Shrub of the Month: Spiraea thunbergii
Posted: August 20, 2012
Yellow foliage of Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon' (Mellow Yellow Spirea) contrasts nicely with the green foliage of Lindera angustifolia (Oriental Spicebush) left, the blue-green needles of Picea pungens 'Fat Albert' (Blue Spruce) upper left, and the background
While homeowners enjoy the early flowering of old-fashioned spireas such as bridalwreath spirea (Spiraea prunifolia), when they are finished blooming, they become just another green plant in the landscape.
Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ (also known as Mellow Yellow® Spirea) provides early spring bloom while its golden foliage creates stunning contrasts with nearby plants, extending its season of interest right through fall.
‘Ogon’ throws out a huge display of small white flowers in early spring, followed by narrow, yellow leaves on drooping branches. The yellow foliage tends to fade to green through the growing season, and then smolders to an attractive burnt orange in fall.
This shrub is perfect for small yards since it only grows four to five feet tall with a similar spread. ‘Ogon’ can tolerate dry conditions and performs well in full sun, although it is at home in partial shade, too.
Pruning should be done shortly after flowering because Spiraea thunbergii and its cultivars bloom on old wood. If your customers are interested in pollinator gardens, spireas attract a wide range of pollinators.