Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade, a wide range of soils and some drought. Prune as needed immediately after flowering.
Spiraea × vanhouttei, called Vanhoutte spirea or bridalwreath, is a vase-shaped, deciduous shrub with branching that arches gracefully toward the ground. It is a hybrid cross between S. trilobata x S. cantoniensis. It typically grows 5-8’ tall with a spread to 7-10’ wide. It is particularly noted for its showy spring bloom. Tiny white flowers (each to 1/3” diameter) appear in late April to May in umbellate clusters (to 2” wide) that profusely cover the leafy branching. Small, rhombic to obovate, coarsely serrate, dark blue-green leaves (to 1.5” long) may have or at least suggest 3-5 lobes. Fall color is usually undistinguished, but attractive purplish hues may sometimes develop.
Genus name comes from the Greek word speira meaning wreath in reference to the showy flower clusters seen on most shrubs in the genus.
Specific epithet honors Belgian nurseryman, L. B. Van Houtte (1810-1876).
No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to many of the diseases and insects that attack other rose family members, including leaf spot, fire blight, powdery mildew, root rot, aphids, leaf roller and scale.
Hedges, foundations, borders, sunny woodland margins. Excellent flowering specimen/accent.