Spirea – Plant Profile

kalleco nursery spirea-1

Spirea, genus.

Common Varieties: “Bridal Wreath”; “Meadowsweet”; “Goldmound”; “Goldflame”; “Snowmound”; “Magic Carpet”; “Neon Splash”.

Description: ‘Spirea’ actually refers to over 80 varieties of deciduous shrubs, making it one of the most diverse plants available. Its features and habits will vary greatly depending on variety, but that also means it’s easy to find the right fit for every landscape. In general, spirea are hardy, low-maintenance shrubs with dense foliage made of up small pointed leaves. They bloom throughout the growing season (spring to fall), sporting clusters of small five-flowers that attract pollinators.

Color is key for spirea, since spirea shrubs come in a wide array of shades. Leaves can vary from deep red and orange to bright yellow-green to dark green. Some varieties have mottled leaves, or lobed foliage.

Planting and Growth: New shrubs should be installed in the spring or fall.  Spirea enjoy moist but well-drained soil and full sun. Watering daily until established is recommended. Once established, spirea need little maintenance, as they are drought tolerant. For earlier blooms, fertilize in the late fall with a tree and shrub blend fertilizer.

In general, spirea have a mounding tendency. Some varieties, like Bridal Wreath, can grow up to 9’ in height with long, arching branches. Others, like Neon Splash, tend to stay low and compact. To keep them in shape, prune them in the spring and cut them back in the fall.

Complements: Other full-sun perennials and shrubs. Spirea s extremely versatile, so some varieties are ideal for foundation plantings, while others can make excellent hedges or barriers. It’s nursery manager Meghan’s go-to landscape plant for year round color, so think about the shades and textures around it. Complement yellow-green leaves like Neon Splash with red or orange foliage or flowers. Plant Bridal Wreath around purple perennials that will pop next to the white flowers and deep green foliage.

Special Features: Color, Year-Round Interest, Deer-Resistant Flowers, Low-Maintenance, Drought-Tolerant, highly adaptable.

Common Spirea Species: Bridal Wreath: fast growing and tall (7’-9’), with dark green lobed foliage and white flowers in spring; Goldflame: low-growing and compact, with yellow-green leaves and red-orange new growth, with hot pink flowers; Goldmound; low growing and compact, with bright green leaves and paler pink flowers.

Wondering which Spirea is right for you? We’d love to help!