Sunday, August 1, 2010

Reminder: Cut Back Spirea For 2nd Blooming

Now is the time to prune back spirea shrubs to promote a 2nd blooming- 'magic carpet' pictured above, is a dwarf spirea and one of Victoria's favorites. We use hedge shears and give the spirea shrub a "hair-cutt" - just trimming off an inch or so, or more to creat a compact shape. (The exception to this is the 'Bridal wreath' spirea, which blooms in early spring and should be cut back in the same way forsythias are cut back.)

You can also do nothing to the spirea - they may not bloom as fully again, but they will flower just fine next year. This is one plant that thrives on neglect.

"Spirea" Bushes: Meaning Behind the Name:
In English, we have dropped the first "a" in the Latin genus name, Spiraea, to arrive at "spirea." But the Latin name, too, has some history behind it. The name derives from the Greek, speiraira, which had been a plant that the Greeks used to make garlands. That name, in turn, is based on the Greek, speira (coil, twist, wreath), from which we derive the word "spiral" (one twists or "spirals" plant material around itself in order to make a garland). So if you've ever wondered if spireas have anything to do with spirals, the answer is yes (in terms of etymology) and no (in terms of how we use spirea bushes today).