Spirea "Little Princesses" is an unusual dwarf shrub that is often used in landscape design. The birthplace of spirea is Japan, and the name was due to the small size of the bush and the color of the flowers, unusual for this type of bush. Spirea is unpretentious in care, grows rather slowly, but life expectancy can reach 30 years.
Spirea Little Princess is a dwarf bush with a spherical shape. Little Princess or "Little Princess" got its name because of its small size in comparison with other types of spirea. The height of the shrub is only 60 cm, it is extremely rare to find a spirea of this species up to 1.2 m high. During the season, the bush grows by 10-15 cm, especially fast growth in the first years of life. This shrub belongs to centenarians - it pleases with its beautiful appearance for 25-30 years.
During flowering, the spirea leaves acquire an emerald green hue, and in the fall become orange-red. Flowers bloom in June and bloom until September, with new flowers formed throughout this period. Japanese spirea is covered with numerous small purple-pink flowers collected in corymbose inflorescences. The buds are very small and are located at the ends of the branches.
As soon as the flowering period ends, Little Princess Spiraea japonica gives fruit, but they are usually harvested so as not to spoil the aesthetic appearance of the bush.
The first flowering begins from the second or third year of the plant's life.
Description of this type of spirea:
- has a spherical lush crown, which can span a width of up to 1.2 m;
- deciduous shrub from the family Rosaceae;
- abundant flowering begins in the third year of life;
- the fruits of spirea look ugly and are not eaten, so they are of no value.
How to plant?
The first rule for a successful shrub planting is a correctly selected seedling. Spiraea roots must be covered with a lump of earth to prevent drying out. If the earth is dry, before planting, place the roots in a bucket of water for 1-2 hours. The roots themselves should be well developed, without dry broken ends.
Preference should be given to small seedlings without leaves - they have good survival rate.
Planting should be done in late autumn or early spring before the buds have formed. Planting a plant is best in cloudy weather. Young seedlings develop rapidly, so before planting, you need to provide enough space for their growth.
Little Princesses can grow anywhere. She feels good both in temperate climates and in hot ones. But the soil is not suitable for any. This Japanese shrub loves a mixture of plain land with peat and sand. In the hole, the roots need to be straightened well and fill the hole with an earthen mixture. Gardeners recommend for spirea to dig a hole up to 50 cm deep so that the root neck of the shrub is flush with the surface. As practice shows, if you plant a bush before the rain, it will take root in almost 100% of cases. After the shrub has been planted, the earth needs to be well tamped, watered and fertilized with humus.
How to care?
Shrub care begins with timely watering. In the first years of life, the plant really needs enough moisture. After the first flowering, you can water it once or twice a week, if the summer is dry, the number of waterings can be increased. You can not fill the shrub, since the roots are too close to the surface and can rot, which will lead to the death of the plant.
You can feed "Little Princesses" twice a season - first after wintering, then during flowering.
After wintering, when pruning is done, you can fertilize the soil with a complex of minerals, during flowering - with mullein or bird droppings.
Regularly need to loosen the soil and prevent crusting around the roots. Loosening should be done shallow, so as not to damage the roots (not more than 5 cm), be sure after rainfall or watering.
Experienced gardeners recommend several ways to propagate a decorative Japanese shrub.
- Cutting is a rather troublesome process, but productive. In the summer, when the spirea blooms (June-July), the sprouts are cut, partially stiffened are well suited. Next, they need to be planted in a greenhouse in a mixture of sand and peat. During this period, you need to water the bush as often as possible. In spring, the plant can already be planted in open ground.
- Layering is a simple and effective method of breeding spirea. Choose your favorite branch, gently bend it to the ground and fix, sprinkle with earth. This method is used in spring when the first leaves appear. You also need to regularly water the plant in this place.
Already in the fall or next spring, a new shrub will appear, which can already be separated from the "parent" and planted in another place.
- Seeds are the most time-consuming and complex process that brings the least result. Seeds are sown in advance in prepared pots with peat, covered with a film. Periodically you need to ventilate and water them. After the first sprouts hatch, the film is removed and the pots are left open until the end of summer. Until autumn, seedlings need to be transplanted into the open ground, after shortening the roots. For wintering, young plants need to provide warmth. The first flowering begins in 3-4 years.
- Division is the most common and easy way that gives good results. An adult plant must be carefully divided by a shovel and transplanted part of the shrub to another place.
Diseases and Pests
Little Princess Spirea is resistant to disease, but not protected from pests. Pests that can be dangerous for pygmy spirea.
- Rosette leaflet - affects almost all deciduous trees. The insect hides in the leaves, folding them with a tube, mainly damaging them. You can deal with the leafworm by spraying with biological pesticides, neonicotinoids, pyrethroids, organophosphorus compounds.
- Spider mite - settling on a shrub, gradually entangles branches and leaves with cobwebs. The web appears on the bottom of the leaf, it is very thin and transparent, for a long time the pest can go unnoticed. White dots on leaves or drying foliage for no apparent reason may be a sign of the tick’s habitat. The spider mite feeds on the juice of the bush, settles on almost any type of plant. Leaves pierced by a tick first begin to become covered with white dots, then turn pale, dry and die. Tick eggs can get onto the plant with the wind, animals and humans can become peddlers of adult individuals, you can also buy already infected seedlings. The colony of ticks develops very quickly and leads to the death of the bush. It is not easy to get rid of this pest, ticks quickly get used to drugs. The fight should be started as early as possible - acaricides and insectoacaricides are suitable for this, it will be necessary to treat the affected shrub for 5-7 days 4-5 times a day (possibly more). When processing, you need to alternate drugs.
- Aphids - can carry viral diseases. When infected, the leaves are deformed, a sooty mushroom appears on them. The appearance of ants around the bush can also indicate aphid infection. Preparations for the control of these pests: Karbofos, Aktara, Intavir.
- Caterpillars of a white-winged butterfly-scoop can cause significant damage to a bush if it is not treated on time with Decis or another similar preparation.
Experienced gardeners recommend regularly inspecting the shrub for any damage, since the sooner you notice a disease or pest, the more effective the fight against it.
Use in landscape design
Unpretentious and beautiful shrub will become an adornment of any yard or garden. Here's what designers recommend.
- If the flowerbed looks empty, you can plant a dwarf spirea in the center, which will give a harmonious look and improve the color scheme. Also, spirea can be planted around the flowerbed - the result is a beautiful border.
- The low height of the bush makes it a wonderful hedge. Little Princesses can be planted around a house, recreation area, along a pool or walkway.
- Growing in a pot will allow you to control flowering, with sufficient experience, the bush will delight with lush flowers even in winter.
- “Little Princesses” goes well with lavender, conifers, barberry. Spirea does not like to be in the shadow of other plants, although it gets along easily with its “neighbors”.
- If you want to use pink spirea flowers as an accent, you need to plant it next to shrubs that bloom less expressively, the main thing is that their flowering period coincides.
How to plant seedlings of Little Princess spirea, see the video.