Spiraea japonica 'Froebelii'
Common Name: Japanese spirea
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Carmine red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Clay Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils. Prefers rich, moist loams. Remove faded flower clusters as practicable (light shearing is an option) to encourage additional bloom. Flowers on new wood, so prune in late winter to early spring if needed. Plants can be aggressive self-seeders, and have escaped gardens and naturalized in many areas of the eastern U.S. Plants will also spread in the garden by suckering.

‘Froebelii’ is reported to have better heat and drought tolerance than most other S. japonica cultivars.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Spiraea japonica, commonly called Japanese spirea, is a dense, upright, mounded, deciduous shrub that typically grows 4-6’ tall with a slightly larger spread. Leaves (to 3” long) are oval and sharply-toothed. Tiny pink flowers in flat-topped clusters (corymbs) cover the foliage from late spring to mid-summer, with sparse and intermittent repeat bloom sometimes occurring. Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

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 means of Japan, which is part of its native range.

‘Froebelii’ is a somewhat compact form that typically grows to 3-3.5’ tall with a slightly larger spread. Leaves emerge brownish-red in spring, change to blue-green as the growing season progresses and finally turn burgundy to wine red in fall. Small carmine red flowers in flattened corymbs (to 3” across) appear in late spring. This cultivar is synonymous with and formerly known as S. x bumalda ‘Froebelii’. It is similar in appearance to S. japonica ‘Anthony Waterer’, except it is slightly taller with brighter flowers and larger leaves.

Problems

No known serious insect or disease problems. Spireas are generally 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.

Garden Uses

Specimen or group for rock gardens. Mass or group in shrub border. Low hedge for path and walkways. Incorporates well into foundation plantings.