Everything You Need To Know About Growing Spirea

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Spireas are prolific bloomers that are easy to grow and maintain.

Spireas are a deciduous shrub that is native to North America and Asia with around 100 varieties.

They are hardy fast growing shrubs that will do just fine in a wide range of growing conditions.

Spireas are available as large shrubs or ones that form a neat mound that is great to use as ground cover.

With their abundance of blooms that form in a cluster to their beautiful fall foliage, it is no wonder why they are such a popular shrub.

PLANTING SPIREA

spireas are best planted in hardiness zone 4 through 8 in well-drained soil with the pH of the soil ranging between 6.0 through 7.

They are best spaced 2 to 15 feet apart depending on the variety.

They prefer full sun but they can also be planted in partial shade but they will produce fewer blooms.

If they are planted in full shade, then their growth will be stunted and their blooms will be smaller with fewer of them.

If your spireas are going to be sprouted from seed then it is suggested to use a cardboard seed starting container and start them 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost.

When planting them, it is best to make the hole twice the width of the root ball.

Mix some compost in with the soil from the hole before filling it back in. This will give nutrients to the soil and help with water retention.

USES

They are often used as accent plants in a garden, borders, walking paths, planted in mass, hedges, barriers, and in potting containers that can be placed on decks and patios.

FERTILIZING AND WATERING

They require a balanced slow-release fertilizer such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 or you can use a homemade liquid fertilizer.

When applying fertilizer, it is best to apply it between the base of the plant to the tips of the branches. This area of the plant is known as the drip line.

Spirea requires about one inch per week until they are established, then they can survive with less water.

MULCHING

Adding mulch to your spireas will help the soil retain water and will reduce the amount of time it takes to water them.

The thickness of the bed of mulch is best between 1 to 2 inches thick but the thickness may need to be reduced if you live in a rainy climate or if you are receiving more rain the usual.

The mulch will also help with weed control and will need to be added or replaced yearly when most of it has decomposed.

BLOOMS

Spireas produce a large cluster of blooms that are densely packed on the shrub.

Their blooms appear in late spring and last into the summer or they appear in the summer and last into the fall depending on the variety.

The individual flowers are about one-third of an inch in diameter on a two-inch cluster.

Their blooms are available in red, purple, pink, or white flowers which attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

When spireas are planted close together in a dense grouping, they are known to attract birds such as red-wing blackbirds, indigo buntings, American goldfinches, house finches, and sparrows.

After the blooms have wilted away you can cut the bloom off to encourage more blooms to appear.

This is called deadheading and with this method, the blooms are not allowed to go to seed therefore the shrub will rebloom.

FALL FOLIAGE

Being a deciduous plant spirea leaves turn into an amazing show of colors ranging from yellow, orange, red, and purple depending on the variety.

Their foliage turns late in the season and an early frost may cause them not to turn before falling off the plant.

PRUNING

Spireas are best pruned in early spring before the leaf buds began to swell and trimming back any growth to help them keep their shape.

In the spring, if there is any dead or damaged growth then it should be removed.

Any stems that have wildly grown much higher than the rest of the plant which is known as leggy growth should also be removed.

When trimming 4 to 6 inches can be removed which will help the plant to bush out and produce more blooms.

PROPAGATING

Spireas can be sprouted from seed and started indoors using cardboard seed starting containers two to three weeks before the last frost.

Another option is to use cuttings that should be removed in the spring and only new green growth should be used.

Before removing a cutting from a plant, make sure that there are at least three sets of leaves.

After removing the cutting dip the cut end into water then into root tone and plant the cutting in a container, garden, or landscaping.

when the cutting has been planted it is a good idea to sprinkle some root tone on the soil.

Another option is to use a piece of paper towel, place the cut end on the paper towel, and sprinkle some root tone on the cut end of the cutting.

Then fold the bottom of the paper towel to the top, and wrap the rest of the paper towel around the stem of the cutting.

After planting the cutting give it some water and time. If you see that the cutting is looking wilted then the cutting will not root and you will have to start over.

PESTS

Spireas don’t have many pests that feed on the plant but there are some to keep an eye out for.

Dealing with the issue before the infestation reduces the amount of vegetation or kills the shrub.

DISEASES

Spireas that are planted close together can develop mold and mildew issues during times of high humidity.

If this is the case then preventive measures may need to be taken.

To prevent this from happening make sure to plant them far enough apart to allow for proper airflow.

OVERWINTERING

Some mature spireas are rated as hardy and will need some protection from the cold winter temperatures.

Insulating them from the cold winter months in most hardiness zones is required to protect the shrub from freezing.

Using a layer of mulch that is 3 to 5 inches thick will protect the roots from cold winter temperatures.

VARIETIES

There are about 100 different varieties of spirea with some growing quite tall and foliage that varies in color from bright yellow-green to dark green to deep red and orange.

AUDUBON MEADOWSWEET SPIREA

Audubon meadowsweet spirea is native to North America.

  • Shrub size – grows to about 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – white
  • Foliage – yellow-green leaves with jagged edges that turn golden-yellow in the fall
  • Deer resistant – yes

BRIDAL WREATH SPIREA

Audubon meadowsweet spirea is native to China, Korea, and Japan.

  • Shrub size – grows to 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – white
  • Foliage – dark green leaves with jagged edges that turn shades of red, orange, and yellow in the fall
  • Deer resistant – yes

DOUBLE PLAY CANDY CORN SPIREA

Neon flash spirea is native to Japan.

  • Shrub size – grows to about 24 inches tall and 30 inches wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – purple
  • Foliage – the leave are red in the spring, maturing into yellow with orange leaves on the new growth that have jagged edges that turn deep red and orange in the fall
  • Deer resistant – yes

FIRELIGHT SPIREA

Firelight spirea is native to Japan.

  • Shrub size – grows to about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – pink
  • Foliage – new growth is yellow and red then matures to dark green leaves with jagged edges that turn red in the fall
  • Deer resistant – yes

NEON FLASH SPIREA

Neon flash spirea is native to Japan.

  • Shrub size – grows to about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – neon red
  • Foliage – green leaves with a little reddish hue in the spring and jagged edges
  • Deer resistant – yes

GOLDFLAME SPIREA

Goldflame spirea is native to Japan.

  • Shrub size – grows to about and a half feet tall and feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – red
  • Foliage – yellow leaves with jagged edges that turn orange. yellow, and red
  • Deer resistant – yes

VAN HOUTTE SPIREA

Van houtte spirea is a hybrid variety that has showy blooms and is a hardy shrub.

  • Shrub size – grows to about and a half feet tall and feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – white
  • Foliage – blue-green leaves with jagged edges that turn purplish in the fall
  • Deer resistant – yes

GOLDMOUND SPIREA

Goldmound spirea is native to Japan and China.

  • Shrub size – grows to about and a half feet tall and feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – pink
  • Foliage – golden yellow leaves with jagged edges that turns orange in the fall
  • Deer resistant – yes

CRISP LEAF SPIREA

Crisp leaf spirea is native to Japan.

  • Shrub size – grows to about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors –
  • Foliage – new growth is a deep red in the spring that matures into dark green leaves with deep jagged edges that turn orange and yellow
  • Deer resistant – yes

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