Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Spirea Plant Profile


Spirea Plant Profile

Spirea (Spiraea spp.) is a group of hardy shrubs with 100 unique species. They often have colorful foliage and are covered in abundant delicate blooms. The genus name, Spirea, originates from the Greek word for “wreath.”

Spirea are native to Japan, China, and Korea. They are hardy to USDA Zones 4 – 8. They do best in full sun and are tolerant of a variety of soil types. Once established they are drought- and pollution-resistant, making them good choices for urban gardens.

Spirea are generally fast-growing and many are compact and mound-forming. If any pruning is needed, it is best to do so right after flowering. It is not necessary to deadhead them.

They are attractive to butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.

According to the National Garden Bureau, who has declared 2023 as the Year of the Spirea, the main varieties of spirea available commercially include:

-          The Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica), which are known for their wide flower and foliage color range, and their low-growing, mounding form.

-          The Bumalda spirea (Spiraea x bumalda), which are similar to Japanese spirea, they are a cross between Spiraea albiflora and Spirea japonica. Flower colors range from white to deep pink.

-          The Birchleaf spirea (Spiraea betulifolia), which are known for their larger, blue-green, birch-like leaves and stunning fall color.

-          The Korean spirea (Spiraea fritschiana), which are native to forests, slopes, and rocky areas.

-          The Vanhoutte or Bridal Wreath spirea, (Spiraea x vanhouttei), which are known for their vase-shaped habit, flowing, arching branches and cascading showy spring blooms.

Spirea: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.

Video and editing by Taylor Edwards

Audio and text by Kathy Jentz


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Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Garden Photo Show Opening Reception 2023

You are invited to view the winning images of the 17th annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest at an art show at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. All 17 stunning photos were taken in DC-area gardens. Both inspirational and educational, this show represents the best of garden photography in the greater DC metropolitan region.

The photo show reception is Sunday, July 30 from 2:00-3:30pm in the Meadowlark Visitor Center's lobby. The opening reception is open to the public and is free to attend. You may also come by and view the photos any time during the normal Visitor Center hours (10am-7pm daily). The photo show runs through August 30.

Washington Gardener Magazine is already announcing the 18th Annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest. Start gathering your images now and throughout this year. Most of the entry rules will remain the same as this year’s contest. Photos need to be taken during the 2023 calendar year in a garden-setting in the greater Washington, DC area. We will accept the entries during the first three weeks of January 2024.

Washington Gardener Magazine ( is the gardening publication specifically for the local metro area — Washington DC and its suburbs. Washington Gardener Magazine’s basic mission is to help DC area gardens grow better. The magazine is written entirely by and for local area gardeners.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens ( is a park of beauty, conservation, education and discovery. Throughout the year at this 95-acre complex are large ornamental display gardens and unique native plant collections. Walking trails, lakes, more than 20 varieties of cherry trees, irises, peonies, an extensive shade garden, native wildflowers, gazebos, birds, butterflies, seasonal blooms and foliage create a sanctuary of beauty and nature. Meadowlark is part of Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Sunday, June 04, 2023