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Spiraea 'Arguta' – The Bridal Wreath – The Foam of May Shrub

The Bridal Wreath is easily the best of the white flowering Spiraeas. Often the common name of Bridal Wreath gets confused with another white flowered shrub – Exochorda ‘The Bride’. Spiraea ‘Arguta has much smaller flowers than the Exochorda, though just as showy and less troublesome.

Its other common name – ‘The Foam of May’ says much about this Spiraea shrub, for it flowers in May – and sometimes into June – and the masses of white flower inflorensces resemble a foaming mass.

Spiraea ‘Arguta’ is a medium sized deciduous shrub, almost totally covered in white flowers just as the foliage starts to beak in spring. It develops into a dense rounded shrub in the region of 6-8ft height and spread in a timescale of around 8 -10 years. The flowering branches are weighed down with the flowers, but revert back to semi upright habit shortly afterwards as the new growth start to regain the compact mass of stems.

Short flush of autumn foliage colour, being mainly yellow, orange.

Bridal Wreath SpiraeaIndividual flowers are akin to miniature single roses - which give a clue to the family group of Rosaceae – but are grouped in tight groups on the arching branches – which give the appearance of flowering from top to bottom.

The foliage is nothing spectacular, being small ovoid but pointed leaved of light green new growth quickly fading to mid-green by midsummer. Spiraea Arguta tends to send up sucker growth which helps to bulk out the main shrub, but do not generally spread further than the overall canopy


How to Grow and Care for Spiraea Arguta

There is not too much to say about how to care for Bridal Wreath Spiraea. It’s just a matter of planting it and leaving it to get on with life – after it has become established and assuming that it is planted in the right conditions and situation.

The shrub grows in virtually any type of soil though heavy clay soils will need the normal adjustment by way of added organic matter to ease the compaction of such soils..

It prefers full sun but is quite happy in dappled shade. I have also seen some good plantings in woodland areas, but with competing ground level growth contained. Spiraea Arguta ‘Bridal Wreath’ is a good shrub border plant if situated to the middle or rear – preferably with only low growing shrubs in front. This will allow the arching stems of flowers to be seen to maximum effect.

Spiraea Arguta is quite happy in any aspect situation, facing North, South, East or West, and will tolerate exposed positions. It will need extra care with watering during first year on a dry bank, but after that will normally take care of itself.

Although it is deciduous, the shrub is dense enough to prevent weeds from growing under. Neither should there be a temptation to carry out any underplanting, other than dwarf daffodils and possibly Cyclamen Coum Hybrids. Hellebore orientalis is attractive if planted away from the immediate cover of the foliage.

Problems with Spiraea Arguta

There are no pest or disease problems known to affect this particular Spiraea. If planted without due thought to its eventual 1.5 – 2m spread, the problem would not be of its own making! In this event, it can be cut back hard right after flowering and allowed to re-start, which it will soon do.


Spiraeas are easily increased with softwood tip cutting in early summer – or semi-ripe cuttings in late summer.


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