Spirea

spirea 'Ogon'This is my absolute favorite flowering shrub, so it’s no surprise that I have a few to show you (and more where they came from). Its beauty and toughness apparently appeal to professional designers, too, because they use it extensively, especially this year the new variety ‘Ogon’ (photo above) with its willow-like chartreuse foliage — yum!

Native to Japan and China.

Some Favorite Types

  • ‘Anthony Waterer’ is an old favorite and has the terrific rebloom you see here on the right. It’s about 4′ tall and 5-6′ wide.
  • The Vanhoutte spirea (commonly called Bridal Wreath) has white flowers in May and grows to 8 x 12 feet! (Photo below)spirea 'Anthony Waterer'
  • ‘Ogon’ is sometimes called a willow spirea for its thin willow-like foliage. I love it for the chartreuse leaf color more than its very early white blooms. It grows to 3-5′ tall and wide and is hardy in Zones 4-8.

Details

  • Best in full sun, but mine bloom plenty with only a half-day of sun.
  • Hardiness varies by type, with some as hardy as Zone 3.

Care

  • Totally untroubled by pests or diseases of any kind.
  • Very drought-tolerant.
  • Dead flowers can be sheared off for a nice rebloom (on most, not all types).
  • Major pruning to create a smaller shrub can also be done in early spring (except for ‘Bridal Wreath’ and ‘Ogon’, which should be pruned after blooming the previous year). Some gardeners cut them back to 6-8 inches every year, while others prefer to simply remove the old flowers and allow the shrub to grow to its natural size and shape.
  • All benefit from renewal pruning after flowering (removal of the oldest stems and those that crowd others to the ground).