For attractive foliage and vibrant flowers, many gardeners rely on varieties of spirea shrubs. Different kinds of spirea work well as colorful garden accents, mass plantings, and container plants. If you go to the plant store, you may be surprised by how many types of spirea are available in commerce. Read on for an overview of the different spirea plant varieties as well as exceptional spirea cultivars.
About Spirea Plant Varieties
Spirea plant varieties are in the rose family and, like roses, among the most popular garden plants. They are beloved by busy gardeners since they do not require careful siting or special care. Plant different kinds of spirea and every year they will amaze you with their colorful blossoms. With a mixture of spirea cultivars, you can get blossoms all season long.
Spirea cultivars are all part of the genus Spiraea, a word that means “twisting” in Greek. Don’t worry though, the shrubs are not twisted. Rather, their fruits appear to be twisted. Types of spirea grow across the U.S. in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 8. If you count up the different kinds of spirea out there, you’ll find at least 80 different species. Some are quite tall and make perfect ornamental specimens. Others work well as bushy groundcover.
Popular Varieties of Spirea
Many types of spirea out there work well in your garden, looking lovely with neighbors like larkspur, lavender, forsythia, and peony plants. They can grow from April through November in blossom shades ranging from white to red and purple.
Perhaps the most popular types of spirea are ‘Triumphans’ (Spiraea billardii), a magnificent summer blooming shrub with dark pink blossoms, and Bridal Wreath Spiraea (Spiraea prunifolia). Bridal Wreath grows 5 to 6 feet (1.5-2 m.) tall and can make great hedge plants with their romantic white flowers. If you like Bridal Wreath’s wide-arching branches, check out ‘Grefshiem.’ It’s one of the newer spirea plant varieties and also serves well in a freestanding hedge.
With so many kinds of spirea out there, you should try more than one in your garden. If you want early blossoms, consider ‘Astilbe.’ It grows to 10 feet (3 m.) offering pale pink flowers. It also works fine in hedges. For a spring-blooming shrub, take a look at the bushy Spiraea densiflora. It is very healthy with bright pink flowers and attractive, long-lasting foliage.