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Spiraea’s Assets

Learn about the classic Spiraea 'Bridal Wreath' on this Focus on Flowers.

A Spirea bush.

Photo: nathansnostalgia (Flickr)

All spiraea shrubs need well drained soil and plenty of sun to bloom abundantly.

The classic Spiraea ‘Bridal Wreath,’ is a 6-8 feet deciduous shrub often planted in gardens as a hedge or accent. It may have been our grandmother’s favorite as its arching branches are covered with lacy white flowers in late spring/early summer.

If you have daughters, it may be a good investment as the inflorescence make superb arrangements for weddings and save a lot of money on florist bills. Of course, while it is easy to grow spiraea, daughters may be less easy to convince that their wedding dates should be set to conform to its specific bloom time, but plant a spiraea anyway.

There are many new cultivars since grandma’s day, and ‘Renaissance’ is a good new white. Many new varieties also have the bonus of colorful foliage and ‘Neon Flash’ has deep burgundy leaves in the fall and pink flowers earlier. ‘Shibori’ is a 2-3 feet little beauty that is carefree and covered with clusters of little flowers in white, red, and pink.

The dwarf ‘Lemon Princess’ has bright yellow leaves  in the spring that often turn orange and red in autumn, as well as deep pink blooms earlier. All spiraeas need well drained soil and plenty of sun to bloom abundantly. Check out the varieties available at your local garden center and ask about appropriate pruning since the deer, thankfully, will leave that job for you.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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