The Spirea Plant
Spireas are native to the Northern hemisphere. These plants are also called 'meadow-sweets' and have nearly 90 odd species. Bear in mind that this plant contains methyl salicylate which is highly toxic and must never be consumed. In the past, the Native Americans considered spirea a herb and used it for treating pain, inflammation, stomach ache, and fever.
The flowers are bright, colorful and in shades of red, pink, yellow, and white. Spirea bushes yield flowers in spring, which grow in clusters. They do not need maintenance or special treatment to grow, and only need enough sunlight, light watering, and some rain. Pruning is simple and some basic gardening tools are needed to make the task easy.
How to Prune Spirea
- These flowers bloom in spring time and they must be pruned soon after the first few flowers have bloomed and are beginning to fade.
- Pruning spirea is a once in a year task, thereby letting you forget all about them through the rest of the seasons.
- The first step is to cut off all the dead and diseased branches.
- Lightly deadhead the spirea branches so they flower more than once in the season and to prevent them from spreading. Most varieties can grow 6 feet in length and 10 feet in height and more, when not pruned.
- Use a hand pruner to chop off the fading flowers from the top upper branches and use a larger pruning tool to snip off thicker branches in inner parts.
- Remember that the old branches must be cut off first, as they are no longer capable of bearing flowers and will only look ugly and woody if not dealt with.
- Always cut off half of the spirea plant's excess undergrowth, so that its branches begin at 4-6 inches above the ground and there is more air circulation.
- Pruning in order to thin the bush out, will provide space between the branches and help them grow and breathe. Cut off 3-5 inches of bush from the top and chop off branches that are getting intertwined.
- Feeding some fertilizer to the newly pruned spirea plants will help them grow healthy and produce more flowers during their next blooming season.
Spirea plants grow in compact foliage that may have a golden-yellow or reddish foliage. They look very attractive when planted along to the driveway.