Spirea (Spiraea) is a deciduous shrub of the pink family (Rosaceae). There are about a hundred species that can be found in the steppes and deserts. Spirea is frost-resistant and easy to care for.
The shrub pleases with long, abundant flowering, small flowers with long staminate threads create a fluffy effect. The color of the flowers is varied, depending on the type of plant, from snow-white to bright crimson. If you correctly select the varieties of spirea, then you can get a continuous change of colors and aromas of your garden from the beginning of spring until the onset of cold weather.
Types and varieties of spirea.
There are two groups of ornamental shrubs: spring and summer. Spring spireas are distinguished by white flowers, sometimes with a yellowish tinge, appear on last year's shoots. Such bushes need to be cut off immediately after flowering, so that next year the shrub is again covered with an elegant cloud of white inflorescences. Summer species are characterized by a pyramidal or corymbose-shaped inflorescence of pink color. Fragrant flowers are formed at the ends of young shoots.
Spirea Arguta (Spiraea arguta) - the earliest species, grows up to 1.5-2 meters in height. Spreading branches with dark green foliage arched to the ground. Flowering lasts a long time, begins at the end of May. At this time, the bush is densely decorated with snow-white umbrella inflorescences.
Spirea Vangutta (Spiraea × vanhouttei) is a huge, wide bush, cascading, about 2 meters high. The leaves are serrated, painted green from above, and gray from below, towards autumn they acquire a bright red-orange color. This type is most suitable for creating hedges or as a tapeworm on the lawn. Loves light, grows quickly, blooms in May-June.
Spiraea Nipponica (Spiraea nipponica) - has a spherical, dense crown and green leaves that do not change color until late autumn. Flowering occurs in early June, corymbose inflorescences of white, sometimes yellow with a green tint. Light partial shade will not affect its decorative effect, but severe frost can damage the roots of the plant.
Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica) - prized for its bright foliage in autumn, crimson and orange shades. A smooth bush with a height of 1.5 meters begins to bloom from the second half of July. Pink flowers are located in paniculate inflorescences, decorate the shrub for 40-45 days. It takes root well in urban conditions, loves moist soil.
Spiraea Japanese Little Princess (Spiraea japonica Little Princess) is a miniature shrub, only 0.5-0.6 meters in height, but with a lush, rounded crown, the diameter of which reaches 1.2-1.3 meters. Slow-growing species, during the flowering period - from June to July, covered with pinkish flowers, collected in corymbose inflorescences.
Spirea Bumalda (Spiraea bumalda) - not a tall bush about 1 meter high, attracts attention with its picturesque appearance in the autumn. Red, purple, bright yellow leaves during this period give the garden a special charm. Blooms from early July for two months with pink flowers.
Selection and purchase of seedlings. Before purchasing a seedling, carefully inspect its roots and branches for damage. Due to the variety of species and varieties, you can choose the shrub that is most suitable for decorating your site. Although the plant usually does not create problems, when planning to purchase a spirea, take an interest in the features of care and maintenance.
Shrub application. Spirea is perfect for decorating a garden or park. A professionally created spirea hedge will organically fit into the surrounding environment, add comfort to your yard and, moreover, protect from wind and dust.
Ornamental shrub tolerates haircut well. Spirea makes original border decorations, universal garden compositions, unusual rocky hills. Looks spectacular in a single planting and next to other plants. An excellent solution would be to plant shrubs with different flowering periods, a riot of colors will transform the garden into an elegant, fabulous place.
The advantage of the spirits is that they are durable, perfectly adapt to the environment, do not create hassle and decorate the interior of the site in an original way.
Location and landing. In order for the spirea to bloom beautifully and for a long time and develop actively, it is important to create the necessary conditions. There are not so many of them, the main thing is to choose a sunny place and fertile soil. Can be planted in light shade under other trees. This is a self-sufficient shrub that looks great both in a single planting and in a company with other ornamental shrubs: derain, scumpia, weigela.
