Among the garden shrubs, spirea occupies a special place. It got its name because of the property of leaves to bend beautifully (Greek. "Spleira -" bend "). The plant gained distribution among gardeners because it not only has beautiful small leaves combined into large inflorescences, but also for its unpretentiousness. This the bush creates a beautiful hedge in the garden, and at the same time does not require too much care.
Popular types and varieties of spirea
The plant has a very diverse form of bushes (elongated, spreading, weeping, symmetrical in the form of a ball, etc.), leaves, and flowers. Some varieties may be completely different from each other. However, the type of inflorescence and the approximate height of the bush (about 2 meters) unites them together.
This shrub grows in different places of the temperate climatic zone of Eurasia. In the wild, it can be found not only in Europe, but also in Siberia, China. Prefers the coast of bodies of water with stagnant water (lakes and small swamps). Loose spirea grows more than 2 meters high, and its flowers of soft lilac color rush up in the form of ears of corn. The leaves are narrow, elongated, with sharp endings.
Its distinctive feature is frost resistance, that allows you to grow bushes even in adverse regions of the Urals and Siberia with sharp temperature drops. Reproduction is carried out using cuttings, but also can be grown from seeds.
This variety has a distinctive feature compared to the rest - argument blooms in early spring. The bush grows very spreading, in the form of a sphere. In this case, the crown is very dense, branched, which gives the impression of a small tree. The flowers of this variety are pale white, they densely cover the shoots that go from top to bottom along the arc. The blooming argument is similar to a tree covered with snow, which in spring has a particularly original appearance. The leaves of the plant are small, and abundantly growing flowers completely obscure them with their inflorescences. The flowering period lasts no longer than 3 weeks and, as a rule, is already ending by the beginning of summer.
This shrub prefers habitats in Asia. (China, Japan). It is especially common in the wild on the slopes of mountains and in valleys. The plant is not very tall - usually reaches no more than one and a half meters. The leaves are denser and very narrow (no more than a centimeter wide). Such an elegant form of greenery well emphasizes the flowers of spirea, which are collected in her umbrellas. It blooms approximately in the middle of summer. The plant is propagated using cuttings, sometimes also grown from seeds.
Tunberg's spirea is resistant to droughts, which allows it to be grown in places with insufficient moisture (steppe spaces of Siberia and the Urals).
Reaches a height of 2 meters, like many other varieties. This spirea is distinguished by a lush crown resembling a hemisphere in shape. It blooms in early spring (up to 1 month). A characteristic feature of the bush is the leaves of a beautiful symmetrical shape, reminiscent of oak in shape (where did its name come from). They contrast well with the white flowers of the shrub collected in umbrellas.
The plant survives well in the adverse climatic zone of the Urals, as it has increased frost resistance. In the wild, she prefers the steppes of Siberia (Western and Eastern) and Kazakhstan. It also grows on depleted stony soils. It is these features that explain the unpretentiousness of the plant to environmental conditions.
A characteristic feature of this variety are lush flowers, which dot the shoots that go along all the tops of the bush. The flowers are delicate white, therefore, during the period of maximum flowering, the plant looks like a waterfall of spray going from top to bottom. It contrasts well with lawns and other garden greenery.
Not so long ago, several hybrids of Wangutta spirea were bred; in some of them, along with white ones, light pink flowers are found.
This plant is also unpretentious to growing conditions: it may well bloom on baked soils, is restored even after the harshest winters and tolerates partial shade well. However, the best option for her are places with open sunlight.
Junia Bright and Other Nippon Spiraea
Among spring-flowering spires, nippon varieties occupy a special place. These are small shrubs, while their crown has a beautiful shape of a regular sphere and during flowering the cavity is covered with fairly large white flowers with yellow stamens. It blooms briefly (2-3 weeks at the beginning of summer), the inflorescences are pineal and contain a lot of flowers.
Nippon varieties have a special place in garden design, because they look beautiful against the background of other green plants, as well as when planting along the border of the site to emphasize its natural borders. Spirea leaves are round and narrow, but when the plant is covered with flowers, then they are practically invisible.
A characteristic feature of Nippon varieties is their exceptional love of light. If you grow them in partial shade, then the flowers will not grow large and as a result they will quickly fall off.
Among the nippon varieties, the following are quite widespread:
- Junia Bright blooms with white flowers on sprawling shoots resembling the crown of a palm tree. It is well suited for individual plantings on flat lawns with light greenery, and also serves as a good border if you plant several bushes in a row.
