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Spireas - Are there any that should not...

Posted by carrie630 z7bNC (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 25, 09 at 22:06

be pruned? I know that early spring is a good time to prune spireas, but are there any that don't or should NOT be pruned. I can't remember all the names of the ones I have, but a couple are Shirobana, Anthony Waterer and... can't remember the other name. I don't usually trim my Goldmound Spireas, maybe just a little - unless it is advised to cut them down all the way - Not sure what to do - thanks

Carrie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

You trim the smaller, usually pink flowered, Japanese spirea in the spring, before they leaf out. I see leaf buds greening up, trim them then. I trim/shear mine down to about a 12 inches tall and they resprout. This new regrowth really brings out the color of leaves in Goldmound, Limemound. They keep the great color long into the summer season, returning to about a 3ft height again by fall.

I DO NOT trim the taller, white spirea until AFTER they bloom in spring. I want them to have a more flowing look, and they sure don't seem to regrow foliage back like the small Japanese ones do.

If you trim these white ones before flowering, you remove all the buds for this year's blooming. You will have few or no flowering.

Spring blooming shrubs get trimmed after flowering. I would start with modest trimming, remove smaller amounts to see how it does. You can trim again next year if needed. You will know then how shrub did over the last year, if you want to change it more or leave it alone now.


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

you said:

I know that early spring is a good time to prune spireas

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nope... all flowering shrubs are pruned after flowering ... unless you just dont care about the show ... and then it really doesnt matter when you do it ...

as soon as the flowers fade.. time to hack it up ... so that the new branches have all summer and fall.. to produce flower buds for the following year ...

dig down in there.. and remove the largest 1/3 branches as close to the ground as possible ... and do that for 3 years.. and you will have a rejuvenated plant.. that continues to bloom during the renovation ...

as noted.. you can speed the process .. if you are willing to for go the blooms

one should never 'shear' a flowering shrub .. IMHO

ken


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

If you check the pruning manuals, all flowering shrubs are pruned after flowering is not precisely correct. There's an old gardening saying that if it "blooms before June, prune after bloom" - most later, summer flowering shrubs can be safely pruned in spring. However, the exact principle covering when to prune is whether or not the shrub blooms on old or new wood - if on old wood, prune immediately after bloom. If on new wood, pruning early in the growing season (early spring) will still allow sufficient time for the plant to set flower buds for that season.

But that's to preserve all flowering potential.....if you don't care about the flowers or are willing to forgo them for a season, you can prune any shrub in early spring as new growth emerges. And since flowering shrubs are often grown and shaped as hedges, shearing is perfectly acceptable under those conditions. Rose of Sharon, Osmanthus delavayi, various viburnums and ceanothus are often treated in this manner.

I have a couple of 'Magic Carpet' spiraeas that I shear back several times a season. I dislike their insipid, washed-out pink flowers but I love the foliage effect, especially of the new growth, so I shear them back whenever they start to set buds. Lots of very intensely colored new growth is produced on very compact plants.


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

boy gal ... you are on a mission to correct me everywhere... lol ... all the power to ya ....

i also have a spirea i ran over with the lawnmower... and it recovered nicely ...

i also have two that needed to be moved in the high heat of august .. that i dug a one foot ball of roots for a 5 foot plant ... and threw it in a new hole on the other side of the yard.. and but for one watering.. forgot about it ... and they both made the transition ...

shrubs ... by MY definition ... are unkillable in pruning... its just a matter of what you will be looking at for the following year or two ...

if your over-riding concern.. is FEAR of doing it wrong.. forget about that.. and just do it when it makes you happy ... that would be the gist of my comments ...

if you get to a point in your quest for knowledge about your garden ... where you want to learn everything to know about it.. the gal has set the path ...

now go do the right thing...

and that would be.. what pleases you ... your garden is there for your pleasure.. not to be a source of fear ...

now go teach that shrub a lesson ... with the lawnmower if it pleases you ... mini van .. dynamite .... [but that wouldnt be pruning ....]

ken


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

Ken......hope you are taking it all in the spirit in which it is intended :-)) I'm just trying to get you away from making those blanket, absolute statements!! As a very wise gardener once told me in answer to just about any question that arose......."it depends". There's just too many variables involved for a single method to work all the time for everything.

And you are totally correct in shrubs being very forgiving when it comes to pruning - far more so than trees. As long as it's not pruned into a sqaured off box, a meatball or a lollipop, it's tough to make a mistake. At least not a permanent one :-)


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

Okay... I've had spireas for years. I hardly ever trim them and they always flower, but what you are saying is that the foliage will look better if I trim them down a bit - okay, that makes sense. All of my spireas have leaves, but I guess trimming them will keep the shrub looking more lush (?)

Thanks - Carrie


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

absolutely gal ... that why i said have at it ....

I TRY ... key words ... to simplify it to the max.. so the newbie ... can get just a simple answer ... perhaps get over the anxiety and go for it ...

as with anything.. we can complicate it all up with actual facts and theories ... lol ... and for that.. along comes you or anyone else.. and adds another layer of info ...

frankly .. that is the beauty of the GW ...

so have at it ...

as long as it is not personal .. i welcome all additions ...

ken


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

Thanks, ken


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 4, 09 at 18:58

The ones you've named are all S. japonica forms:

"On planting, cut out all weak and old wood. Prune back remaining stems to leave a framework 4-6in (10-15cm) high, and prune to one or two buds of this every year. Dwarf cultivars need only be clipped over to shape after flowering"

--Brickell/Joyce, PRUNING & TRAINING (1996, DK Publishing, New York)


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

Hi
I live in upstate NY. Zone 4. I could take or leave the erratic pink flowers on my spriera. Is it okay to prune now in Mid September? Thanks


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

if you take it or leave it...

then why go thru annual cutting back...

leave it.. dig it up.. and plant something that you care about

ken


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

The flowers are inconsequential on the spirea Ken.
I like the foliage.


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

Wow! There's a lot of good info. here. I like how GW keeps it's old questions like this one in it's database. Very helpful...thank you.


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RE: Spireas - Are there any that should not...

It's been my experience that a lot of people don't give Spireas enough room to be themselves. They prune the shrub instead of removing some lawn, or don't transplant if they were planted too close to some hardscape. Thankfully, they take well to pruning, (a lawnmower Ken?!) and as Ken pointed out, they handle transplanting really well.
Mike


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RE: Spireas -Limemound

Thanks to most excellent advice from Gardengal a couple of years ago, I've been doing rejuvenation pruning on my Limemounds with wonderful results. Will be posting a question soon about when to do the same to loropetalums, grancy grey beard and vitex.

Another plus of doing heavy pruning was discovering small spireas that I guess had developed from stem rootings. These I've moved and shared with others.


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