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How and When to Prune Spirea Shrubs

Stunning flowering shrubs, spirea are enthusiastic growers with woody or cane-like stems that profit from an annual pruning.

A close up vertical image of white spirea flowers growing in the landscape pictured in light filtered sunshine. To the top and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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Pruning removes outdated and useless wooden and produces new shoots for vibrant, youthful vegetation with full foliage, ample clouds of flowers, and a manageable measurement.

It thins the plant’s mass and reduces the prevailing cover, which improves air circulation and permits daylight to succeed in the understory, leading to dense mounds of development.

And most of the common cultivars within the Spiraea genus additionally profit from a second trim after flowering to encourage a light-weight rebloom and fairly new foliage, and to test rambunctious development.

The widespread backyard varieties differ in measurement and form, some with a mounded or rounded type, others with swish, arching branches. However all of them function lots of pleasant, tiny flowers grouped in clusters, flat-topped corymbs, or panicles.

The foliage is delicate and infrequently lacy, giving no less than two, and infrequently three seasons of colourful curiosity.

Most of the newer cultivars have luminous, color-changing leaves that emerge in shades of chartreuse, copper, gold, orange, and scarlet then morph into varied hues of inexperienced.

And most placed on a reasonably autumn present as nicely when leaves flip deep shades of burgundy, copper, orange, scarlet, and purple.

A close up horizontal image of the bright and deep red fall foliage of a spirea shrub.

The gorgeous flowers are enticing to very important pollinators like bees and butterflies, however deer have a tendency to go away them alone.

Distinctive shrubs, these cold-hardy vegetation placed on an excellent multiseason show however want you and your backyard snips to look their finest!

To maintain your vegetation in high type, be part of us now for a have a look at find out how to prune spirea for luxurious shrubs.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

When to Prune Spirea

Deciding when to prune spirea is determined by the kind you might have. These vegetation could also be both spring- or summer-flowering.

The spring blooming, garland varieties, like bridal wreath (S. prunifolia), flower on outdated wooden. And to keep away from flower loss, they need to not be pruned in late winter whereas dormant.

A close up horizontal image of white spirea flowers growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.
S. prunifolia

As a substitute, these vegetation get a reduce proper after flowering or similtaneously deadheading.

Summer time-flowering varieties such because the shrubby S. japonica bloom on new wooden. These are finest reduce after they’re nonetheless dormant, usually in late winter to early spring relying in your area.

A close up horizontal image of pink spirea flowers pictured in light sunshine.
S. japonica

Stunning birchleaf spirea (S. betulifolia) technically flowers in late spring throughout Could and June – however buds type on new development so it’s reduce as a summer-flowering sort in late winter.

A close up horizontal image of white spirea blooms and buds pictured in light sunshine.
S. betulifolia

Whereas vegetation are nonetheless dormant, that is the time to be pretty aggressive, eradicating useless or broken branches and reshaping shrubs.

A second, lighter clipping is finished proper after flowering, when vegetation are deadheaded and frivolously trimmed.

And when you discover that an annual prune and deadheading aren’t sufficient to maintain summer-flowering shrubs in test, trim and form at any time after flowering to revive order.

Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the necessities for every sort, relying on bloom time.

Spring-Flowering Sorts

For a full, bud-to-bloom season, spring-flowering shrubs want pruning as quickly as flowers fade and end.

A horizontal image of a large 'Bridal Wreath' spirea plant in full bloom.

Pruning promptly permits time for brand spanking new branches to develop and set buds for the next season, leading to full, lush vegetation with ample flowers.

Use clear, sharp shears or pruners to scale back the general measurement by as much as one-third.

Select an overgrown cane and comply with it again to the trunk, reducing on the stem collar near the principle trunk.

Slicing near the trunk is necessary, as a result of if the cane is lopped anyplace above the collar, it’ll sprout clusters of latest development slightly below the reduce – which may turn out to be tangled and high heavy, and probably trigger harm.