Spirea, planted next to conifers, such as juniper, cypress, thuja, produces an amazing effect.
For group planting, the distance between the bushes is 0.5-0.7 meters, for large and tall species, a longer distance is recommended, at least one meter.
When creating a hedge, the bushes are planted more densely, in a checkerboard pattern, maintaining a gap of 0.5 meters in a row, and 0.4 meters between rows is enough.
Spiraea is planted in the fall after the foliage is shed by the trees, or in the spring before the buds begin to bloom.
Very long, damaged roots should be carefully trimmed and cut by 1/3 of the branches of the seedling. If the roots are dry, place them briefly in a bucket of water.
The planting hole should be twice the size of the root system for the roots to take up a convenient location. A drainage layer is poured onto the bottom of the hole, then peat, sand and earth mixed in equal proportions. The root collar of the seedling must be above the soil level. Next, we fill the remaining soil into the hole, tamp it, leaving the recess for watering.
It remains to water the seedling with one or two buckets of water and mulch the soil with a seven-centimeter layer of peat.
Spirea care is quite simple. The shrub should be inspected for pests and diseases. Water during dry periods. Regularly cut the plant, remove unnecessary twigs, give the crown the desired shape: pyramidal, spherical, triangular, at your discretion.
Watering. Spirea needs watering after flowering, pruning and during drought, 10-15 liters of water per bush. No more than twice a month. To protect the shrub from oxygen starvation, after watering or rain, you need to loosen the soil around the plant.
Loosening and mulching. It is important to periodically loosen the soil, but carefully, being careful not to damage the superficial root system. Also, in the fall, the soil around the bushes is mulched with compost or peat, this allows you to retain moisture longer and protects the roots from winter frosts.
Top dressing. Top dressing is needed after pruning; complex mineral fertilizers are suitable. In the month of July, it is advisable to apply fertilizers consisting of mullein and superphosphate: 10 g per 10 liters of solution.
Trimming and shaping. A fluffy, spreading bush needs regular trimming. Depending on the timing of flowering, pruning is carried out at different times of the year.
Spring species of spire are pruned immediately after flowering, and summer-flowering ones are formed in spring. If you neglect this rule, the bush will lose its former shape, the branches will not beautifully fit on the ground, having separated from the bush. When the bush has grown a lot and has lost its attractiveness, it can be rejuvenated by pruning old dry branches. In especially advanced cases, the plant is cut to the very root.
Flowering and fruiting. Almost all types of spirits begin to bloom 3-4 years after planting. The flowering of summer species lasts longer than that of spring, but at the same time only the upper part of the crown is decorated with flowers, in contrast to spring, which are completely covered with inflorescences. Late flowering shrubs look original, their faded inflorescences are replaced only by blossoming ones and the shrub retains an attractive appearance throughout the entire period.
Reproduction and grafting. Spirea is propagated by seeds, cuttings, and the most commonly used method is by layering. To do this, a shoot is laid in a groove prepared in the ground, sprinkled with earth and fixed with a heavy stone. During the summer period, the soil under the stone is constantly watered. At the same time, the stone is not lifted, the water will fall under the stone anyway, moisture will remain, which contributes to the successful formation of the root system.
Diseases and pests. Spireas are rarely exposed to diseases and pests. Don't forget to look at the bush, though. If you find a spider mite, treat the bush with karbofos. Another trouble sometimes lies in wait for spirea - aphids, it can be removed without any problems with the drug "Pirimor".
Spirea in winter. Ornamental shrubs are not afraid of the cold, but if a cold, snowless winter is expected, it is better to wrap the tree trunk circle with a ten-centimeter layer of dry leaves.
Interesting Facts. In addition to its decorative qualities, spiraea is an excellent honey plant and a medicinal plant. Its flowers contain ascorbic acid, essential oil, flavonoids and tannins. Therefore, in folk medicine, decoctions and infusions of flowers and shoots of deciduous shrubs are often used to treat a number of diseases.