Plant ID forum: Japanese Meadowsweet (Spiraea japonica)

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Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
JenLeigh5482
Jun 24, 2015 3:47 PM CST
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

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jun 24, 2015 3:49 PM CST
Maybe a spirea? Did it have pink flowers?
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
JenLeigh5482
Jun 24, 2015 3:59 PM CST
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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bamira
Jun 24, 2015 7:39 PM CST
maybe Spiraea japonica

https://www.google.cz/search?q=spiraea+japonica&biw=1252&bih... I tip my hat to you.

LorettaNJ
Jun 24, 2015 8:04 PM CST
Most definitely spiraea japonica, one of the chartruese varieties like gold mound. If the new leaves are reddish, then maybe Magic Carpet.
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
JenLeigh5482
Jun 25, 2015 7:59 AM CST
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.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jun 25, 2015 8:22 AM CST
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.
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
JenLeigh5482
Jun 25, 2015 8:48 AM CST
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.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jun 25, 2015 9:35 AM CST
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.
Name: Lauri
North Central Washington (Zone 5b)
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lauribob
Jun 25, 2015 9:54 AM CST
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.
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Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
JenLeigh5482
Jun 25, 2015 10:33 AM CST
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

LorettaNJ
Jun 25, 2015 11:46 AM CST
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.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jun 25, 2015 12:10 PM CST
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.
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
JenLeigh5482
Jun 26, 2015 6:04 AM CST
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!
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Jun 26, 2015 7:56 AM CST
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!
Name: Jen
Mount Holly Springs, PA (Zone 6b)
JenLeigh5482
Jun 26, 2015 8:21 AM CST
Thank you! Mine are in full sun as well and they are apparently very happy!

LorettaNJ
Jun 26, 2015 9:54 AM CST
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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