Spirea Bush Varieties for Your Gardens
A low maintenance flowering shrub, the Spirea bush will add colour and texture to your garden. Caring for and pruning a Spirea is easy and I will show you how.
A Spirea bush (Spiraea) is low maintenance, fast growing, compact and an real eye catcher. Add one to your garden, as a container plant on your deck, or along your walkway.
I love the look of a Spirea. They are brightly coloured, very tightly compact and look great in any landscape.
They love full sun but will grow in part sun also. Once established they are drought tolerant and deer resistant. They are also great for attracting pollinators to your garden.
There are 2 different types of Spireas, Bridal Wreath variety and shrubby bloomers.
Bridal Wreath varieties bloom in mid-spring to early summer and have a cascading look to them with white clustered flowers along the stem.
Shrubby bloomers have a more upright look with different coloured flowers ranging from pink to red to white and bloom from summer until fall.
My Experience with the Spirea Bush
I have several varieties growing around my landscape. I haven’t had any problems with insects or diseases and they are said to be a hard to kill plant.
They are a versatile plant that can be used anywhere in the garden and can make nice low hedges along walkways and driveways.
I have seen a lot of pollinators around them, including bees and butterflies.
The 2 different varieties of Spireas get pruned at different times of the year.
For summer blooming plants, prune them in late winter or early spring, before they start to leaf out. You can prune them down to about 6 to 10 inches from the ground. This allows them to produce new shoots for better flowering and helps control the size.
For spring blooming plants, you will want to prune it right after it is done flowering as they bloom on old wood. Any pruning done later in the year will remove flowers for next year.
Varieties of Spirea Bushes
Goldmound (Spiraea japonica 'Goldmound')
This small shrub will grow
about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide making it on the smaller side of Spireas and can be grown as a
container plant on your patio or in the garden.
It has golden coloured leaves and small clusters
of pink flowers in late spring to early summer.
Goldflame (Spiraea x bumalda 'Goldflame')
This showy shrub is perfect to have in your landscape. Bright yellowish green leaves turn a coppery colour in the fall and clusters of red
flowers will really stand out in your garden.
It grows to about 4' tall and a
little wider which will look great in the front corner of your garden.
Snowmound (Spiraea nipponica 'Snowmound')
This gorgeous shrub will get larger than most other varieties growing to about 5' tall and wide. It has dark green leaves and showy white flowers in spring that grow along the stem of the plant.
Crisp Leaf (Spiraea x bumalda 'Crispa')
For something a little different it's very unique with jagged dark green leaves and bright pink clustered flowers in early summer.
It only gets about 2-3' tall and 3-4' wide at maturity. If you are looking for something a little different, then this one is a must have.
Little Princess (Spiraea japonica 'Little Princess')
With light pink coloured flower clusters and dark green leaves, this shrub will get to about 3' tall and 6' wide, perfect for any where you want to put it.
Little Princess Spirea
Bridal Wreath (Spiraea x vanhouttei)
One of the bigger varieties available, it can grow as big as 8' tall and 10' wide. It has arching branches that are covered with white flowers in spring.
Bridal Wreath Spirea
Birchleaf Spirea (Spiraea betulifolia 'Tor')
This birchleaf Spirea Bush only gets 2-3' tall and wide. It's perfect for a smaller sunny garden.
It will attract butterflies and other pollinators to your landscape.
Tor Birchleaf Spirea
More Spirea Bushes
Blue Mist (Caryopteris x clandonensis 'worcester Gold')
The little purplish-blue flowers are a bee magnet so if you are looking to attract pollinators this Spirea bush is a must-have.
It's a smaller shrub only getting to about 2-3' tall and wide, perfect for a small garden.
Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba)
An excellent native plant, Meadowsweet grows about 4' tall and wide with tall spikes of white flower clusters during the summer.
It grows best in full sun but can handle part shade and prefers to stay moist. It grows best along streams and ponds where there is enough water.
3-4' tall Meadowsweet
Astilbe Plant (Astilbe × arendsii)
Sometimes known as False Spirea or False Goat's Beard, it's a great flowering shrub for shade. The dark green leaves are jagged to add a little texture. Tall spikes of flowers stand above the shrub in late spring.
This plant will die back in the winter unlike other spirea bushes.
If you are looking for something that will stand out in your garden then consider a Spirea Bush for an accent piece, shrub border, or in a container on your deck or patio.
Pest and Diseases
Aphids – Small sap sucking insects that feed on the juices of plants. If you want to know more about Aphids click here.
Scale Insects – Covered in a protective cover these insects look like small bumps on the plant, usually on the leaves and stems.
Spider Mites – Microscopic spiders that also feed on the juices of plants. They attack both indoor and outdoor plants. Read more about Spider Mites here.
Fire Blight - Fire blight is a bacterial disease in the Rosaceae family. This includes apple, pear, hawthorn, crabapple and ornamentals members of the rose family. It affects the blossoms, leaves, twigs, and branches causing them to turn black and die.
Leaf spot Fungus – small brown spots appear on the leaves of both indoor and outdoor plants. They gradually grow bigger and join together and eventually kill the leaf.
To treat leaf spot disease, there are a couple different ways to stop it from spreading. A neem oil spray will work to prevent spreading or you can try a baking soda solution. Mix 1tsp with 1 gallon of water. Mix together and put it in a spray bottle and apply to your infected plant every 2 weeks.
Powdery mildew – This fungal disease affects many different plants including Spireas. It looks like white fuzz on the leaves that will turn a brownish colour with maturity.
To prevent it from occurring make sure there is plenty of air circulation around your plants and only water the soil, not the plant. A neem oil spray will help stop powdery mildew from spreading to other leaves. Only spray the leaves and not the flower buds or flowers.
Uses in the Landscape
There are many ways to use the Spirea in your landscape
- a hedge along a fence or deck
- as a focal point in the middle of your yard
- lining a walkway or driveway
- use it as an accent plant in a mixed garden
- foundation plants
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