This is my Bridal Wreath (Spiraea x vanhouttei)… a hardy shrub that happily flourishes in our zone 4 growing conditions. This is a shrub that needs plenty of growing space because it can reach an impressive size… up to five to eight feet high and seven to ten feet wide at maturity. In mid-spring a Bridal Wreath is quite strikingly beautiful as it becomes literally covered with a mass of tiny white flowers that grow downward from the tips of the branches in “umbellate clusters” (an umbrella shape). These flower clusters are small… each one is only about two inches wide… and the flowers that make up the clusters are only about one-third of an inch in diameter. Because the branches are thin, the weight of so many flower clusters makes each branch droop downward in an arch towards the ground.
Bridal Wreath blooms from April to June depending on the location… here the flowers don’t appear until early or mid-June. This shrub prefers full sun and will benefit from regular mulching, but it will not survive in wet soil. For the best display of flowers, fertilize the shrub in early spring before new growth appears, water weekly to promote a deep root system, and prune as needed immediately after the flowers have faded.
Bridal Wreath shrubs usually grow very quickly and most will produce flowers even if their growing conditions are not always ideal. My Bridal Wreath has survived even a few consecutive winters of extensive deer damage.
I have read that Bridal Wreath can be propagated by seeds, and sometime I want to try that… although dividing the main root ball or taking cuttings has always seemed an easier method. Currently I have six small Bridal Wreath seedlings growing in pots sunk in the ground… these were all grown from cuttings that I took from the main shrub last spring. All the seedlings appear to be developing a good root system and I think they will be ready to transplant to their permanent locations in another year or two. I’m hoping to use all six of them as a foundation planting along the front of our house.