Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tennessee Spirea

With this new blog, we intend to highlight tried-and-true plants that keep growing on past the hype-and- shine of all the new branded plants. A few of the new and exciting plants will find their praises sung here, but we're on the lookout for the backbone plants that keep giving back long after your initial efforts.

We call this Tennessee Spirea. It hitched a ride with us when we moved from central Tennessee in the mid '70s. A simple sucker dug from a friend’s front yard, the tiny rooted sprig survived the trip and flourished. Many such suckers have come from the base and give us the first burst of flowering shrubs of the season. I have not been able to identify the species but that doesn’t seem to bother the exuberance of this shrub's presence.

It’s a great plant for bringing in dormant branches in late winter to force, and it seems always to find its way into Easter flower arrangements.

Easily 6 to 7’ tall, the biggest problem is keeping it within bounds. A good shearing in early summer gives it plenty of time to bud up for the following spring. It likes full sun and average soil with no need to fertilize after the original planting. Tennessee Spirea is what’s growing on.

~ Torula

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