent it from going bad. I recommend keeping the jelly ratio at ¼ cup of sugar per one cup of berries, but you can double the sugar for sweeter recipes used in baking recipes.
3. Decorative Shrubs
The main reason people use hobblebushes is that they make wonderful decorations around the yard. They have beautiful flowers and berries and can grow 10 feet (3.05 m) or more in every direction.
You can line your yard with hobblebushes that connect to create a beautifully uniform boundary along the fence. They’re also great for bordering gateways into your front yard or backyard.
If you want to make your hobblebushes look as decorative as possible, it’s important to tend to berries and flowers.
Hobblebushes naturally have bright green leaves, especially when they have filtered sunlight and moist soil. Remove the berries once they turn brown. The flowers will naturally wilt and fall off. Prune and edge the bush to create a straight, flat decorative barrier.
4. Natural Birdhouses
Birds love living in hobblebushes because they’re tall, dense, and supportive. If you have a big hobblebush, you’ll notice small birds flying in and out of it.
These bushes are naturally birdhouses that provide warmth throughout the year. Most birds love the berries, too. A hobblebush can be an all-in-one enclosure for many small animals.
You don’t need to do very much to let a hobblebush be a house for birds. However, keep these three suggestions in mind for the best results:
- Plant your hobblebushes away from your house to prevent the birds from landing and living in the gutters or being scared by people and pets.
- Keep the hobblebushes near trees for filtered sunlight and building materials for the birds.
- Consider planting the hobblebush against a long fence to make the open end toward your house, allowing you to see the decorative, natural birdhouses.
5. Indoor Plant Decorations
You can grow indoor hobblebushes from cuttings. While we suggest bringing them outside when they are a bit bigger, you can keep your hobblebush inside during the colder months. In fact, hobblebushes grow very well inside when they’d otherwise freeze outside.
Here are a few tips for growing indoor hobblebushes:
- Transplant your hobblebush to the garden in the spring when it outgrows its container.
- Keep the hobblebush near an open window to ensure it gets enough filtered sunlight.
- Hobblebushes can be planted in hanging containers or regular gardening pots.
Note: Hobblebushes usually won’t flower or produce fruit if they’re grown indoors. Furthermore, you shouldn’t leave them inside for their whole lifespan because they’ll quickly outgrow the gardening container.
Whether you want to eat the berries or grow a hobblebush indoors, there are plenty of reasons to grow these plants. They’re native to many parts of the United States, so you don’t have to worry about them spreading invasively. Prune, grow, and eat your hobblebush as desired.