Learn how to care for spirea in this spirea care guide. Growing and planting spirea is rewarding as this perennial flowering shrub is low maintenance. Growing spirea in a pot is also possible.
USDA Zones— 4 – 9
Other Names— Spiraea japonica, Japanese meadowsweet, Japanese spiraea
Origin: Eastern Asia
Flowering: Summer, late summer
Bloom color: Pink, white, yellow
Exposure: Sun, part sun
Soil pH: Neutral
Height: Up to 1.5m
Plant type: Deciduous flowering shrub
Vegetation type: Perennial
Plantation, repotting: Spring, fall
Method of Multiplication: Seed sowing in spring, from cuttings in summer
– Spirea Japonica ‘Alba’ have beautiful white flowers
– Spirea Japonica ‘Bumalda’, bronze foliage and pink flowers
– Spirea Japonica ‘Golden Princess’ red foliage and yellow and pink flowers
Spirea Planting Information
Spirea Japonica is a shrub. Its branches rise up to form a bushier growth, more or less rounded shape. Its leaves are deciduous, in an oblong shape, more or less narrow, toothed, depending more on the variety. Most often dark green, though it is lighter foliage, golden bronze or even red.
The flowers appear in summer in pink, white or yellow colors grouped in large umbels.
Growing and Planting Spirea
Growing and planting Spirea is easy. It prefers fertile, loamy and well-drained soil but also adapts to poor and dry soils. It grows well in neutral soil but can be grown in slightly acidic soil. Plant it in full sun or part shade on a location that remains moist. As Spirea Japonica naturally grows near bogs and wetland areas.
Fertilize spirea in early spring. Sprinkle some slow release “all purpose” fertilizer near the base of the plant. This will provide the consistent year long supply to plant.
It is a cold hardy shrub that supports temperatures down to -4 F (-20 C). In cooler areas, it becomes inactive and comes back in life in spring.
Space the plants several feet away from each other (50 cm) to obtain a beautiful lining effect. Low-growing varieties can become a stylish ground cover. Varieties like Spiraea Japonica ‘Magic Carpet’ looks beautiful.
Do mulching to preserve moisture as growing spirea requires slightly moist soil.
Pruning Spirea Japonica
Pruning Spirea Japonica is required to keep it in appropriate shape or size. You can prune dead, diseased, damaged or overgrown branches at any season.
Heavy pruning should be done in winter at the time when the plant is not actively growing. Prune the plant down to 6 inches so that it’ll rejuvenate again in spring.
Pests and Diseases
Generally, spirea care from pests and diseases is not required. However, aphids can be a problem.
Growing Spirea Japonica in Pot
Some varieties are ideal for container gardening. When growing Spirea Japonica in a pot, choose its dwarf variety “Spirea Japonica ‘Nana'”. Its small size is suitable for containers. Its bluish-green foliage and bright pink flowers make it an ideal plant to decorate a corner of the terrace or a balcony.