- Halvard Silver - This is a very small shrub, reaching a meter in height and up to one and a half wide. It grows rather slowly, so it is advisable to make nitrogen and organic fertilizers. The variety is not as resistant to frost as many of its brethren. However, even in the most severe winters, shoots survive mainly (the plant freezes only along the edges).
- Snowmound - this shrub surpasses the previous one in all parameters by at least 2 times - its crown can be spread over a plot up to 4 meters wide. The bush also needs fertilizers for more intensive growth processes. Perfect for solitary plantings and looks good in the corners of the garden, emphasizing its boundaries.
Varieties of Spirea
Little princesses and other varieties of Japanese spirea
This shrub got its name from the predominant place of growth in the wild. Varieties of Japanese spirea are appreciated by many summer residents for the fact that it blooms for a long time (from late spring to July). However, the plant is very unpretentious. Basically, it loves open sunlight.
In height, these varieties are extremely diverse - from small shrubs no more than half a meter to a typical size of 1.5-2 meters. Accordingly, this explains the decorative potential of the plant - undersized shrubs go on border plantings, flower beds, rockeries, while large ones can create the main background. By color, it also has many options - from light pink to lilac, violet, purple.
Summer residents prefer the following varieties:
- Little princesses - a small (up to a meter) tall shrub with a beautiful spreading crown in the shape of a dome. The leaves turn yellow in the fall, and in winter they are bright green, so for almost the entire season the plant can decorate the garden. The flowers are pale pink, contrast well against the background of undersized garden greenery and lawns.
- Golden Princesses It is a miniature shrub (not more than half a meter tall) with graceful leaves that are mostly golden, bright yellow in color (hence the name of the bush).
- Gold flame It has an exceptional growth rate. Moreover, during the season, she repeatedly changes the color of her leaves - from orange tones before flowering to copper shades in the fall.
- Shirobana - This is a small (up to 1 meter) shrub with beautiful, dense inflorescences. Its flowers have all kinds of shades from pale pink to rich red.
- Crispa also refers to undersized shrubs, while it differs in the original form of leaves (wavy with denticles), which perfectly emphasize lilac flowers, gathering in dense inflorescences.
Japanese Spirea (panicled)
This species is distinguished by inflorescences in the form of small voluminous panicles, which densely cover the shoots. Such a bush will well decorate the site if it is planted along the perimeter of the flower garden or along the road. Panicles look voluminous and against the background of greenery create the effect of additional space.
This variety is undersized. Nevertheless, it is widely used by gardeners, because during the flowering period it is densely covered with small white flowers and looks like a small tree covered with snow. They are successfully placed during planting along country paths, since they have a round, pleasant shape.
Important! Gray spirea, like other low-growing varieties that grow in width, is best planted at a minimum distance of 25 cm from each other. When the bushes grow, they will grow closely and create a beautiful green row.
Hybrid Billiard Spirea
This hybrid variety was obtained by breeders on the basis of crossing spirea loosestrife and Douglas spirae. The variety is different in that it grows well both in height and in width. Its flowers have bright pink shades, collected in pyramidal inflorescences.
This variety easily takes root even in the conditions of the Ural frosts. In the spring, during the period of rapid growth, it is better to cut the shoots, as a result of which, by the summer, the bush will grow even stronger due to younger branches. In this case, pruning should be done in plants only older than 4 years, since at an earlier age this can significantly slow down their growth.
Outdoor Spirea Planting
The optimal planting period is early spring (until the buds begin to bloom in the trees) or autumn immediately after heavy leaf fall. So that the plant can take root well, You need to follow a few simple rules:
- The roots should be about the same length, so it’s best to prune the secateurs especially prominent. It is also necessary to remove damaged and clearly aching roots.
Important! Make sure that the cut is even and without rags - if it is even, the root will begin to sprout into the ground much faster.
- It is also necessary to shorten the branches - it would be better to make them of the same length, removing about a third of the original.
- A pit for planting is dug out in advance by a depth of at least 40 cm. In general, you need to look so that its parameters correspond exactly to the root - it should be placed in it quite freely.
- After fixing the roots in the pit, it is covered not only with earth, but with a mixture of peat and sand (about 1 to 1). The soil that will be poured over the pit must be properly compacted and a small depression made so that the water flows down to the stem itself.
How to plant a spirea
Features of Spirea Care
As already mentioned, spiraea is a very unpretentious plant, and it will not be difficult to take care of it. Bushes adapt well even to adverse climatic conditions of the Urals. They love the sunshineTherefore, it is best to plant them in open areas. However, some varieties, on the contrary, need partial shade, so it is better to plant them in the shade of garden trees.
