If you are looking for an attractive ornamental shrub to accent your garden, you may want to consider planting spireas. Easy to grow and maintain, there are almost 100 spirea species to choose from. Some varieties work well as hedges, while others make great border plants.
Depending on the variety of spirea, blooms will be white, pink, red or yellow. The plants, which range in height from two to 10 feet and spread out two to 20 feet, will blossom in either spring or summer. Spireas have graceful arching branches that host drooping, fragrant flowers.
With so many different species of spireas available, you should have no problem choosing a species that will grow well in your climate. Spireas are native to North American and climate zones such as Japan. Most of the species do best in hardiness zones three through eight. Before purchasing, be sure to check the planting information with a United States Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zone map.
Spirea Planting Tips
After you have chosen a site to plant spireas, plan on putting the deciduous shrubs in the ground in either spring or fall. In order to get the most blooms, plant spireas in full sun. The soil should be moist and well drained, but spirea will grow in sandy or clay soils.
Dig the hole to the same depth as the root ball. However, be sure to dig the hole two to three times as wide as the root system.
When planting, water the plants thoroughly and spread two to three inches of mulch around them.
If you plan to plant more than one spirea, space plants according to their size at maturity. This may vary from two to 15 feet, so be sure to read the plant tag information. If you are in doubt, check with the nursery for more information.
Spireas are low maintenance and require infrequent watering throughout the growing season. You may want to water them in periods of drought. Spread a little general-purpose fertilizer around the roots once a year in the fall. Mulch to help keep the soil moist and cool. Mulching also helps protect roots from frost.
Prune the plants once a year after blooming is complete if you are trying to keep the spirea tidy and neat looking.
If older plants begin to get less flower blooms, you can cut the plant back by as much as 30 percent to boost productive growth from the base.
One of the most common pests that affect spireas are aphids. At the first sight of infestation, spray a mixture of soapy water to deter the sucking insects.
Spireas are also prone to fire blight, a bacterial disease. Prune off dead branches immediately. Spray the rest of the plant with a wettable streptomycin antibiotic powder to get rid of the blight.
Spireas also suffer from powdery mildew. A general garden fungicide should take care of the problem.
With little trouble, the spirea plants should provide years of floral beauty for your yard and garden.
Want to learn more about growing spirea?
Here’s a site to learn more about deciduous shrubs.