Pruning spirea?

fmart322(Z6SNJ)May 18, 2006

I have 10 Bridalwreath or Snowmound spirea bushes planted in a hedgerow along my side walk. As they stand right now they are each about 5' tall and about 5' wide. They just finished blooming and they looked fantastic :), long weepy white flower clusters that give the apearance that about 6" of snow just fell on them. last year I pruned them like you would a Boxwood, just shaping them into a round hedge. I've been reading up on the correct way of pruning them, taking about 1/3 of the old growth away. Has anyone out there have these types of bushes and if so help me out with a good pruning method for them because people stop to tell me all the time when they are in bloom just how good they look. (Or maybe they just want to talk to me, ;).... LOL!) I think I can do better with them next year if I prune the correctly now. Any help?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

well, it doesn't look like I'm going to prune back the spirea for at least a month now, upon further inspection I found about 100+ lady bug larve. I don't want to disturbe them bacause I know how good those little guys are. Do you guys think it will be to late to prune it back in late june/early July?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 7:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mprats(z6NJ Plainfield)

I'm interested in the answer to this question as well. I have heard of the "removing 1/3" method, but I wonder if it applies only to shrubs that are old and gangly...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My understanding from everything I've ever read and I have grown spirea for a number of years, also the same with forsythia, is that you let the bush retain its natural shape, plant them in a space they have room to grow and cascade as they would naturally, and prune at the base of the plant the older growth to encourage the bush to put out new growth from the base. The arching growth that the plant will just naturally do will encourage the plant to put out side growth from the branches.

Please don't take this wrong, but I hate to see someone plant a large plant like Bridal Wreath Spirea or Forsythia and then prune it like a hedge to keep it from being so large.

I hope this helps.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 10:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I didn't plant the spirea, the lady who sold me the house did and, imo, planted them to close to the sidewalk. Down the road I think I'm gonna move them back about 5' from the sidewalk and space them better so they can grow to their potential and I'll be able to plant a row of "whatever" in front of them.

I'm on hold now anyway with pruning because it's loaded with lady bug larve and I don't want to kill them. So I'll wait.

Thanks for your input and hopefully I'll figure out how to post pics to show you guy's/gals how pretty they are when they bloom..

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, the lady bug larve are starting to pupate and soon I'll be able to prune my bushes. Although I still have a good number of larve I've been putting them to good use around the garden. Today I found a colony of stink bug hatchlings on some hosta's and I grabbed about 20 Lady Bug larve and let them at them. they looked liked they started feeding as soon as I dropped them in and they didn't go anywhere all day. I'll check on them tomorrow and see how it worked out. I no longer have aphids on my spirea bushes. I love them little guys. :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

fmart322 - When you upload to photobucket, copy the text from the HTML Tag line into your post. Should be the second text box under the photo.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You da man!Thanks, I've been trying to figure it out now for a while.:)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 10:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are wonderful in bloom! I've heard the 1/3 removal theory as well, but don't see how it's possible given the tight base of the shrub. I don't know if you have room by the sidewalk to let the shrub go without some amount of pruning. I agree with roses4ever that allowing shrubs their natural form is best, but often previous owners' decisions don't allow us that freedom. I think perhaps if you prune them minimally, to keep off the sidewalk, and see how next year goes. I'm glad you saved the ladybugs!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 7:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
showrfresh(z7 MS)

Yours look great!! I have four bridal wreath spireas, two on either side of the front walk. I pruned out 1/3 (maybe more like 2/3!) of the branches on mine just this week, about 6 weeks after the last bloom. I'm not sure if this was the right time to prune them, but they were getting way too big and it was an "impulse" prune. It was tough getting in there to cut out the older branches, but well worth it. I think they look so much better now.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My Spireas are really full at the bottom of the plant. Very full and round. The ones I like are more verticle and cascade down and over. Can I just prune all the lower hanging brances to achieve that look?


    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a neon flash spirea that came from the neighbor who planted it on our property. How and when do I prune... It looks like it is dead in spots and new growth sprouting.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 9:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They bloom in the later summer, right? I'm not real sure about those.

Now, I pruned back all of my Spirea's after they bloomed last years and also after the Lady bugs matured and moved on. They are doing pretty good. I did most of them right after they bloomed, then i did a few later in the summer, kinda late really, and they seem OK. (nice run on sentance)

I'll take some pic's and put them on here so people can see how I did with them. From there people can judge for themselves.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 7:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow fmart, they are beautiful!! Could you tell me how high and wide they are? Also what is the ultimate size they get? I am thinking about planting a row of them along my fence. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, itâÂÂs been 7 years since the last post on this question. How are the spireas doing and what have you learned about pruning them? Are your spireas full and dense or lanky and gangly? I just planted some Froebelii Spireas, and I've read that they require occasional pruning to keep them from being gangly and wild looking. I'm curious to know what everyone who posted an answer to this question learned, so I don't prune my spireas the wrong way.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 5:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Spirea pruning--one of my specialties! (I'm a landscaper.)

The idea behind pruning bushes is to encourage blooms not really to limit their size. In the spring, (I'm in Ohio, also 6b, and I do mine in March), cut back 1/3 of the oldest wood to ground level. The oldest wood will be thicker and usually a darker color. Reduce the rest of the branches at varying heights. This will encourage new growth from which new flowers will grow. This will tend to reduce the size somewhat. Do this every year and in three years you will have an entirely new plant.

Please do not try to contain this (or any other plant, especially Forsythias,) into a green 'meatball shape'. Spireas have a lovely shape when allowed to grow as they should. Incorrect pruning also encourages wild growth that ruins the look of the plant.

I hope this helps!


    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 5:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, Linda! I planted my 1/2 gallon Froebelii Spireas last spring behind the lavender mums. They are now about 12-18" tall. Of course, they really have no old wood at this time. Do I still prune the young sprawling branches that are trailing across the ground or do I just let them lie there? If I don't prune them will they eventually pick themselves up off the ground?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 7:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ordinarily, you can cut back any odd branch whenever you find it. However, these are tiny, so I would leave everything as is. If we have a winter like last year, the more branches you have, the more the crown will be protected.

If you look at them closely, you will find the old wood that has grown previously at the nursery before they got to your yard. It is usually a grayish color while the newer wood is reddish-brown. Do not prune it now as that will encourage new growth which you do not want going into winter. Wait until spring and then prune. I would give a light pruning as they are very young plants.

The nice thing about spireas is they are great growers and very forgiving of awkward pruning. (Last winter, there was a small fire in my daughter's landscaping. One of her spireas was burned to a crisp. It came up just fine in the spring!) I think you will be surprised at how quickly they grow into their expected height and shape.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 10:54PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
active discussions?
Any pages that are really active? Just signed up again...
Monmouth County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Day is May 15 / 16 at
Sale of Annuals, Perennials; Hanging baskets; container...
Best way to overwinter shrubs
I have 2 potted Knockout Roses and 1 mini Rhododendron...
Anyone Grows Asian Persimmon in NJ/NY?
It appears Asian persimmons are borderline hardy in...
RedSun (Zone 6, NJ)
I know a bit off topic: where to buy a half a cow
Hi, I just moved from utah and am looking for somewhere...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™