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Avatar for JenLeigh5482
Jun 24, 2015 3:47 PM CST
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
We just moved into a new house and the previous owners obviously didn't put any thought into what they put in the flower beds. This is among a few I can't identify. Help! Blinking
Thumb of 2015-06-24/JenLeigh5482/46f099
Avatar for Shadegardener
Jun 24, 2015 3:49 PM CST
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Maybe a spirea? Did it have pink flowers?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Avatar for JenLeigh5482
Jun 24, 2015 3:59 PM CST
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
Shadegardener said:Maybe a spirea? Did it have pink flowers?


Yes... it must have bloomed before we moved in, there are still a couple of spots that have some pink left. There are 2 of them and they are humungous, but I didn't want to hack away at them until I knew what they were!
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Jun 24, 2015 8:04 PM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
Most definitely spiraea japonica, one of the chartruese varieties like gold mound. If the new leaves are reddish, then maybe Magic Carpet.
Avatar for JenLeigh5482
Jun 25, 2015 7:59 AM CST
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
LorettaNJ said:Most definitely spiraea japonica, one of the chartruese varieties like gold mound. If the new leaves are reddish, then maybe Magic Carpet.


Thank you! The new leaves do have a red tint to them. The plants are massive and one is just infested with vinca underneath. I am attempting to get that out, I've dealt with it before and it before and I want it gone! Any recommendations on cutting them back to a more manageable size? They've just taken over a large area due to lack of maintenance by the previous owners.
Avatar for Shadegardener
Jun 25, 2015 8:22 AM CST
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Now would be a good time. General rule (at least in my book) is to prune right after flowering but not after the month of June. That allows any new growth that is stimulated by the pruning to harden off before winter (although I'm not sure where you are). Although I'm no expert, maybe start at the perimeter and start pruning in towards the center. I wouldn't be overly aggressive with the pruning all in one year. It might take a couple of years to get it to the size you want.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Avatar for JenLeigh5482
Jun 25, 2015 8:48 AM CST
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
Thanks! I am in south central Pennsylvania. I'll try your advice and see what happens. The beds are just chaos and it's driving me crazy! I want to put in a couple of hydrangeas and some lavender and until I get them cleaned up, that just can't happen yet.
Avatar for Shadegardener
Jun 25, 2015 9:35 AM CST
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
It's hard to be patient when "re-sizing" an overgrown shrub (says I of little patience). It's hard to be sure how well the shrub would survive a major renovation in one season. I can't quite tell how wide the plant is but I think at least 9" to 12" all the way around would be okay.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
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Jun 25, 2015 9:54 AM CST
Name: Lauri
N Central Wash. - the dry side (Zone 5b)
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When my spireas start getting out of hand, I cut them back really hard in the early spring. They always bounce back. That won't help you now maybe, but if you did a smaller pruning now and saved the big smack down for next spring, you could get them under control.
Avatar for JenLeigh5482
Jun 25, 2015 10:33 AM CST
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
Thank you, ladies! I am going to give them each a haircut tonight. I'll try not to go too crazy! I really want to trim the one in the picture to try and get rid of the vinca that has taken over underneath. That stuff is my nemesis! Grumbling
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Jun 25, 2015 11:46 AM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
I have done hard haircuts to spiraea and they can take two years to bounce back from an extreme haircut. The thing is, you have all this fine branching on the ends which gives the plant its look. But to reduce the size, you often have to go below that line into the thicker woody stems and so it gives the plant a hard, blunt look. I've had to do that to a couple of spiraeas.
Avatar for Shadegardener
Jun 25, 2015 12:10 PM CST
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Lauri - with a hard haircut in the spring, do you still get flowers in late spring? Mine are already done blooming here so now is when I would prune hard. As overgrown as Jen's seem to be, removing so much biomass should be a consideration.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Avatar for JenLeigh5482
Jun 26, 2015 6:04 AM CST
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
I scalped the one I posted the picture of pretty good last night. It was just HUGE. The spot it's in really isn't a good one, we'll see what happens with it. If it ever stops raining here, the other one on the side of the house is going to get a similar haircut!
Avatar for Deebie
Jun 26, 2015 7:56 AM CST
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
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Hi Jen, I have a similar looking spirea. Depending on what zone you are in (I'm in 8a), if you prune after flowering, you may get a second bloom late summer/early fall. Usually, I would have already pruned mine by now. I'm still going to trim mine back and hope for more blooms. Mine are planted in full sun. They are such pretty plants. and Welcome!
Avatar for JenLeigh5482
Jun 26, 2015 8:21 AM CST
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
Thank you! Mine are in full sun as well and they are apparently very happy!
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Jun 26, 2015 9:54 AM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
They continue to bloom but I don't think that much or any with a hard cutback into the older wood.
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