Picture Snob

April 18, 2011

Spirea makes a lovely landscape plant

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I remember spirea from my childhood and although I didn't think anything of it then, I remember it fondly now. We had a whole side of the house lined with spirea and the white flower blossoms cascaded beautifully, drooping almost to the ground. I like the fact that this is an old timey plant and hardy and easy to grow.

The spirea plant is a shrub with about 100 varieities and they are native to the Northern hemisphere. I like the common name which is meadowsweet. What I didn't know that it was used as a medicinal herb by Native Americans and contains some of the same properties as aspirin.

The spirea comes in many different colors and growing patterns. There are spring flowering and summer flowering types. The most nostalgic for me is the bridal wreath type of spirea. Vanhoutte spirea easily grows 6-10 feet tall and just as wide, with an arching shape. There are many that don't grow as tall or spread as much, but all bridal wreath types have white flowers.

The summer blooming spirea are frequently planted along foundations or in mixed borders, They have colorful summer-blooming spireas which are compact plants pale pink, deep pink, or white flowers. Many of the summer-blooming types will produce flowers more than once during the growing season, especially if faded flowers are deadheaded. The foilage of these plants come in gold, chartreuse or red.

Spireas are hardy and fairly easy to grow. The spring-blooming bridal wreath types bloom on old wood and should be pruned only to maintain a natural shape and reasonable size. Summer-blooming spireas generally bloom on new growth. Prune them in late winter or early spring before the leaves emerge.

At Spiraea X Vanhouttei 'Renaissance

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at April 18, 2011 5:35 AM
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