One of my favorite deciduous shrubs is Spiraea x vanhouttei, commonly known as bridal wreath spirea or Vanhoutte spirea. It has showy, elegant, arching branches loaded with plumes of charming, white flowers in springtime. There are other white spireas out there which should be sequestered. Vanhoutte spirea is the variety to look for. I prefer the appearance of one specimen of this shrub because my parents had a lengthy hedge of Vanhouttes on one side of their yard which faithfully produced a glorious vista until the flowers faded and turned brown.
Select a planting spot that has plenty of space to accommodate a Vanhoutte spirea because at maturity it can grow to about eight feet tall and ten feet wide. This shrub loves full sun to partial shade, requires minimal maintenance and is easy to grow in acidic soil. Prune Vanhoutte spirea annually in late spring after flowering, being careful not to ruin its fountain-type structure. Diseased or dead branches should be dismissed.
Vanhoutte spirea grows best in acidic soil with a pH range between 3.7 and 7.0. Growing the shrubs in alkaline soil may affect the plant’s nutrient intake and overall health. Follow manufacturer instructions when applying a pH-altering product to the soil if needed.
Tip: As with most shrubs, mulch helps to hold moisture in the planting area, keeping the root system well-hydrated while the plant is becoming established. Ref “Home guides.”