Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Feature Spring Flowering Shrub: Spirea

Spirea japonica 'Little Princess' (part shade tolerant)
There are over 70 varieties of Spirea making it a very versatile and desired flowering shrub in the landscape. Species exist in a wide selection of sizes and bloom color.  Spirea are considered small to medium sized deciduous shrubs that produce white, pink or crimson flowers in spring and throughout the summer months. 

Generally the bumald spirea (Spirea bumalda) and the japonica (Spirea japonica) are more small to medium sized ranging from 2 ' in height such as the shade tolerant 'Little Princess' Spirea and 2-3' in height including the 'Limemound', 'Goldmound' and 'Goldflame' varieties.  Spirea 'Anthony Waterer' grows to 3-4', Spirea nipponica 'Snowmound' grows 3-5 ' and Vanhoutte spirea ('Spirea vanhouttei'), Bridal Wreath Spirea grows up to 10' tall and 20' wide. 

Spirea bumalda 'Limemound'
Spirea prefer to be grown in full sun to partial shade depending on the variety and are hardy to USDA zone 3 with the exception of 'Anthony Waterer' which is hardy to USDA zone 4.   Spirea prefer a slightly moist but well-drained acidic soil  and are drought tolerant once established.

Most spirea can be pruned after flowering to keep their shape compact.  The bumald and Japanese spireas should be pruned in early spring (late March, early April) to promote the best flowering.

Spirea bumalda 'Anthony Waterer' (part shade tolerant)
Spirea serve nicely in foundation plantings, perennial gardens, cottage gardens, woodland plantings, formal and informal settings.  The smaller (bumalda and japonica) varieties look nice as a mass planting of odd numbers and the larger Vanhoutte variety can be planted either in mass as in a woodland setting or as a single specimen among evergreens or other flowering shrubs.When used along with a backdrop of evergreens or as a hedge they can give a more formal look or when planted with grasses and perennials can lend to a more informal appearance.
Being low maintenance, drought tolerant and even deer resistant, spirea can make an excellent addition to your garden. 

Spirea bumalda 'Goldflame'
Some spirea including 'Goldflame',
'Goldmound' and 'Limemound'also display interesting colorful foliage and put on quite a spring and fall show.  As mentioned in the name, Spirea 'Goldflame' shows off orange-red new growth in spring and fiery-red foliage in fall.  'Goldmound' and 'Limemound' look great in spring alongside blooms of perennials such as nepeta, salvia and ajuga.
Spirea japonica  'Goldmound'

If you have a slightly shadier setting try Spirea 'Little Princess' along with hosta, liriope and heuchera (coral bells).  'Anthony Waterer' is a bit taller so try it along with some hemerocalis (daylily). 

Now that you see just how versatile these wonderful shrubs can be give them a try in your landscape.  They will give you years of enjoyment!


  1. Are those Spirea including the goldflame one your's? If so, bravo! Do you have any more pictures of the goldflame in specific?

    -Oscar Valencia

  2. Hi Oscar-
    I have all of these on my personal property except the 'Anthony Waterer' which is at a client's. They are all great plants and colorful! The one of the goldflame is the best photo I have taken in the early spring when the colors are really vibrant. It's beautiful in Fall as well.

  3. I am totally agree with both of your great ideas shared i like it.
    Thank you for post.
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  4. Thank you for your so cool post,it is useful,i love it very much.please share with us more good articles.

  5. Thanks for sharing those pics with us. I'm in Calgary and am looking for a good tree service in my area. Hoping someone here might be able to help. Thanks.


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