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A pop of color

Spiraea adds texture, variety to your landscape

Adding a pop of color to the landscape can be achieved in a variety of ways. The lowest maintenance way is to add a shrub instead of perennial or annual flowers. While green is the most predominate color with most shrubs, there are a few other options for foliar color with plants that have variegated, purple, burgundy or wine-colored, or chartreuse leaves—and spiraea fits the bill.

Gold Thread Spiraea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’) is a good example of a plant with chartreuse or yellow foliage that is easy to grow and can add that needed pop of color. This spiraea has thin or willow-like leaves, giving it a fine texture, and its bright color holds well into summer. In the fall, the foliage turns a pretty coral-orange color. 

Spiraea grows best in full sun, but will also tolerate part shade. The foliage of Gold Thread Spiraea is most colorful when growing in the sun and greener when exposed to more shade. Its small white flowers emerge in the spring before or just as the new growth begins. The flowers add to the overall fine texture of this plant, making it right at home in a natural or woodland style landscape. But, it is just as appropriate in a more traditional landscape design.

This shrub will grow around 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. It is a vigorous grower and is typically full and lush. If pruning is required, it is best to prune right after flowering. Annual light pruning may help mature plants have a more uniform appearance in the landscape.

Several varieties of Spiraeas are available for landscapes. This low-maintenance plant is generally easy to care for and deer resistant. If you are looking for a small plant with a pop of color or simply want a texture change in your landscape, consider planting Gold Thread Spiraea, Snowmound Spiraea or Double Play Big Bang Spiraea.

SHELLY NOLD is a horticulturist and owner of The Plant Kingdom. Send stories and ideas to her at The Plant Kingdom, 4101 Westport Road, Louisville, KY 40207.

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