Meadowsweet Shrubs

You’ll be buzzin’ about these bee- and butterfly-friendly bushes

Meadowsweets are flowering deciduous shrubs that belong to the Spiraea genus and are quickly becoming classics. Ornamental gardeners have fallen in love with these fast-growing shrubs for their fabulous forms, floriferous natures, and carefree attitudes. Vegetable gardeners also especially appreciate their clusters of nectar- and pollen-rich, bee- and butterfly-friendly blossoms that bring these pollinators to the garden in droves.

Meadowsweet shrubs come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. They range in height from 1½ to 8 feet tall and have similar widths. The shrubs have charming freely branching habits with erect or loose, gracefully fountaining stems covered in attractive foliage, which is often colorful shades of chartreuse, orange, or bright yellow, sometimes tipped in hot pink or red. But even the green-leaved species may have foliage that emerges in colorful hues in spring or that turns beautiful shades in fall.

Easy to grow, meadowsweet shrubs prefer full sun but will grow in dappled to part shade; however, best flowering occurs in sun. Some spireas are rhizomatous and/or self-seeding and can spread over time, which can be a nice feature for the smaller varieties when used as ground cover. Larger varieties make excellent border and specimen plants. These tough, adaptable, and cold hardy shrubs can live up to 20 years with proper care and placement.