Spiraeas are beautiful ornamental shrubs that should not miss from any garden. Part of the Rosaceae family, the Bridal Wreath Shrub creates a focal point in the garden with their mesmerizing flowers that bloom in early spring. Its spreading habit and fountain flowering have made Spiraea very popular among gardeners from all over the world. Moreover, it is easy to grow, fast-growing, and hardy.
Bridal Wreath Shrubs are resistant to deer and can tolerate salt, so it makes a great border plant or ground cover that prevents the growth of wild plants. Flowering season begins in April-May, creating a cascading waterfall of white flowers. The blooms attract butterflies, so your garden will become a true spring paradise.
Because pruning is beneficial for Spiraea, you can even cut off some bloomed branches and put them in a vase inside your home. If you want to add a Bridal Wreath Shrubs to your plant family, there are a few aspects you must keep in mind when it comes to growing and caring for this lovely plant. Keep on reading to find out more.
About the Bridal Wreath Shrub
- The name Spiraea comes from the Greek word speira which means spiral, in reference to its fruit that looks as if they are twisted.
- There are more than 80 Spiraeas strains, so you can certainly find the right one for your garden or home. The most popular ones are Bridal Wreath Spiraea, Spiraea cinerea ‘Grefsheim’, Spiraea astilbe, Spiraea japonica, and Spiraea densiflora.
- Spiraea is native to China, Taiwan, and Korea. Because it is low-maintenance, resistant, and harmonizes wonderfully with other plants, it is common in parks and gardens from all continents.
- In some parts of the U.S. Bridal Wreath Shrubs can become invasive, so make sure to check with your local extension office agent before planting.
- Bridal Wreath Shrubs bloom in early spring with pure white flowers, hence the name. The foliage appears after the flowers as small, green leaves. In fall, it develops a beautiful yellow-red-orange color.
Bridal Wreath Shrub Features: An Overview
- A mature Spiraea can grow 4 to 8 feet (1,2 m to2,4 m) tall and spreads up to 5 feet (1,5 m). Because it grows tall and wide, it is important to properly space it to 8 feet (2,4 m), center to center. This will ensure it has plenty of room to spread and develop a strong root system.
- Bridal Wreath Shrub can grow in USDA zones 5 to 9, and 4 with protection during winter. They harmonize well with lavender, peony, forsythia, and Delphinium (larkspur).
- Because it is part of the Rosaceae family, Spiraea shares some similarities to rose bushes regarding the shape of the leaves and spiny stems. Make sure to plant it in a location where there is no risk of passers-by to get scratched by it – unless you want to discourage trespassers.
- Its flowers cluster and bloom with double flowers all the way down to the branches. The flowers appear in clusters and are each 1/3 inches (1 cm) in diameter.
- The leaves have an elliptical shape and can grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. Their margins have tiny serrations and the underside is covered with soft hairs.
Growing Bridal Wreath Shrub
Spiraea is one of the most robust flowering plants you can have in your garden. Once established, the Bridal Wreath Shrub requires little care, making it an ideal project for beginner gardeners. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, it also provides good visual protection from prying neighbors. To make sure your Spiraea thrives and blooms vibrantly, there are a few tips you should keep in mind.
When it comes to location, Bridal Wreath Shrubs prefer a full sun location or a half-shady area. The sunnier the place is, the more sprouts you will get. Partial shade is well tolerated, although it will slightly reduce flowering. Once established, Spiraea is quite hardy, surviving both hot summers and cold winters within its hardiness zones.
Pruning Bridal Wreath Shrubs
Bridal Wreath Shrubs is a fast grower, so it requires regular pruning. Because it tends to spread through suckering, you will need to regularly trim these ground suckers to keep your shrub confined and looking great. The plant can be pruned for size or shape right after the spring flowering period. Try to remove old stems and dead wood to ground level. This will ensure that the center of the shrub receives enough sunlight. To control its size, trim the tips of the branches and remove some branches from the center as well. To avoid damaging the plant, remove not more than 1/3 of its stems. Early pruning allows Bridal Wreath to set buds for the following year.
