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Dependable, Old-fashioned Spirea

In our neighborhood, with its mostly 100 year old houses, many of the yards host spirea bushes. This time of year, the spirea bushes bend toward the ground, their branches loaded with clusters of tiny white flowers. They seem ready for a dozen weddings.

Spirea in bloom

Although there are newer hybrids of spirea, the old-fashioned bridal wreath spirea grows in our front yard and those of our neighbors. There are 80-100 different varieties of spirea, some of which are pink or yellow, but here we have mostly the traditional white.

I’ve come to appreciate our spirea bushes over the years we’ve lived here. In spring time, spirea is showy, almost gaudy, with its blossomy display. Spirea is also forgiving. Prune it; it grows well. Ignore it; it grows well. Let your children and their friends pick tiny bouquets to their hearts’ content; it grows well still.

bridal wreath spirea

Spring blooming spirea can be pruned after flowering has finished. Up to a third of the plant can be pruned. We take out the older, thicker branches from time to time, although not every year.

Neighbors across the street cut down some very large spirea bushes a few years back. I was concerned that they’d removed the bushes, but no. They simply trimmed them all the way to the ground. Some plants wouldn’t stand for such treatment, but spirea is more accommodating. The bushes are back, not quite as large as before but, as you can see, they are just as beautiful.
regenerated spirea

Posted in • Growing.