The bridal wreath spirea (Spiraea prunifolia) is a medium-sized deciduous shrub that features sprays of little white flowers. It is best suited for gardens in Zones 5-9.
The scientific name for this shrub is Spiraea prunifolia and it belongs to the Rosaceae family. The species name of prunifolia indicates that the leaves are similar to those of Prunus, which is another genus in that family that contains many of the familiar stone fruits like cherries, plums, and peaches.
Names associated with this shrub include bridal wreath spirea, popcorn spirea, bridal wreath spirea, shoe button spirea or just bridal wreath. It is also spelled as spiraea like the genus name.
Preferred USDA Hardiness Zones
You can plant the bridal wreath spirea in Zones 5-9. You can also grow it in Zone 4 with protection during the winter. This species originally came from China, Korea, and Taiwan.
Size & Shape
The average size of a bridal wreath spirea is 4-8' tall and wide with an upright shape. The branches curve over towards the ground.
Find a spot in your garden that receives full sun or part shade.
Each leaf is 1-3" long with an ovate or elliptical shape. The margins have many tiny serrations and the underside of the leaf is pubescent, meaning it is covered with soft hairs. In the fall the leaves will turn to hues of red, orange and yellow.
The small white flowers form in clusters called corymbs.
Most shrubs feature double rows of petals unless you have the species shrub or a cultivar that only has a single row of petals.
The fruit on this shrub is a small brown follicle.
The double-flowered variety you almost always see planted in gardens is 'Plena'. Spiraea prunifolia var. simpliciflora has single flowers.
This shrub works well as part of a garden to attract butterflies. It can also be used in areas where deer come to browse as it is resistant. Bridal veil spirea is also able to withstand some periods of drought, though they prefer to grow in well-drained moist soil.
If you like white flowers, use this to create a focal point in your garden. There is an abundance of flowers during the spring and will put on another show in the fall when the leaves change colors.
It can become invasive in some parts of the eastern United States, so you may want to check with your local extension office agent before planting to make sure it will not be problematic.
Like the name suggests, you could cut off part of a flowering branch to twine in your hair. It can also be used in floral arrangements.
You can propagate new plants using cuttings or suckers. If you have the species shrub instead of a variety, you can use seed germination.
You may find yourself needing to control some suckers that pop up if you do not want the plant to spread. Keeping your shrub healthy and happy will help control them to some degree. Alternatively, this can be a beneficial characteristic if you want to have mass plantings of the shrub in your garden since additional shrubs will form without further cost to you.
Pruning may be needed if your bridal wreath spiraea starts spreading farther than you would like. It should be performed right after the shrub finishing flowering.
You can use this as an informal hedge to create pathways and outdoor rooms.
Pests and Diseases
This shrub does not usually face too many problems from pests or diseases. You may find some of the standard issues associated with Rosaceae family members like:
- Fire blight
- Gray mold
- Leaf rollers
- Leaf spot
- Powdery mildew
- Root rots
- Verticillium wilt