The Q&A Archives: Spirera

Question: Need info on normal care. Have several in yard. Do I prune down to ground in fall? Growth in spring is very sparse. Lots of dead or non-greening or flowering branches.

Answer: Spirea care depends on what kind of spirea you are growing. The larger, old fashioned spireas with white flowers in the early spring are pruned immediately after they bloom. Remove some of the oldest stems every year by cutting low at ground level. This keeps the shrub growing vigorously and helps thin it so air and light can reach the center. These should not be cut down or sheared.

The summer blooming spireas are trimmed off quite short in late winter. At the same time, thin out some of the oldest stems by cutting a the base. This removes winter damaged stems and encourages vigorous new growth. After bloom, shear the plant lightly to remove faded flowers and encourage rebloom later in the season.

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