Plant of the Week - August 2, 2012 Spirea

Spirea

 

Spirea has an all season interest and will look fantastic in any residential design.  It is a deciduous shrub that will be bare in the winter but adds a nice display in the fall with foliage colors or bright orange and red.  The spirea blooms a distinctive flower a lot like yarrow.

It really is a great garden plant because it is sturdy and hardy for our cold Canadian winters.  It will take full sun but can certainly handle part shade and does best avoiding the hottest part of the day.  Our spirea varieties require moderate watering and very tolerant of a number types of soils. 

You do have to deadhead this plant, as the flowers are not self-cleaning.  You will get this wonderful flush of blooms and once those blooms are spent, just sheer them off.  You might even see a second set of blooms, but if you don’t, the foliage that remains is still beautiful!

Pruning Spirea gives you the opportunity to drop the canopy and keep them sized to the height you desire.  If they aren’t pruned they can look kind of wild.  The trick to pruning the Spirea is to wait until their dormant period, which is in the fall or winter.  Cut the plant down by about 1/3, even it out by trimming out all of the tiny branches (not the main branches) and you will get a beautiful, full display the following year.  It will look much better than if you had never pruned it at all.

The Spirea gets a big thumbs up!  Check out all of the varieties below.  You can click through to see more images by clicking on their names.

Goldmound Spirea
Dense compact ball shaped shrub with handsome yellow foliage throughout season. Showy clusters of pink flowers provide spectacular summer colour for the border or foundation plantings. Great for small areas. Remove old flowers to promote continual blooming.

Golden Carpet Spirea
Ultra dwarf version of the favourite Goldmound Spirea. Soft yellow foliage intensifies to bright gold as the season progresses. Occasional pink clustered flowers, quite rare. Great for the border, massing or living mosaics. An introduction from Quebec.

Magic Carpet Spirea
Small dense mound-shaped shrub with clusters of deep pink flowers in summer. Red shoots in spring turn into rich red tipped chartreuse foliage holding its colour into fall. Great for the border, foundation or in Mass Planting.

Green Carpet Spirea
An ultra dwarf version of Little Princess Spirea but longer blooming. Medium green foliage changes to reddish purple in the fall. Pink clustered flowers cover the plant in the summer. Great for the border or massing. USPP13622.

Sparkling Carpet Spirea
An ultra dwarf version of the favourite Magic Carpet Spirea. Golden-lime coloured foliage with bronze-tinged new growth changes to reddish purple in the fall. Pink clustered flowers in the summer. Great for the border or massing. An introduction from Quebec.

Froebel Spirea
Fast growing rounded shrub with flat bright pink flower clusters in summer that cover the plant. Dark green foliage has purplish tips. Use in the border or as an informal hedge. Beautiful colour addition to the landscape. Remove spent flowers to promote c

Anthony Waterer Spirea
Upright rounded shrub with clusters of rose-pink flowers through summer. Fine textured bluish green foliage turns reddish purple in fall. A great small hedge, foundation or border plant. Adds vibrant colour in the landscape. Remove spent flowers to promote more blooming.

Dwarf Garland Spirea
Compact shrub with arching branches and fine soft green foliage all season. Abundance of small, showy, foam-like displays of white flowers all along the stems in early spring. Beautiful addition to any landscape, border or Mass Planting. Vigorous and har

Little Princess Spirea
Small dense mound shaped shrub with profuse clusters of soft pink flowers in summer. Fine textured mint green leaves in summer turn dark red in fall. Attracts butterflies. Good accent for the border, groundcover or dwarf specimen shrub.

Bridal Wreath Spirea
A more disease resistant selection of the traditional vase shaped upright shrub with blue green foliage in summer turning orange red in fall. Prolific white flowers along the arching stems in early June. Good accent plant for the border or in mass plantin

Snowwhite Spirea
Dense vase shaped upright shrub with dark green lobed foliage turns orange red in fall. Abundant white flowers cover the entire arching branches in spring. A more compact version of Bridal Wreath Spirea. Great for the border or in Mass Planting.

Dart's Red Spirea
Dense compact mound shaped shrub with deep carmine red blooms fading to rosy pink with age. Fine textured bluish green foliage turns reddish purple in fall. Improved sport of Anthony Waterer introduced from Holland. Good for foundation or Mass Planting.