The Q&A Archives: Renovating An Overgrown Spiraea

Question: I have a ten-year-old spirea which produces white blooms in April. It hasn't bloomed well the last few years. The base is about a foot across and the branches are very dense. It's too crowded for me to prune out only the old shoots. Can I cut the whole plant to the ground and let it regrow, or would that kill it?

Answer: The general rule of thumb is to prune no more than one-third of a plant at any time to reduce shock, you can renew a spiraea by cutting all the branches to within a few inches of the ground. Prune spring-flowering spiraea after bloom is complete; prune summer-blooming spireae in late winter or early spring. Good luck!

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