How to grow Spiraea

Spiraea is a deciduous shrub, hardy H6, which is -15-20, and suitable to grow in most locations, although for the showiest flowers, Spiraea is best grown in full sun. Spiraea is easy to grow, self sufficient, and has no particular growing or pruning requirements unless the shrub is getting too large, or tangled, when you can opt for a light prune after flowering. It is genuinely a low maintenance, easy to grow shrub, which needs little attention once established.  

Many Spiraea are beautiful late spring /early summer flowering shrubs, although there are also summer flowering varieties, see below.

Routine pruning is unnecessary but if required, take out the old shoots from the base and trim back the younger stems to required size. It is best to prune after flowering, which for the spring flowering varieties such as Spiraea nipponica 'Snowmound' (illustrated,) will be in late spring/early summer. S. nipponica 'Snowmound' is one of the most spectacular Spiraea lovely arching stems carry dozens of white flowers in the spring. This variety will mature to around 2m.

All Spiraea are deciduous, and look very different in the winter compared to summer, as shown in the image below. It looks dead in the winter, so if you come across it in the garden, don't be tempted to dig it up. Come the spring it will reward you. 

Ideas - varieties of Spiraea to grow

Spring Flowering Spiraea

There are several Spiraea which have the RHS award of garden merit, which is always a good indicator when picking a shrub. 

Spiraea × arguta common name 'Bridal Wreath' is a popular variety with, as the name suggested, lovely white flowers around  6 cms this variety grows to around 1.5-2.5m

Spiraea Nipponica 'Snowmound' 3rd image top right has an arching habit as well with masses of white flowers and grows up to 2m. One of the most attractive varieties for the garden because of the profusion of flowers.

Summer Flowering Spiraea

Spiraea canescens another upright variety with arching stems, creamy white flowers in mid to late summer. Shrub will reach up to 3m.

S. japonica an upright clump forming shrub with many varieties. Flowers pink or white in late summer, 'Anthony Waterer has soft pink flowers and grows up to 1.5m; 'Golden Princess' bronze red foliage reaching around .5-1m ideal for a smaller garden as is 'Goldflame' which has pink flowers in the summer and good autumn colour growing to around 1.5m.

Images of Spiraea in spring and winter

Spiraea in Spring

Spiraea japonica in summer

This deciduous shrub looks pretty in the spring and summer with a profusion of white flowers and feathery green foliage.

Spiraea in Winter

Spiraea japonica in winter

In the winter, the shrub is a bare tangle of stems. being deciduous it sheds all its leaves over winter.

Green Wheelbarrow Spiraea are easy to grow

Spiraea is easy to grow, have little or no maintenance, and return reliably each year.

Last updated 05.10.2021