Alphabetical Plant Listing

Spiraea tomentosa (Steeplebush)

Steeplebush, Hard Hack, Hardhack, Staple Bush


Spiraea tomentosa (Steeplebush) is a suckering deciduous shrub bearing erect, unbranched stems clad with elliptic to ovate, medium to dark green leaves, 3 in. long (7 cm), densely hairy beneath. The foliage turns golden-yellow in fall. In mid summer to early fall, dense plumes, 4-8 in. long (10-20 cm), packed with tiny pink to rose-purple flowers, appear at the tips of the branches. Blooming from top to bottom, the flowers produce nectar and pollen, which attract bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects. Typically found in the wild in wet prairies and along edges of streams, marshes or bogs, Steeplebush is most suitable for naturalistic landscaping. It also does well in cottage gardens where it can grow in full sun yet have its feet wet or moist.

  • Grows up to 2-4 ft. tall (60-120 cm) and 3-5 ft. wide (90-150 cm). This a vigorous plant that will spread by suckers to form colonies.
  • A full sun lover, this plant is easily grown in average, medium to wet soils. Tolerates a wide range of soil and light shade, but best flowering occurs in full sun.
  • Perfect choice for banks and slopes, cottage gardens, along ponds and streams, water gardens or bog gardens.
  • Attracts birds and butterflies, but is ignored by deer.
  • No serious pest and disease problems. Keep an eye out for leaf spots, fireblight, powdery mildew, rots, aphids, leaf roller and scale.
  • Remove spent flower clusters to promote additional bloom.
  • Flowers on new wood, so prune in late winter to early spring if needed.
  • Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings.
  • Native to northern and central Europe, eastern United States.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Spiraea - Spirea
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 36" – 60" (90cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Southeast, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Doug McGrady, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Spiraea - Spirea
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 36" – 60" (90cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Southeast, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Spiraea - Spirea

Guides with Spiraea - Spirea

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