How to grow Spiraea

A beautiful late spring /early summer flowering shrub,  Spiraea is very hardy 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 to do so a light trim after flowering.  Spiraea is a genuinely a low maintenance easy to grow shrub which really needs no attention once planted.  

Once established Spiraea is easy to grow and all that is required is trimming or pruning if it gets too large after flowering in summer.   If the shrub does need pruning, take out the old shoots from the base and trim back the younger stems to required size.  If you do decide to prune Spiraea,  it is best to prune after flowering in late summer

 Spiraea is deciduous and it looks very different in the winter compared to summer, as shown in the image below. Spiraea canescens left in early summer, right in winter. 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. Spiraea are fully hardy H6 which is to -10 down to -20. 

Recommended varieties of Spiraea to grow

Spirea Japonica Anthony Waterer

Left is Spiraea Japonica 'Anthony Waterer' and right Spiraea japonica Shirobana. Two popular varieties of Spiraea commonly grown in the UK. Both are fully hardy, deciduous and summer flowering.

Spiraea japonica Shirobana

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

Spiraea  Japonica 'Anthony Waterer' left has lovely pale red flowers,  compact and upright  it grows up to 1m and is fully hardy, illustrated in the first image top left.

Spriaea Canescens  has arching stems, grows up to 2.5m with lovely white flowers is a popular species regularly sold in garden centres, easy to grow looks well in any border especially in a woodland setting although flowering best in sun.

Spiraea × arguta 'Bridal Wreath' is a popular variety with, as the name suggested, lovely white flowers carried on arching branches growing up to 1.5-2.5m

Spiraea Nipponica 'Snowmound' 3rd image right has 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.

A Spiraea with really bright golden foliage is Spiraea japonica   'Golden Princess' which has pink flowers and a more compact variety growing between .5 -1m ideal for smaller gardens. Similar is Spiraea japonica 'Goldflame' which has pink flowers in the summer and good autumn colour growing to around 1.5m.

Green Wheelbarrow Spiraea are easy to grow

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

Spiraea in spring and winter

Spiraea in Spring

Spiraea japonica in summer

This deciduous shrub looks very 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.

Last updated 30.09.2019