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Spiraea japonica

Phonetic Spelling
spy-REE-ah juh-PON-ih-kuh
Description

Spiraea japonica, or Japanese Spiraea, is a flowering dwarf deciduous shrub with leaves that change color over the season, growing 4 to 6 feet high and as many feet wide. The plant is drought tolerant and has an upright, low and broadly mounded form creating a dense thicket of thin wiry stems. Japanese Spiraea blooms in early summer with pink flowers that attract butterflies and is often the last of the common spiraeas to bloom in a calendar year. Old, dried flower heads will remain on the plant after blooming and can be pruned off with a light shearing to encourage continued blossoms. The plant, itself, flowers on new wood so it is best to prune the branches in late winter or early spring. This plant works well on banks, as a low mass or filler, or as the front of a shrub border. 

The plant prefers rich loam, but grows in a range of soil types (including clay) in average, medium moisture, good drainage, and full sun. It will not do well in wet, poorly drained, soil. It tolerates light shade. Japanese Spiraea can be an aggressive self-seeder and has been known to escape gardens and naturalize in many areas of the eastern United States. The plant can also spread in the garden by suckering.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:

Unlike some other species of Spiraea (Spiraea cantoniersis), this plant may be damaged by deer. Spiraeas are susceptible to many of the diseases and insects that attack other rose family members, including leaf spot, fire blight, powdery mildew, root rot, aphids, leaf roller and scale.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#shrub#pink flowers#tsc#hedges#cpp#borders#fantz#butterfly friendly#tsc-s
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#shrub#pink flowers#tsc#hedges#cpp#borders#fantz#butterfly friendly#tsc-s
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Spiraea
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan and China
    Wildlife Value:
    attracts butterflies
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 7 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Rounded
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is a dry, brown follicle.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Blooms in June and July with mild fragrance. Inflorescence is terminal flat-topped corymb or borne in uppermost leaf axils with flower clusters to 8 inches in diameter. Flowers are deep pink or rose-reddish, 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Doubly Serrate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Lustrous dark green leaves. 1 to 3 inches long when mature. Serrate to double serrate margins. Pink, red, purple, yellow or chartreuse leaves when young. Somewhat glaucous with downy veins beneath.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Wiry, freely branching, erect stems are brown to reddish-brown, round in cross-section and sometimes hairy.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Slope/Bank
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Erosion