An old Bridal Wreath that has grown too dense can be pruned for rejuvenation in late winter when the plant remains dormant. Cut back all the shoots and branches to 6 inches (15 cm) in height using loopers or bypass hand pruners. If your Spiraea suffered damage due to the weather, prune the wounded limbs above the stem collar with loopers or a hacksaw. Make sure to wear glasses and gloves and hold the branch securely making cuts at a downward angle away from your body.
Stems or canes that rub together in the wind or cross each other should be cut off to prevent bacteria from entering the shrub through friction wounds. Although Bridal Wreath Shrubs are not usually affected by pests or disease, improper pruning can cause bacterial infection or putrefaction. Try to avoid squeezing the shoots and instead prune it diagonally.
Planting Bridal Wreath Shrub
Bridal Wreath Shrub is tolerant of a wide range of soils. However, they prefer well-drained soil that is not constantly wet or soggy. To test soil drainage, dig a 12 inches (30 cm) deep hole in the planting area and fill it with water. After it drains, fill it with water and clock how long it needs to fully drain this time. If your soil is well-drained, the water will go down at a rate of about 1-inch (2,5) cm per hour. A faster draining soil could mean that you have dry site conditions and you need to add topsoil.
Bridal Wreath Spiraea likes an acidic to neutral soil with a pH between 4 to 7. To raise the pH and make the soil more alkaline, you can add some limestone to the planting area. To lower the pH, add organic compost, Aluminum Sulfate, Soil Sulfur, or Chelated Iron to the soil. Every spring, fertilize with a 2-inch (5 cm) layer of compost to feed the plant and also prevent weeds. For potted plants, apply water-soluble or slow-release granular plant fertilizer in early spring and again in early summer.
If you are planning to pot your Bridal Wreath Shrub, choose a container with lots of drainage holes. The pot has to be 8 inches (20 cm) larger in diameter than the root ball so it can allow 2 to 3 years of growth. Choose a quality potting mix and add 10% to 20% Perlite or pumice to ensure proper drainage. Pick a container that matches the style of your home and also goes well with the beautiful foliage of the plant.
Watering Bridal Wreath Shrub
Although Spiraea can tolerate some periods of drought, it is recommended to water once a week during summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch (2,5 cm) per week. After planting your Bridal Wreath Shrub, deep soak the soil around it to a depth equal to the height or the root ball. During winter, the plant is dormant and will require less water. New plants will not need daily soakings. Water only as needed to keep the surrounding soil and root ball damp to moist. It is better to deep soak the plant and wait for the soil to dry between watering than to splash a bit of water on the plant daily.
Established plants will need supplemental water during prolonged periods of summer drought. If you notice the stem tips are drooping or the leaves are wilting and curling, it is an indicator that your plant needs a deep soaking. Bridal Wreath Shrubs growing in containers will need more water, especially during summer. If you notice the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water the plant.
Propagating Bridal Wreath Shrub
If you love your Spiraea so much and you just want more, you can easily propagate it so that soon it will adorn your entire garden. The easiest method of propagation is by softwood cuttings. Start by cutting 4 or 5 flexible stem tips that are approximately 5-6 inches (12-15 cm) long. Clean the bottom part of the segments from any leaves and dip the end into rooting powder. Next, place the cuttings along the edge of a 6-inch pot (15 cm).
Cover the pot with a large plastic bag and seal it off. Place it in a shady location and check periodically to make sure the soil is moist. After 4 weeks you should start seeing new growth on the stems. Repot the cuttings into individual pots and allow them to grow until next spring when you can transplant them into your garden.
The Bridal Wreath Shrub is an easy to grow plant that should not miss from any garden or home. Their beautiful white blooms create a focal point in any space, creating a spring paradise. Gardeners from all over the world appreciate it for its fountain flowering, spreading habit, and hardiness.
Spiraea is tolerant of a wide range of soils and temperatures. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, it also provides good visual protection from prying neighbors. Its spreading habits need to be kept in check with regular pruning. During drought periods, your Bridal Wreath Shrub will need regular watering. If you want more of these amazing plants, you will be happy to know that propagating them is quite easy.
Are you growing Spiraea shrubs? Share your experience in the comments!