9 of the Best Types of Spirea Shrubs for Your Garden

Spirea is the common name for a group of flowering woody shrubs in the Spiraea genus, widely appreciated for their many outstanding qualities in the garden and landscape.

Several species and their hybrids offer multiple seasons of interest with clusters of pretty pink, purple, red, or white flowers, color-changing foliage, and beautiful forms that include elegant, swooping branches or compact, tidy clusters.

Some varieties are spring-flowering while others flower in summer, and a mixed selection can produce months of blooms.

A close up vertical image of the delicate white flowers and green foliage of a spirea shrub pictured in light sunshine. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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They all share an easy-growth culture that’s suitable for a wide range of climates, and the masses of flowers attract many beneficial pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Small songbirds often build nests amid the multi-stemmed branches and dense foliage, but deer leave them alone.

They make excellent accents or specimens, can be used in containers on decks and patios, and look terrific when mass planted in barriers, foundations, hedges, or screens.

For tips, ideas, and growing details, our guide on how to grow spirea has what you want.

Large or small-sized, with pink, red, or white flowers, and sprawling branches or neat mounds, you’re sure to find a spirea – or several – on our list that’s just right for your garden!

Here’s what we’re looking at up ahead:

1. Anthony Waterer

S. x bumalda ‘Anthony Waterer’ is a garden classic with a compact, mounded form, colorful foliage, and multiple flat-topped umbels of frothy, carmine red flowers in late spring and summer.

The delicate foliage first emerges in spring as a reddish-purple color, changes to a deep blue-green over summer, then turns burgundy, purple, and yellow in fall.

This compact hybrid forms a tidy, mounding pyramid that grows two to three feet tall with a spread of three to four feet.

A close up square image of the bright pink flowers of 'Anthony Waterer' spirea pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Anthony Waterer’

A beautiful choice for barriers, borders, hedges, and butterfly or rock gardens, this cultivar is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 9.

Container plants are available at Home Depot.

2. Audubon Meadowsweet

Help conserve native habitats with the Audubon® ‘Meadowsweet’ spirea (S. alba), a North American native with beautiful, conical spires of fragrant white to pale pink flowers that bloom all summer.

The sweet flowers attract a range of pollinators and provide a favorite feeding, nesting, and sheltering spot for several species of birds, such as buntings, goldfinches, and red-winged blackbirds.

The fine-textured foliage turns golden yellow in fall and the multi-stemmed mounds grow three to four feet tall and wide.

A square image of white 'Meadow Sweet' spirea flowers growing in a sunny garden.

Audubon ‘Meadowsweet’

An excellent choice for barriers, foundations, and hedges, or in butterfly and natural gardens. This variety is hardy in Zones 3 to 7.

Containers are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

3. Bridalwreath

Beloved for its graceful, arching branches covered in masses of small, white to pale pink double flowers, bridalwreath (S. prunifolia) is a showstopper in the spring garden.

The long wands of flowers attract bees, birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and the pretty blue-green foliage is lightly toothed and changes to vivid shades of orange, purple, and yellow in fall.

A close up square image of the white flowers of 'Bridal Wreath' spirea growing in the garden.


Shrubs grow into large fountains with a height of five to nine feet and spread six to eight feet. Bridalwreath makes an elegant and impressive barrier, hedge, screen, or stand-alone specimen. It’s hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

Two-packs of plants are available at Home Depot.

Find tips on growing bridalwreath spirea here.

4. Double Play Candy Corn

The Double Play® series emphasizes striking foliage and flower combos, with ‘Candy Corn’ (S. japonica ‘NCSX1’) featuring clouds of magenta-purple flowers in late spring through early summer, and ever-changing foliage.

The narrow, serrated foliage first emerges in spring as a bright, candy apple red, then changes to a glowing pineapple yellow, while new growth emerges as orange.

Deadheading isn’t needed but trimming away spent flowers encourages colorful new growth.

A vertical image of the fall foliage of Double Play 'Candy Corn' spirea pictured in bright sunshine.

Double Play ‘Candy Corn’

Compact and mounded plants, they grow 18 to 24 inches tall and spread 18 to 30 inches. ‘Candy Corn’ is highly effective in borders, containers, edging, foundations, and rockeries, and it’s hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

Shrubs in nursery containers are available at Burpee.