Feeding and watering
General recommendations for the care of spirea can be reduced to such rules:
- The roots of the spiraeus do not penetrate the soil too deeply and do not like dry soil. Therefore, they need to be moderately watered, especially if the season is dry. In this case, 1 liter leaves 30 liters of water per month (enough 2 irrigations).
- Periodically, you need to loosen the soil under the bush so that the roots can receive an influx of additional air. It is especially important to do this operation in early spring.
- You also need to periodically weed the soil to remove weeds that take moisture from the spirea.
- You can fertilize the soil with complex fertilizer, as well as nitrogen and superphosphates. This is best done in early spring, when the bushes are just beginning to become covered by buds.
Feeding is best done right after the old shoots have been cut. New branches growing in their place will receive additional nutrition, and by the middle of summer the bush will become sprawling and tall.
Bushes of almost all varieties of spirae greatly expand in width. If you do not follow them, the plant will take a sloppy appearance. Therefore, it is important to know how to trim the plant. The following rules will help here:
- Plants up to 3-4 years old are better not to trim completely or to remove only clearly visible and old, dried shoots.
- If spirea belongs to early flowering varieties, then its haircut is carried out every year in early spring. Only the end parts of the shoots are cut off (they usually die from the cold).
- Spirea aged 10-12 years accumulate a lot of old shoots. In this case, cutting of almost all branches is done. Leave only the strongest (about 5-6), which then will form a new bush.
Important! When removing old shoots, do not cut them completely - in the spring, when the buds already appear, you can navigate to their location. If the shoot gave sprouts only from below, then the upper part should not be completely removed, but with a maximum of 30-40 centimeters - perhaps it will have time to recover in the warm season.
Pest Protection and Disease Prevention
The main pests of spirea include:
- pink miner
- spider mite.
They spoil the greens, bite into the stems and suck out water and nutrients, as a result of which the bush weakens and grows too slowly.
To fight them, you need to use various solutions for spraying plants, eg:
Funds are diluted with water according to the instructions to obtain a solution of a certain concentration.
Plant propagation technology
Spirea is one of the few shrubs that propagates not only by cuttings and cuttings, but also by seeds. The exception is only hybrid varieties that can be propagated only by dividing the bush (they do not form seeds). Reproduction recommendations depend on the method:
- Seeds are best sown in early spring in a mixture of peat, earth and last year's fallen leaves. Seeds germinate in at least half the cases (often 70-80%). The picking of seedlings is best done at the height of summer (2 months after the first shoots), because by this time the plants have grown sufficiently strong and their transplant will not be so painful.
- A more effective way of breeding is cuttings. To root the cuttings, soil with a mixture of sand and peat in equal proportions is used. It is best to carry out this work in mid-summer. Cuttings need to be planted not perpendicularly, but with a strong slope (angle of 45 degrees). This will ensure root growth, as the upper shoot will grow more slowly.
- With the help of layering, spirea is propagated only in the spring. As the source material, either the lower branches or root shoots are taken.
Features of planting and caring for spirea in the Urals
The harsh climatic conditions of the Urals with frosty winter and sultry summers make summer residents choose only the most winter-hardy plant varieties:
- gray spirea;
Planting a bush in the ground has no fundamental differences in the Ural strip and other areas. The main condition - the soil must have time to warm up welltherefore, early spring planting seedlings is risky.
When planting in autumn, all work must be completed before October, since at this time the first frosts are observed. It is better to choose a well-lit place, even if the variety likes partial shade. So he will receive additional sunlight in conditions of the Ural latitudes and will begin to grow faster.
It must be remembered that spirea mainly loves soft soils, so you need to plant it in a well-dug up soil and always add sand and peat. Recommendations for the care and propagation of spirea in the Urals are similar to the general rules described above.
Spiraea in landscape design
The plant has many varieties, very different from each other not only in flowers, but also in height. This helps to use spirea in almost all parts of the garden. Decor ideas might be:
- Planting undersized shrubs along paths, country ponds, and also between different parts of the site to emphasize its contours.
- Planting large, sprawling trees along the borders of the garden to create the effect of a green fence.
- Solitaire (separate) planting of large trees on lawns, elevated areas and in the corners of the garden.
- Planting small (up to half a meter tall) bushes in rockeries among other plants.
How to grow spirea from a stalk
And this list is far from complete - it all depends on the gardener's imagination. Spirea is a wonderful shrub that takes root well and grows for a long time (15-20 years). It is not demanding in care and well decorates the garden. That is why spirea is the choice of many summer residents of the Urals and other regions of Russia.