Spirea (80 photos): types, care and description of the bush
It is simply impossible to resist the delicate flowering of spirea. Ornamental bushes are equally common in gardens or city parks. They are spectacular, unpretentious, well adapted to our latitudes and do not even need regular watering!
Spirea got its name for shoots that are surprisingly flexible for shrubs, because from the ancient Greek this word literally translates as “bend”. The people called the popular ornamental shrub a meadowsweet, so it is likely that you know it under that name.
Spirea combines the truly vital features for our latitudes. It is at the same time very unpretentious, resistant to severe frosts and blooms for a long time even on the hottest days.
There are dwarf spirea, which barely extend up to 20 cm and are well suited for rockeries. But there are also full-grown tall shrubs in 1-1.5, and even up to 2.5 m. The meadowsweet bark has an interesting natural feature - it can exfoliate. This is her natural life cycle, which periodically scares inexperienced gardeners.
All spiraeas are shallow and superficial, but very developed fibrous roots. Branches and leaves can be of completely different types, but the flowers are often similar. They are small, but there are a lot of them, and they are always collected in large lush inflorescences. Hues range from snow-white to deep dark pink.
Types of Spirea
There are about a hundred varieties of spirea, and all of them differ in appearance, flowering period and some features of life. Today we will tell you about the most popular of them!
A large 2-meter shrub is good in decorative landscape compositions and hedges. He has a large and spreading cascading crown, which gives a wide shadow. Snow-white flowers bloom twice a season - at the beginning and end of summer.
Flowers of such a spirea look very gentle and romantic, and from afar resemble large white-green balls. The shrub is not too tall, but grows well in breadth - up to a meter. Paniculate inflorescences extend to as much as 15 cm.
This spirea blooms a little earlier than others and the shades of its inflorescences vary from white to grayish. Tall bushes, upon closer inspection, take on a bizarre shape due to curved shoots.
This is a very spectacular decorative variety with so snow-white and dense flowers that the people nicknamed it May snow. Spirea Grefshame is good even alone, and even more so - a small group along the garden and park paths.
Large pyramidal inflorescences of such spirea resemble loose pink tassels. An interesting feature of the variety is the reddish and slightly pubescent shoots with which leaves with a silver tint contrast.
Compact bushes up to 70-80 cm resemble a lush and elastic ball. Against a bright green background, red-pink and slightly mottled flowers stand out even more expressively. There are even more compact hybrids that fit perfectly into alpine slides and flower beds.
This spirea loves moisture and perfectly complements the pond, delighting with panicled pink inflorescences. Its leaves really resemble willow, and this variety is often used in folk medicine as a source of invaluable trace elements.
Oak leaf spirea
The very early May variety is suitable for large group plantings and landscaping of parks. A one and a half meter bush is well propagated by root cuttings and easily tolerates forming pruning.
One of the brightest varieties came to us from the East and pleases with raspberry, almost red flowers. Shoots up to one and a half meters long are crowned with bizarre shapes of lush inflorescences.
This is a medium-sized mountain variety in which not only flowers, but also leaves are decorative. In the fall, they acquire a rich orange hue and in themselves resemble lush inflorescences. But such a spirea is not the most frost-resistant, so it can freeze in the northern regions.
Spirea is amazingly unpretentious, almost not sick and pleases with lush bloom all summer. Flowers densely spike even on the hottest days, when other plants dry and wither.
Temperature and lighting
Spirea prefers warm and bright lighting, but it is recommended to plant it on cloudy September days. With the onset of heat, only summer varieties are planted in spring.
If the season is wet, natural precipitation is sufficient for spirea. In too dry months, it is recommended to shed each bush well with an interval of about 2-2.5 weeks. One and a half buckets of water will take one spirea, and it is convenient to combine the procedure with top dressing.
Spirea prefers ordinary leafy soil or turf, in which peat and sand are added for loosening. The shrub is not too picky about the composition of the soil, but the more saturated it is, the more magnificent it will be. Necessarily need a good drainage layer of sand or broken brick.
Fertilizers and fertilizing
Spirea does not need too intensive top dressing, but with it it will be even more magnificent and bloom longer. The simplest organic fertilizers, such as mullein infusion, with the addition of a bag of superphosphate are well suited. We recommend mulching the trunk circle so that the bush does not overgrow with weeds.
Transplantation and reproduction
Not all types of spirea can be propagated by seeds, and even this is too long. In the first year, only one shoot without branches and one core root are formed. A bush will branch out more or less normally only after 3-4 years, and then it will be able to bloom for the first time.
Shrubs propagate well by cuttings, and survival rate on average reaches 70%. Some varieties even give 100% rooting with minimal stimulant treatment.
As an alternative, in the spring, layering is used, which is bent into a recess in the ground, pinched, dug up and necessarily insulated for the winter. Next year, the layering can already be separated from the parent plant and transplanted separately.
When planting spirea in a hedge between seedlings, you need to leave a distance of about half a meter. For planting spirea in group plantings, it can be varied up to a meter. The depth of the pit under the rhizome is also about half a meter.
The specifics of pruning spirea depends on the particular variety, because they have different forms of inflorescences. In early species, buds are formed on all last year's shoots, so they can not be cut annually. In late species, inflorescences develop only on new shoots of the same year, so they need to be pruned in spring.
Most varieties of spirea winter well in the middle latitudes and in the northern regions. In some of them, even flower buds are damaged only at a temperature of -50 degrees. For more sensitive species, it is recommended to tie the tops into a bundle so that they freeze less.
Pest and Disease Control
Spirea has a very strong immunity from nature, so most diseases in one way or another provoke improper care. Due to waterlogging, fungal diseases, such as verticillosis, appear. The methods of struggle are always the same - quickly remove the damaged fragments and treat the shrub with insecticides.
Of the pests, spirea love spider mites and aphids, which cannot be avoided by the vast majority of plants in the garden. We recommend using home remedies whenever possible and resorting to chemical insecticides only as a last resort.
Spirea is loved by caterpillars that eat its succulent leaves, and even anthills are often found near it. On the outside of the leaf plates, a pink-colored miner settles. The superficial root system attracts garden rodents and moles.
Spirea - photo
You probably had to deal with spirea, although it was not always clear what it was. Take a look at the pictures of how varied her flowering bushes can be!