By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener
Novice and experience gardeners alike love spirea bushes (Spiraea) for their eye-catching beauty, fast growth rate, hardiness and ease of care. Spirea shrubs are deciduous shrubs that can be divided into two categories: spring blooming and summer blooming.
The spring blooming spirea has a delicate cascading habit with large clusters of white flowers poised on arching branches. The summer blooming spirea bush boasts beautiful pink, white or red flowers atop upright branches. Both varieties are prized for their shape and flowers.
How Do I Grow Spirea?
Growing spirea shrubs is extremely easy, and these flexible plants are hardy in just about any growing zone. Spirea bushes are available at most garden supply stores and greenhouses and should be planted during the spring or fall for best results.
Depending on variety, spirea bushes grow from 2 to 6 feet tall. Be sure to place your bush in a location that will accommodate its mature size. Spirea bushes do very well as a focal plant in the landscape or as part of a larger grouping for a screen or border.
Spirea Growing Conditions
The spirea shrub does best when planted in full sun or light shade. Planting the shrub in full shade results in stunted growth, and a reduction in the number and size of blooms.
Position your spirea in an area with well-drained soil, as they do not like “wet feet.”
How to Care for Spirea Bushes
Once planted, the care of spirea requires a minimal time investment. Adding mulch around the plant will help retain moisture and regular summer watering will promote healthy blooms and growth.
Prune summer-blooming spirea bushes during the winter or in the spring. Spring bloomers can be pruned right after the flowers are gone. Remove dead wood and trim canes of spring varieties to the ground.
While aphids may become a problem, they are rarely serious enough to warrant treatment.
No matter which variety of spirea bush you choose, growing spirea shrubs is sure to add interest and lasting beauty to your landscape for many years to come.