Meadowsweet, how to grow Spirea

Spirea, meadowsweet

Meadowsweet is a nice spring-blooming or summer-flowering shrub.

Main Meadowsweet plant facts

NameSpiraea sp, Spirea
Type – shrub

Height – 6 ½ feet (2 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary, well drained

Foliage: deciduous  –  Flowering: spring or summer depending on the variety

Planting, pruning and caring for it are steps that will help enhance blooming and growth of your meadowsweet.

Planting meadowsweet

Meadowsweet planted as a blooming hedgeMeadowsweet is planted rather in fall or in spring for specimens purchased in containers.

In order to sustain the blooming of your meadowsweet, choose a sunlit or partly shaded area.

  • Absolutely avoid periods of freezing when planting.
  • Dig a hole more or less 24 inches (60 cm) deep and mix the garden soil with soil mix.
  • Check out our guide on how to plant a shrub.

For meadowsweet planted in spring, ready yourself to water at regular intervals during the 1st year after planting.

Propagating meadowsweet

Meadowsweet spirea propagation

Propagate through cuttings at the end of winter. Cuttings is indeed the easiest and surest technique to propagate meadowsweet.

  • Prepare your meadowsweet cuttings in summer.
  • Collect cuttings that are 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long.
  • Remove lower pairs of leaves, keeping only the topmost 1 or 2 pairs at the crest.
  • It is possible to dip the cuttings in powdered rooting agents.
  • Plant the cuttings in special cutting soil mix.
  • Place the cuttings under cover while keeping the substrate a little moist.

Pruning and caring for meadowsweet

If properly settled in, meadowsweet requires very little care and maintenance.

Whole Spirea shrub in full bloomRemove wilted flowers regularly to extend the blooming period as much as possible.

It is possible to not prune meadowsweet, as for all shrubs.

But if you prune your meadowsweet right after the blooming, you’ll increase the following year’s blooming both in quality and quantity.

Spring-flowering species are pruned just after flowers have fallen off.

Summer-flowering species are pruned at the end of winter, towards the month of March. This includes Spirea japonica.

  1. Begin with eliminating wilted branches at the base.
  2. Remove older wood to stimulate appearance of new shoots.
  3. Free the center of your meadowsweet, while rejuvenating the silhouette of your shrub.

All there is to know about meadowsweet

Species of meadowsweet, always good for pollinatorsMeadowsweet is a beautiful shrub, generally blooming in spring although some varieties may bloom in summer. Great choice to support pollinators in your area.

It is very easy to care for and quite hardy. It adapts well to most soil and climate types.

Its hardiness to freezing stands down to 5°F (-15°C).

Certain meadowsweet cultivars are dwarf cultivars and are particularly well-suited to growing in pots.

Spirea hedgeYou can set meadowsweet up either as a hedge, a standalone or in shrub beds.

Among the many interesting species and varieties of meadowsweet, take note of:

  • Spirea arguta – tiny white flowers in spring
  • Spirea japonica – pink or white flowers in July and August
  • Spirea prunifolia – large white flowers in spring
  • Spirea thunbergii – small white flowers in spring
  • Spirea vanhouttei – small white flowers in bunches in spring

Read also on the topic of shrubs:

Smart tip about the meadowsweet shrub

The center of the shrub must be pruned often in order to ensure that as much light reaches down inside as it can.

Images: 123RF: Olga Tsyfanski; own work: Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois; Pixabay: Hans Braxmeier, Peter, Rhonda Woodworth-Tardif, Andreas Lischka