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How to Deadhead Spirea Bushes

Spirea is a flowering shrub with long, vertical stems that emerge from a central location in the ground. In the spring and summer, the stems are covered in clusters of white or brightly colored tiny flowers. In southern climates, the blooms often last until the first frost. Achieving these repeated blooms requires deadheading (removing old blooms) throughout the season.

Wait until the spirea bush begins blooming in the spring, and then examine the plant regularly to identify wilted and dying blooms. The new spirea blooms typically last for one to two weeks before they show signs of fading.

Grasp one of the dead blooms and locate the first set of leaves underneath, on the stem. In some varieties, the leaves are located just under the flower, but in others they can be 3 to 4 inches down the stem. Cut the dead flower off using hand pruners, and make the cut straight across the stem, just above the leaf set.

Repeat the process to deadhead the spirea plant through the remainder of the growing season.

Wait until the end of the summer or fall when all the spirea stems stop blooming. Deadhead all remaining stems by cutting off the last 1 to 2 inches, using pruning shears to speed the process along. Rake up the spirea trimmings and dispose them.

Deadhead Spirea Bushes

Examine the flowering branches frequently while they are in bloom. Soon after the flowers fade, it's time to deadhead. Prune spring-blooming spirea during or just after deadheading, if desired. Cut the branches back to a desired height and shape, removing no more than one-third of the branches.


Deadheading is an important part of encouraging repeated blooming in the current season, and to ensure the spirea remains vigorous and has abundant blooms in future years as well.

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