Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spirea, you gotta have some.

Its been a week! Did you miss me? I'm not sure anyone is listening to me ramble on about gardening. (or reading as it were) Today I am blogging about Spirea. Over the last week I have designed 3 yards and at least one bed. I still have one to do! Overwhelmingly I have found that everyone is in love with Spirea. Here are some reason's why...

Most Spirea are easy to grow. Enough said? Well, there is more. Spireas are adaptable, fast-growing, and easy to maintain. Hold on, there is even more... Spireas even have a huge range of foliage and bloom colors. Read on-

Plant the spring-blooming bridal wreath type Spirea in partial shade. Summer-blooming spireas produce the most flowers and best color in full sun. But they do well in part shade as well. All spireas prefer moist, but well-drained soil.
The summer-blooming spireas bloom on new growth. I would prune them in late winter or early spring before the shrub gets leaves. If you deadhead spent flowers during the summer it will not only prevents the formation of seed, but will encourage repeat bloom later in the season. These summer spireas are drought tolerant after established.

Here are my favorite varieties-

Anthony Waterer- This Spireas leaves emerge as bronze/red and mature to deep blue-green as, pink flowers appear in early summer. It typically grows 3–4 feet tall and 4–6 feet wide. Blue Mist-This is a very fast growing shrub that has blue to purple flowers during the last half of the summer & in the early fall. Promote more flowering, by cutting the shrub almost to the ground in late February or early March. Blue Mist Spirea needs full sun and lots of heat. It gets 4' high & 4 feet wide. This is a great picture, but I think it over emphsizes the blue color. Dont base your purchase on that...Goldflame- I love this spirea for its distinctive gold leaves. The new leaves of this Spirea emerge a copper red before maturing to chartreuse, & it gets dark pink flowers. (bonus) In fall, the leaves become a warm bronze color. This spirea is a fun way to add color to your miserable hot sun garden, without having a flower... Little Princess- has pale pink flowers on 2- to 3-foot tall plants. Small but striking, I think Little Princess holds its shape very well.. Magic Carpet- A fairly low growing spirea. Has an intense lime green color to the foliage in the spring. Love the orange/red new growth, & very nice bright pink flowers during bloom. generally under 3 feet Snowmound- grows 3–5 feet tall Showy flowering shrub with dark blue/green leaves. Then it is contrasted by masses of white flowers in late May. This Spirea is one of the more prolific bloomers of all spireas. Vanhoutee or Bridal Wreath- This is probably my most favorite Spirea of the bunch. No picture can do it justice. If you have a shady spot, this Spirea is for you. The white flowers are almost overwhelming in the spring. I love the leaf & look of the shrub when it is not in bloom to. But this is also the biggest Spirea. It can get 6 to 10 feet tall, and just as wide! So you may want to plan for a big shrub, or pull out your nippers... Bridal wreath blooms on old wood (that really is cool I must say) only prune this shrub to keep a good shape and size. Prune soon after all the plants’ flowers fade. 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. Lastly, Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!

I am sure you can find a Spirea for your garden. Happy Planting!