How Do I Prune a Spirea Bush? - Ask BrightView


Ask BrightView: Episode 18

Spirea shrubs can be a popular feature in landscapes and come in many varieties. These shrubs will flower in either the spring or mid-summer, depending on the species. To get the best blooms, BrightView horticulturist Scott Kopitskie recommends giving your spirea a rejuvenation prune. Don't be afraid of damaging your shrub; it will grow back in time for the season. Depending on your species of spirea, you can also lightly shear the stems for a second flush of flowers.

(For the full transcript, see below.)

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Video Transcription

How do I prune a spirea bush?


Hi, I'm Scott, and today we're going to talk about pruning spirea. This is a very popular plant to have in the landscape and we get a lot of questions about how to properly prune it.

There are different types of spirea - some flower in the summer and some flower in the spring. This one here is spirea bumalda. This one flowers in the summer, so the process I'm going to show you now can be done on this plant. Be sure to check the cultivar on the species of the plant before you do this process. If you cut the one that flowers in the spring, you will have effectively cut all the flowers off.

Rejuvenation Pruning

With this shrub here, we're doing a rejuvenation pruning to increase the bloom and control the size a little bit. This shrub will get as big as it is right now by mid-summer and it will also flower. You're not going to hurt the plant by doing this process. Another thing to consider is that once it is done flowering this summer, you'll be able to come back here and lightly shear this and get more blooms out of it for a second flush of flowers.

Before we get started I'd just like to mention that this is something you'll want to do early in the season before the bud breaks on the plant. If you wait too long, you'll miss the window to get this done properly. So let's get started.

Prune Near Base

All we're going to do is go in with our pruners and start cutting near the base of the plant, about 6 inches from the ground. You're not going to want to be too concerned with where you are making the cuts because this plant will grow right back. During this process, you're going to want to take any of the dead wood out all the way down to the base.

Now we're done pruning the shrub and you'll see I have cut all the stems about 6 inches from the ground. A great benefit of pruning this shrub this way early is that you'll only have to prune it once this season.