Bridal Wreath Spirea: A Growing Guide

Bridal Wreath Spirea

Whenever I’m planning a garden, no matter what mood I’m trying to create, I always include some flowering plants that add splashes of color to add interest.

And this Bridal Wreath Spirea should be considered as a great addition to any garden since it is one of the easiest flowering shrubs to grow.

Bridal Wreath Spirea is commonly used in perennial garden or foundation plantings, as hedges. It is a medium-sized deciduous shrub that features sprays of little white flowers. It also is a hearty old-fashioned, heirloom shrub and is often found growing in the Northern Hemisphere. It is best suited for gardens in Zones 5-9.

Features of Bridal Wreath Spirea

Spirea (genus spiraea) genus of nearly 100 species of flowering plants in the rose family. Native to the north temperate zone, many spirea species are often planted for their pleasing growth habit and attractive flower clusters.

Like other spireas, most Bridal Wreath Spireas bloom in late Spring to early Summer, sometimes before the leaves come out. In blooming season, Bridal Wreath Spireas create a cascading waterfall of white, pouring clusters of small flowers all the way down its arching canes. When cut, those canes can easily be shaped into bridal headdresses – hence the name. The tiny white flowers form in clusters called corymbs.

On the other hand, non-nuptial types of spirea fashion their clusters at the ends of their term, come in colors other than white and bloom in Summer and Fall.

Once the flowers are gone, the shrub covers itself in glossy dark leaves until Fall, when the leaves turn yellow, orange and purple. Each leaf is 1-4″ long with an elliptical or ovate shape. The margins have many tiny serrations and the leaf’s underside is pubescent, meaning it is covered with soft hairs.

These upright shrubs grow as a loose, gracefully arching shrub to about 5-10 feet tall and 10-20 feet in width. You can prune after flowering to restrict size, but it is recommended that permitted room grows into a huge, aching beauty. The slender shiny brown stems tend to be a small zig-zaggy.

Because Bridal Wreath Spireas are large bushes, they should be planted at least 10 feet from other trees or shrubs. The flowers will show up best if they are positioned in front of the darker backdrop, such as evergreens.

These shrubs grow best in full sun and can tolerate partial shade. They prefer to grow in well-drained moist soil, but they are also able to withstand some periods of drought.

What makes this shrub really attractive is it can grow well under adverse conditions such as are found in Houston in the summertime to drought conditions. Even it can tolerate smokes, unfavorable city conditions.

Uses in Landscaping

In nature, Bridal Wreath Spirea grows into an open, graceful, arching shrub with some branches drooping all the way to the ground.

In landscaping, Medium-sized Bridal Wreath Spirea can be used in the garden border or in an informal mixed hedge where its generous Springtime bright white floral display will stand out.

As a great single specimen plant, these shrubs will shine in your perennial border or take your breath away as a tall, property defining hedge.

Like most flowering shrubs, these plants prefer full sun, but they can also tolerate partial shade, leaving a few options of where to place them in the landscape.

If you love white flowers, add these flowering plants can create a focal point in your garden. There is an abundance of tiny flowers during the Spring and summer and will put another show in the Fall when the leaves change color, that makes any garden more attractive.

These shrubs do well as part of a garden to attract butterflies when in glorious bloom in mid to late Spring. They can also be planted in areas where deer come to browse as deer munching on its branches.

What you need to know before Planting

  • The best time to plant is Spring or Fall.
  • This plant can be propagated by division of the root ball so you can have new plants using cuttings or suckers. If you have the species spirea instead of a variety, you can use seed germination.
  • Considering the mature size of a plant before buying because the newly planted shrubs are then forced to compete for nutrients, water, and even enough circulating air to remain healthy.
  • Allow plenty of space around it so that the effect of its cascading growth habit can be fully appreciated.
  • Space plants 2 to 15 feet apart, just allow enough space between each plant so that it has a chance to grow and spread naturally.
  • It is not picky about soil as long as it drains well. But if your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil with a small amount of compost.
  • Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide.

Maintenance

  • Bridal Wreath Spirea is a fairly low-maintenance plant.
  • Each Spring, apply a layer of compost under the shrub. Add a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and prevent weeds.
  • Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
  • Remove dead, diseased and broken branches anytime.
  • You sometimes can get a second bloom by Deadheading spent flowers.

Pruning

Bridal Wreath Spirea should be pruned right after blooming to reduce height and maintain the desired shape. Cut back a third of the canes, preferably the oldest and tallest ones, all the way to the ground. Do not shear only the top growth to preserve the plant’s naturally arching shape.
This plant can be severely pruned and will grow and flower again.

For more types of pruning for this shrub, click here.

Pests and Diseases

This shrub rarely gets serious problems from pests or diseases. You may find some of the standard issues associated with Spirea like Powdery mildew, Root rots, Scales, Verticillium wilt, Aphids, Fire blight ,Gray mold, Leafrollers, Leaf spot.

Some Facts of Bridal Wreath Spirea

  • Latin Name: Spiraea prunifolia
  • Common Names: Bridal wreath spirea, popcorn spirea, bridal wreath spirea, shoe button spirea or just bridal wreath.
  • Preferred USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9
  • Plant types: Shrub
  • Height: 5-10 ft
  • Spread: 10-20 ft
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Growth Habits: Round, Upright
  • Flowering season: Late Spring to early Summer
  • Special Features:  Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant
  • Related species: The garland spirea (Spiraea x aguta) and The bumalda spireas (Spiraea x bumalda).
  • Garden Styles: Cottage, Edible, Traditional
  • Landscape Uses: Border, Hedge, Foundation, Mass Planting