Spirea plants are very popular in gardens because they have a variety of uses such as decoration, landscape plant, ornamental shrub or even houseplant. They grow up to 3 feet tall and can reach 10 feet in height. There are many different varieties of spireas with their own unique shape and coloration. Some spireas look like miniature trees while others resemble little ferns. Each type has its own purpose which makes them attractive to gardeners.
Pruning spirea plants is not difficult but it does require some effort. You will need to use a sharp knife and scissors. If you do not have these tools, then you may want to consider purchasing them before attempting pruning your spirea plants.
Once pruned properly, your spirea plant will produce new growth every year so there is no reason why you cannot enjoy growing one of these beautiful flowers!
How To Prune A Spirea Plant?
When pruning spirea plants, you must remember to keep the branches short and straight. These are the most common ways of pruning spirea plants. When cutting back on the branches, make sure that you don’t damage any of the leaves underneath. Also, make sure that all new growth is removed from where you just trimmed off.
Pruning Spirea For Shape
This is the most popular method of pruning spirea plants. You can create a hedge, topiary, or standard tree shape. To do this, you should remove any and all side branches that are growing outward.
You should also remove any and all upward growing branches. The only branches that you should allow to remain are the ones that are growing downward. These can be tied to a stake if necessary. When trimming spirea plants for shape, you should do this during the early spring months.
Pruning Spirea For Long Term Shape
If you want to maintain the current shape of your spirea without trimming it again for a few years, then this is the method for you. After trimming for shape, you should wait a few weeks before beginning the second part of this method. The second part of this method is to remove any and all outward growing branches as well as upward growing branches.
This will force the spirea plant to grow inward.
Pruning Spirea For Flowering
After your spirea has reached the mature height that you desire, you can begin to prune it for flowering. During this time, you should remove any and all outward growing branches. This will cause the spirea plant to grow inward and blossom.
It is suggested that you do not prune your spirea during the winter months.
When spirea plants become very large, they often have a lot of thick stems and large leaves. These stems and leaves are often hard to manage and take away from the appearance of the plant. In this case, you can strip the veins of the leaves to make them look thinner.
There are two ways this can be done.
The first way is to strip the veins of the leaves off entirely. When doing this, you should remove any and all green leaf material. When you do this, you will reveal the whitish vein in the center of the leaf.
This veining pattern often remains on the spirea plant for years to come.
The second way is to partially remove the veins of the leaves. This method is less extreme than stripping all of the green material off of the leaves. When you do this, you will allow some of the green material to remain on the spirea plant.
In return, you will get a spirea plant that has thicker leaves. This may help to obscure the spirea plant. It will also help to insulate the plant, which can be a good thing in colder weather.
Spirea plants should be watered on a regular basis. It is suggested that you water your spirea plant as soon as the soil becomes dry to the touch. Over-watering can be just as harmful as underwatering, so be careful.
It is best to water your spirea plant with rainwater or distilled water. This will help to prevent the spread of disease and fungus.
You should fertilize your spirea plant once every two weeks during the spring, summer, and fall months. A good organic fertilizer can be used such as bone meal or manure. When applying the fertilizer, you should mix it with a little bit of water first.
After mixed, you should pour it around the base of the plant. This will help the plant to obtain the nutrients it needs over time.
Sources & references used in this article:
Pruning Ornamental Trees and Shrubs by MN Dana, P Carpenter – 2001 – green-resource.com
song of the lazy gardener, or minimum care plantings by M HENRY – naldc.nal.usda.gov
How to Prune Trees & Shrubs: Easy Techniques for Timely Trimming. A Storey BASICS® Title by BW Ellis – 2016 – books.google.com
Pruning trees, shrubs & vines by KD Cutler – 2003 – books.google.com
Pruning shrubs by T La Dell – The Plant User Handbook, 2004 – Wiley Online Library