Spirea Shrubs: This semi-deciduous to evergreen shrub (member of the rose family) has erect to arching shoots and a clump forming growth habit. Leaves are lance shaped, dark green, toothed, to 5 inches long. Flowers appear in flat or rounded clusters from early spring through summer. This plant works well in the front of a shrub border, the back of a perennial border, or as a foundation planting. This shrub can grow in either acid or alkaline soils and though it prefers moisture, can withstand some drought.
Fertilize Spirea plants with Planters II and Biosol Forte 7-2-1 Organic Fertilizer, poke probe holes into the root zone of established plants and put 1 tsp of BioVam down each of six holes. The holes should be at an angle and about 10 inches deep. Spray plant with Natures Own Growing System Tea using a hose end sprayer. A quart of concentrated tea mixed with 1/3 cup of Yucca Extract and a bit (1tsp) of Soluble Kelp Powder will make an excellent foliar feed through a hose end sprayer.
Late in the Fall, at one customer site where we treated the lawn, there were nearby Spirea shrubs. The intent was not to treat the Spirea, but since the roots of the shrubs ran under the lawn, which was treated with BioVam Mycorrhiza, the Spirea shrubs benefited. This process is known as "Vectoring." The roots of the grass mingled with the roots of the Spirea and thus one host plant was able to pass the Mycorrhizal fungi along to another host plant. The pictures below illustrate how the Spirea shrubs reacted to the BioVam's Mycorrhizal fungi.
It's fall (October 15, 1998) and frosts had started. We expected fall colors to come out like on this bush at the neighbors.
(Plants above are untreated.
Over on our customers property, the Spirea bushes are turning a dark green in new growth that has started to come out. Some of the older leaves are turning fall colors, but these plants are not being affected much by the frost as of October 15, 1998. (Plants above are affected by the BioVam lawn treatment.)
Getting a little closer to one of the above three shrubs, we see the new growth as being nice and green and not turning to the fall colors like the older leaves on the same plant. (Plants above are affected by the BioVam? lawn treatment.)
It's Fall and frosts have started. Yet, this plant is blooming. These flowers were on the plant through two weeks of frost. (Plants above are affected by the BioVam lawn treatment.)
In the Spirea pictures above we are illustrating the aftermath of vectoring of Mycorrhiza from lawn roots into the roots of a Spirea shrub. We are also observing how plants that are colonized with Mycorrhiza are more resistant to environmental stresses. These plants grew new green growth and one even had a bloom appear during a time when the plants should have been going totally dormant. As we got into more frosts, the plant eventually went dormant, but still hasn't dropped all of its leaves as of December 7, 1998.
As of September 29th, 1999, the owner reports that the above Spirea plants had a larger than normal bloom in the Spring and had no winter kill on the bushes. They developed larger than normal leafs and put on strong growth through the season, and are showing no signs of dormancy from the first frost of the 1999 fall season on September 27th, at 25 degrees at the owners location. Normally, the first frost always made them start turning color.
It's important to note, even though many perennial plants treated with BioVam Mycorrhiza will retain their foliage longer and remain greener longer at the onslaught of cooler weather, this does not mean they are not going dormant, nor that they are not susceptible to frost. But because BioVam raises the vascular, external and root system health of plants and amount of chlorophyll so significantly, many perennial plants retain their warmer weather "look" longer during the first stages of going dormant. They often delay showing the effects of the first light frosts, for example, by delaying the display of their normal fall colors and dropping of leafs.
It also bears noting that when you significantly raise the health of plants and enhance and expand their root systems, and empower the plant to sustain these qualities, you "are" creating a hardier plant. And BioVam is "exceptionally consistent" at achieving this.
It's still prudent to cover your annuals, such as vegetables, flowers and otherwise sensitive plants you want to keep alive as long as possible during periods of frost as you would normally. Prepare your perennials for winter as you normally would.
Just about any garden or nursery catalog you look at these days will contain numerous "new" and "improved" plants for the landscape. Such plants generally do exhibit a new or unique quality when compared to similar species or selections. However, there are a number of older and time-tried plants that still have a place in the modern landscape.
Such a selection would be one of the various species of Spiraea, pronounced spy-ree-ah, which provide a range of flowering times, colors and sizes for just about any landscape situation. Flower colors are pure white to bright pink, to crimson-rose and some in between. Flowers appear from early spring to early summer depending on the type selected.
Spirea,, the plant's common name, come in many sizes ranging from 2 to 8 feet tall. With that wide a selection, spirea can be used as an ornamental accent, to form a hedge, in a rock garden, or as a low border along a walk or drive.
Spirea is also easy to care for in the garden. It require little if any seasonal pruning. In fact, it responds well to periodic rejuvenation pruning where it is cut back severly and allowed to grow back. Seasonal thinning of longer stems will retain a fuller and denser plant. Spring blooming species are cut back after flowering, and varieties that bloom later in the summer are pruned in early spring. The plants have no serious pests other than a few aphids in the spring, and most species are very hardy in all areas of Pennsylvania.
Some of the larger species include Spiraea prunifolia - Bridalweath spirea and S. vanhouttei - Vanhoutte spirea, which have white spring flowers on plants that may reach 6 to 8 feet tall. These make ideal backgrounds and border selections. A similar sized plant with rose-pink flowers that open from spring to summer is S. x billiardii - Billard spirea.
A good selection growing only 3 to 5 feet tall with white spring flowers is S. thunbergii - Thunberg spirea. This plant has very slender leaves on thin twigs that create a gentle arching habit. It does well in front of taller plants in a border.
Where smaller or lower plants are required, consider planting S. x bumalda 'Anthony Waterer' - Anthony Waterer spirea, which usually grows about 2 to 3 feet tall. The plant has an upright habit of growth, and produces a carmine-pink cluster of flowers at the ends of the stems in June. Sparsely scattered among the dark green leaves are a few white variegated leaves that add seasonal interest in the summer.
A number of selected cultivars from S. japonica - Japanese spirea grow about 2 feet tall. The cultivar 'Little Princess' produces a mound with pink blossoms in June, while 'Shirobana' may grow slightly taller but produces deep rose, pink and white flowers on the same plant in late spring and early summer.
All spirea are well-adapted to any moist, well-drained that is slightly acidic.
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