Spiraea x vanhouttei | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

Keep this gorgeous Spirea trimmed or it'll take over

Spiraea x vanhouttei is a large hybrid spiraea growing up to nearly 2 metres in height. It's been a popular garden plant for more than 100 years. As it's large it's great for growing at the back of the flower beds with smaller plants in front of it. It has nice foliage which takes on a good purple colour in the autumn. It also produces masses of white flowers that grow in clusters. It can grow large so it's a good idea to keep it pruned to limit the size. It likes a position in the garden that gets plenty of sun, and will prefer a moist soil. This gorgeous spiraea has been given an Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Height [m]
  • 1.5 - 2.5
Spread [m]
  • 2.5 - 3.5
Dominant flower colour
  • White
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
Foliage in spring
  • Blue-green
Foliage in summer
  • Blue-green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Blue-green
Propagation methods
  • softwood cuttings
  • division
Growth habit
  • Branching
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z4-8
Heat zone
  • H8-1
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -34 - -7
Heat days
  • 0 - 120
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Trees & shrubs
  • Shrubs
Grown for
  • Attractive Flowers
Creative category
  • Kid Approved
  • For Beginners
  • Colours
  • Neighbour repellant
  • Tough survivors
Garden spaces
  • Hedges and screens
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • up to 10 years
18 Related plants

Foam of May

PLANTS Spiraea

Spirea is a genus that includes around 100 shrubs. These hardy plants have lance shaped green leaves, up to 10cm in length, usually with a toothed edged and have short stalks. The small flowers grow together in a dense spiked cluster. They're either white, pink, red, yellow or purple. Native Americans made a medicinal herbal tea from this plant, however consumption of this plant can be fatal so it's really not advisable! It works well in a rockery and it can also be grown as a hedge. Spirea need moist and fertile soil and plenty of sunshine. They can be affected by powdery mildew and attack from insects and aphids.

Steeple bush

PLANTS Spiraea douglasii | -29°C - -7°C beginner Full sun

Spiraea douglasii is also known as hardhack steeplebush. It's a flowering plant native to western North America. It grows naturally in boggy areas so it will grow in a damp spot in your garden. It will reach a height of about a couple of metres and will produce big dense spiky clusters of tiny bright pink flowers with five petals which get darker as the flowers age. The leaves are bright green with teeth at the tips and they're white on the underside. It's an easy plant to grow, surviving well in most conditions. It's not usually affected by pests or disease.

Spiraea japonica

Japanese Meadowsweet

PLANTS Spiraea japonica | -34°C - -1°C beginner

Spiraea japonica or Japanese Meadowsweet is an ornamental shrub often found in wetland areas. The green leaves grow on red/brown stems and the pink flowers grow in clusters. Each plant puts forth a lot of blooms, so it's an attractive plant when in full flower. It will grow best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. It will grow up to around 2 metres both in height and width. Several varieties of Spiraea japonica have been given the RHS Award of Garden Merit. It's fast growing and rather invasive, once established it will out-compete other plants, and the seeds can survive in the soil for many years. You might have trouble getting rid of this one if you ever wish to.