Shrub white flowers May; orange leaves autumn

cpackerNovember 24, 2013

I've been meaning to find out what this shrub is for, oh,
about 20 years. Too bad it's a little late in the year, but
I hope the images will be somewhat helpful. In full foliage,
it's dark green in the summer. In May, it's covered with a
spectacular bloom of small white flowers.

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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

Spiraea x vanhouttei?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 8:42PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if so ...

its highly manageable ... as in .... cut it to the ground.. if you want a more pleasing shape to it... it will be this size again within next season.. or the next after ... with no impact to its root mass ....

in fact.. its high on my list of RUN IT OVER WITH THE TRUCK PLANTS ...

many of the arching branches... MIGHT have rooted in.. should you wish more plants ...

ken

ps: i gave you this info.. so it wont be another 20 years.. before you figure out what to do with it.. lol ...

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 7:29AM
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shadeyplace(7)

are you saying it is not a "choice" shrub?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 7:58AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

No, he's saying in his rather signature manner that it takes well to heavy pruning. You may not wish to follow his advice, however. Many of us let plants such as this to do their own thing.

I'm sure that you enjoy your Spiraea....it's one of my favorite sping blooming shrubs.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 9:11AM
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eaga(7a Long Island, NY)

This plant is also called Bridal Wreath Spiraea. It's something of an old fashioned plant, in that it's found in older gardens, still thriving, which speaks to its longevity.

I have one in my old garden and as you know it looks beautiful in spring bloom, but can sometimes look scraggly and overgrown when not in bloom. If mine were in a naturalistic setting, which it looks like yours might be, I would leave it be. If you want to prune it, you can thin it out shortly after it flowers by selecting four or five of the largest branches and cutting them as far down to the crown as possible, of course without damaging the bark on nearby branches. This preserves the graceful arching shape of the plant and helps open it up structurally to avoid diseases such as powdery mildew which can be exacerbated by poor air circulation within the plant.

Or you can run it over with a truck. Either way :-).

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 12:13PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am saying.. since you asked.. lol..

that the version in your pic.. is really ugly .. lol ...

and if... after bloom.. next year... you could cut it to the ground.. by the following spring.. you will have a very nicely formed plant ..

instead of one that is leaning everywhichway .. unless you prefer it that way.. and if you do.. so be it ...

i once posted a slaughtering of this plant .. years ago ... worried that i got a little carried away ... and many peeps chimed in ... that they cut theirs to the ground every season .. but they were in warmer zones than me... so i ignored them.. lol ....

mom had one at their house in the 1960's.. and i still have mine, as does she .. i would never be w/o one ... in my memories.. it is extremely choice ...

it just needs to be taught a lesson once in a while... lol ...

all this said.. in your location.. that seems rather dark [a presumption about summer when leaves are on the other stuff] .. with the competitors... you MIGHT have trouble starting other things .... your plants all grew up together.. forcing something new in there might be a challenge ... or not.. what do i know ... from one winter pic ....

ken

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 8:32AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Cutting a shrub like this down low is renewal pruning done to start it over again, with most of the top then being new - you do not do this frequently, it is a major overhaul, with even a vigorous specimen taking some time to restore itself afterward.

Although not as bad in this respect as shrubby potentillas all spireas look trashy when out of leaf and should not be situated in locations where this aspect will be bothersome.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 3:26PM
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cpacker

I revisited this thread to refresh my memory and
saw the comments that I had missed because I didn't
check back after the initial ID was posted.
Run over it with a truck, eh? For this non-gardener,
to inherit a plant like this when I bought the 1920's
bungalow was icing on the cake. It's my favorite
plant in the yard and all I've had to do is keep it
free of honeysuckle and greenbrier vines. It does
grow much more slowly than comments have implied,
presumably because it's in shade.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 11:21AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

For year-round effect flank it with some structurally compatible evergreen shrubs.

A yew would provide a nice dark green contrast to the flower color.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:26PM
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