5. Firelight

Noted for its nonstop, colorful foliage, S. bumalda ‘Firelight’ also produces a beautiful flush of flat-topped, rosy-pink flowers in midsummer that attracts butterflies and other beneficial pollinators.

The gorgeous foliage emerges in burnished tones of burgundy and salmon then changes to a radiant chartreuse. Colors turn again in fall as the leaves put on a final show in shades of burgundy and purple.

A close up square image of the foliage of 'Firelight' spirea pictured on a soft focus background.


Compact mounds grow two to three feet tall with a spread of three to four feet and make a vivid addition to borders, containers, and patios, or courtyard and rock gardens. ‘Firelight’ is hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

Container plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

6. Glow Girl

A birchleaf spirea, Glow Girl® (S. betulifolia ‘Tor Gold’) is a compact, hardy shrub that shines with color from spring to fall and features delightful puffballs of tiny white spring flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Another North American native, flower buds emerge a rosy mauve then open to pure white flowers. And the pretty, rounded leaves begin as sunshine yellow then morph into lime green before settling into a deep gold.

In fall, the leaves continue to shine in tones of chartreuse, orange, and bright red.

A square image of Spirea 'Glow Girl' growing in a garden border.

Glow Girl

Tidy mounds grow three to four feet high and wide, adding ornamental value to barriers, borders, and rockeries. Glow Girl® also makes a fantastic choice in containers for the deck, patio, and porch. It’s hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Container plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

7. Japanese White

A prolific bloomer in the late spring and early summer garden, Japanese white spirea (S. albiflora) is beautifully refined and produces airy clouds of frothy white flowers above dark green, willowy foliage.

The sweetly fragrant flowers are a dream for bees and butterflies, and plants respond well to deadheading, with a second, lighter flush of flowers in late summer and early fall. In autumn, the handsome leaves take on deep coppery tones.

A close up square image of the delicate white flowers of Japanese white spirea growing in the backyard.

Japanese White

The compact plants form tidy mounds of up to 24 inches tall, with a similar spread, and make a superb addition to beds, borders, and containers as well as courtyard and rock gardens. S. albiflora is hardy in Zones 3 to 8.

Plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

8. Snowmound

Very similar to bridalwreath but smaller, S. nipponica ‘Snowmound’ has the same lovely, arching habit and produces masses of tiny white flowers in late spring and early summer.

The flowers are highly attractive to bees and butterflies, and the small, green leaves turn bright yellow in fall.

A close up square image of the delicate white flowers of 'Snowmound' spirea pictured on a soft focus background.


These shrubs have a height and spread of four to seven feet and make an excellent barrier, foundation plant, or hedge. ‘Snowmound’ is also a standout in naturalized or woodland gardens. It’s hardy in Zones 3 to 7.

Containers are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

9. Vanhouttei

One of the most popular bridalwreath hybrids, ‘Vanhouttei’ (S. x vanhouttei) is a prolific bloomer throughout spring with graceful, arching stems smothered in dainty white flowers.

The small, ovate leaves are a deep blue-green that turn burgundy in autumn, and the flowers are highly attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

The fountain-like plants reach a height of six to eight feet with a spread of four to six feet.

A square image of a hedge of 'Vanhouttei' spirea growing beside a lawn.


Beautiful as a foundation or specimen plant, these also add elegant distinction when mass planted as a barrier, hedge, or screen. This variety is hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

Containers are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

Long-Lasting, Colorful Interest

When it comes to flowering shrubs, few are able to compete with spirea for their long-lasting, colorful interest.

A close up horizontal image of a large 'Bridal Wreath' spirea shrub covered in white flowers.

They have amazing foliage that can start as one color, change to another, and then add fiery tones in fall. And the pretty spring or summer flowers attract loads of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Plus, they’re great in containers, and make outstanding thrillers for decks, patios, and porches.

Do you folks have a favorite type of spirea growing in your garden? Which one will you plant next? Let us know in the comments section below.

And for more spirea care tips, add these guides to your reading list next:

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A writer, artist, and entrepreneur, Lorna is also a long-time gardener who got hooked on organic and natural gardening methods at an early age. These days, her vegetable garden is smaller to make room for decorative landscapes filled with color, fragrance, art, and hidden treasures. Cultivating and designing the ideal garden spot is one of her favorite activities – especially for gathering with family and friends for good times and good food (straight from the garden, of course)!

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