Suckering can be widespread with S. prunifolia. Take away any undesirable suckers by reducing stems beneath the soil line.

Bridal wreath and associated cultivars may also be tidied in late winter to early spring, however solely to take away useless or broken stems. Keep in mind, flowers type on outdated wooden and pruning at the moment for this sort leads to flower loss.

Summer time-Flowering Sorts

Summer time-flowering shrubs bloom on new wooden and may be given a tough prune in late winter to early spring to scale back, reshape, and resize.

A horizontal image of a large hedge with pink spirea flowers growing in front of it.

When pruning at the moment, look ahead to stems of latest development – usually in vibrant shades of copper, lime inexperienced, orange, and purple – and take care to keep away from damaging them.

Use clear, sharp backyard shears or hand pruners to chop away and take away any remaining flowerheads from the earlier season.

Take away all useless, damaged, or straggly branches, reducing cleanly on the stems’ base.

Take away a hoop of mature canes from across the outer fringe of the bottom, reducing at soil degree. Previous, woody canes can block daylight to the vegetation’ inside, choking out new development and leading to naked stems with little or no undergrowth.

Scale back the highest by as much as half the general measurement. Use clear, sharp pruning shears to chop again the stems, making a uniform form as you go.

Care After Flowering

To tidy spring-flowering varieties with out pruning, deadhead solely the spent flowers, utilizing clear, sharp backyard shears or pruners to skim simply above the foliage.

But when your shrubs must be formed or resized, that is the time to crop them as outlined above.

For summer-flowering vegetation, trim shrubs after blooms have light to tidy up and encourage a light-weight rebloom with colourful new foliage.

A close up horizontal image of a gardener using an electric hedge trimmer to prune a spirea shrub.

Use clear, sharp backyard shears or pruners to take away spent flowers together with just a few inches of foliage to revive a good profile.

Or take away as much as one-third of the cover to form vegetation or sculpt into decorative topiaries.

A horizontal image of a spirea bush pruned in a spiral growing in the landscape.

For a professionally rounded trim, use this landscapers’ trick:

Tie a rope across the shrub’s center, frivolously pulling the branches collectively. Minimize straight throughout the shrub’s high above the rope. Launch the rope and the shrub may have a properly rounded type.

Rejuvenating Mature, Overgrown Crops

Mature vegetation that haven’t been maintained usually develop an abundance of high development, sparse flowers, and a tangle of useless and/or naked branches beneath the cover.

A tough cutback clears out the messy jumble of canes and stimulates new development in vibrant, tight mounds with thick foliage and ample flowers.

A close up horizontal image of a spirea shrub that has had a hard cutback in the fall.

To rejuvenate each spring- and summer-flowering varieties, reduce exhausting in late winter to early spring, utilizing clear, sharp backyard snips or hedging shears. For overgrown bridal wreath, it’s possible you’ll want to make use of a clear backyard noticed for the bigger stems.

Take away a hoop of outer canes at or simply beneath soil degree. Eradicating the outer canes helps to pay attention development right into a compact mound.

In the reduction of all remaining stems to at least one to 2 ft above the soil line.

Take away any useless wooden and use a small hand rake to scrub out particles from the vegetation’ inside.

Prime costume the foundation zone with a two- to four-inch layer of natural matter similar to aged compost or well-rotted manure.

Crops will produce new development in spring and return to full measurement in simply a few years.

Showy Shrubs

Spirea are enthusiastic growers that reply nicely to pruning, producing tightly fashioned, showy shrubs with fairly foliage and much of flowers.

A close up horizontal image of pink Japanese spirea growing in the garden pictured in light evening sunshine.

Prune the spring-flowering bridal wreath proper after blooming. However wait till late winter to chop again the summer-flowering varieties.

And reduce freely as a result of it’s virtually unimaginable to take an excessive amount of wooden when you comply with the directions outlined above!

When you’ve got any questions on find out how to prune spirea, drop us a word within the feedback part beneath.

And to study extra about rising and caring for spirea, have a learn of those guides subsequent:


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