How to Grow Spirea


Spirea is one of the most popular shrubs in the home garden. They are easy to grow and maintain and with almost 100 species to choose from, large and small, spring blooming or summer, there is a spirea perfect for any garden. Here are a few general tips for planting and enjoying your spirea all year long.

Things You'll Need

  • Spirea
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Mulch or other organic material
  • Decide when to plant. These shrubs are flexible and may be planted in either spring or fall.

  • Determine the planting location. Full sun locations are preferred for maximum blooming. Ideally, soil should be moist and well-drained but the spirea will tolerate sandy soil or heavy clay.

  • Dig the planting hole to the same depth as the root ball and approximately 2 to 3 times as wide.

  • Remove the spirea from its container and position in the planting hole. Add a small portion of the original soil to the planting hole to secure the plant. Fill the planting hole with water and allow to be absorbed. Backfill the remaining soil and water again thoroughly.

  • Spread a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch around the base of the shrub and cover the entire planting area. It is best to maintain that level of mulch throughout the year.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spireas are deciduous shrubs and do well in hardiness zones 3 through 8. With so many different types of spirea available, check the plant information tag and the USDA Hardiness Zone map to assure planting success in your area.
  • When planting several spirea, space them 2 to 15 feet apart depending on the plant's expected size at maturity. Check the plant tag or local nursery for details.
  • The majority of spirea can be purchased containerized. To remove the shrub for planting, gently tap the pot on the ground to loosen the roots. Carefully ease the shrub from the container and inspect the roots. If they appear to be growing in a circular pattern, carefully loosen them so they can spread out in the planting hole.
  • Spirea blooms can be either white, pink, red or yellow and depending on the variety, blossom in either spring or summer. Sizes range from 2 to 10 feet high with a spread of 2 to 20 feet, depending on the variety. Spirea may be planted as a specimen plant or as a hedge or border. Some varieties have colorful fall foliage.
  • There are few maintenance requirements for spirea. Fertilizing in early November will help encourage growth and pruning dead and broken branches in early spring keeps the shrub neat. Some varieties, such as the "Little Princess" (Spirea Japonica) can be cut back to the ground every couple of years. "Goldflame" should be cut back after blooming and may reward you with a second summer blooming. The classic bridal wreath spirea Vanhoutte spirea, should be pruned in spring after it blooms.

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