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11 Must Have Spirea Shrubs – Bring Dramatic Impact to the Garden

Spiraea japonica shirobana - 11 Must Have Spirea Shrubs – Bring Dramatic Impact to the Garden
Spiraea japonica ‘Shirobana’ - Japanese Meadowsweet blossoms

Spiraea for Elegance and Drama in your Garden

Remember those elegant white blossomed shrubs in your family garden? The ones with cascades of branches profuse with clusters of tiny flowers? Those dramatic creatures were one of two traditional Spiraea: Garland Spirea (Spiraea x arguta), or Bridal Wreath (Spiraea x vanhouttei). These stately (8ft tall with a 10 ft spread) shrubs can be seen in their full splendour in established gardens across Canada. In contemporary gardens they are likely to be the anchors in mixed hedges, or presented in mass plantings, to stunning affect.

New culitvars (see our Drama Queens below) with beautiful coloured foliage, and dwarf sizes have joined the traditional Spiraeas in the modern garden. Spiraea is now genus with an impressive breadth of garden design possibilities. Consequently, you’ll see it used elegantly in mixed or shrub borders, in rock gardens, as hedging, or as single specimens. Mass planting a single variety, or mixing a number of Spiraea will have a dramatic impact in the garden. Similarly, you can create great beauty in your garden, by mixing Spiraea with other showy ornamental shrubs. 

Oh Spirea, er, Spiraea...

We all call them “Spirea”. Well, except for our Master Horticulturist at Bambooplants.ca…because, he knows better. But, that’s what happens when a plant’s common name is so close to its Latin name – the two terms become conflated in day-to-day usage.

Drama Queens

Breeders have been creating a versatile range of cultivars with stronger flower colour, and leaf colour variation.
Spiraea Goldflame Foliage - 11 Must Have Spirea Shrubs – Bring Dramatic Impact to the Garden
Showy spring foliage of Spiraea x bumalda ‘Goldflame’
Spiraea bumalda Flaming mound - 11 Must Have Spirea Shrubs – Bring Dramatic Impact to the Garden
Red-tinged shoots of Spiraea x bumalda ‘Flaming mound’

Some of our favourite showy dwarf cultivars (3ft and under) are:

Combo Packages - Mix and Match for Maximum Impact

Spiraea and other showy ornamental shrubs for striking design results. 

This selection of Spirea almost makes us giddy! Expect incredible flower coverage in clusters and cones. Vibrant yellow gold to green foliage, with very attractive red and purple new shoots. It’s a smashing group of six of the most stunning Spirea varieties chosen to contrast and compliment one another. Includes a number of our Drama Queens.

As the name suggests this combo is stress-free choice for your garden. Spiraea nipponica ‘Snowmound’ combines with Dutzia, Weigela, and Potentilla to create a sophisticated colour palette of purple, green, gold and white. Mass several combos for a stunning affect, or use one in a small garden to great affect.

Multicolour Hedges, long a trend in Europe, have begun to catch on in Canada. This combo will create great visual interest along pathways; and a perfect living fence.  Spiraea x vanhouttei Vanhouttei Spiraea anchors this 20 plant Long Run hedge combo*

* Varieties included dependent on availability.

Bring a blend of the deepest reds, and the lightest pinks to your garden. Soft large blossoms and clusters of small tight double flowers create a flamboyant contrast. We have used Spiraea japonica ‘Shirobana’ – Shirobana Spiraea with its unique pink and white flowers as one of four remarkable long flowering shrubs in this combo. (4 shrubs in combo.*)

Hardy Garden Heroes
  • Native to northern temperate zones of Eurasia and North America
  • Most are hardy to Zones 4 and 3
  • Resilient, low-maintenance, easy to grow
  • Disease resistant
  • Thrives in almost any location - blooms more in full sun
  • Prune during blooming season for more prodigious blooms

Spiraea is deciduous and it looks very different in the winter compared to the summer. In the winter, well, quite frankly, it looks dead. So, if you come across it in the garden, don't be tempted to dig it up - the spring and summer flowers are going to be amazing!

Spiraea japonica
‘Anthony Waterer’

This Red Spirea variety is a low growing, spreading shrub, with very attractive clusters of crimson, flat-topped flowers. Grows to 3 ft tall and 4 ft wide.

Spiraea japonica Anthony Waterer new shoots - 11 Must Have Spirea Shrubs – Bring Dramatic Impact to the Garden
Red spring shoots
Spiraea japonica Anthony Waterer Hedge - 11 Must Have Spirea Shrubs – Bring Dramatic Impact to the Garden
Gorgeous hedge of Spirea Anthony Waterer
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