Saturday, May 4, 2013

Plant of the Day: Little Bonnie Spirea

(Spiraea x bumalda 'BL0601' Little Bonnie™)
I always thought of spirea as bit of a bore. Let's face it, spirea is common...maybe too common. But some new cultivars are making Spiraea a lot more interesting. Although typically described as a flowering shrub,  it may be that the foliage of this plant will impress you more.

Southern Living Plants gave me this Little Bonnie™ last fall to try in my garden. I left it in the pot it came in all winter. But recently I moved it to a large terracotta pot where I plan to keep it so I can move it into the sun occasionally if I need to. It should take well to pot culture, because Little Bonnie™ is a dwarf Spiraea, expected to grow no more than three feet tall and wide. It likes well-drained soil and sun, but will tolerate part shade. Southern Living describes it as evergreen, but mine lost all its leaves this winter. Maybe I almost killed it! If I did, it rebounded nicely because it looks great now.

I made Little Bonnie™ spirea my Plant of the Day today because I've been so taken by the soft, friendly foliage and it's pleasant, subtle range of color. I'm in love! I go outside just to gaze at it sometimes. The newest leaves are reddish, but they age to a yellow-green and finally to nearly blue. Fall color is good, too. I see some buds developing, so there will be pinky-mauve flowers soon that are reported to return off and on all summer. I'll be looking for bees and butterflies to visit.


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