Features of Japanese Spirea Magic Carpet
Spirea has been attracting landscape designers for a long time. This plant has a variety of species that differ in terms of flowering, color, shape of inflorescences. Popular for decorative foliage and flowering, the Japanese carpet magic spirea deservedly enjoys.
Japanese spirea grows no higher than 50 cm, with a round and lush crown, in diameter exceeding the height of the plant . Flexible, green with dark pink stems grow up to 80 cm in a circle. Opposite leaves are densely arranged, forming decorative brushes at the end of branches. The shape of the foliage is oval-pointed, with a serrated edge. The color of the color of copper during blooming, later acquires a rich yellow-green color, by autumn it again turns red-orange.
The flowering time is long, from June to September . Inflorescences in the form of shields are dense, with a diameter of up to 5 cm, protruding above the deciduous mass. The flowers are basket-shaped, five-petalled, the middle is dark pink, the edges of the petals are lighter. Long anthers create the effect of hairiness of the inflorescence.
Did you know? Scientists have discovered salicin glycoside in the stems of spirea, thanks to which in 1839 acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin, appeared.
Use in landscape design
The phrase “magic karpet” in translation from English means “magic carpet”, which fully corresponds to the description of the plant. Flowering dwarf bushes, planted in a dense group, cover the area with bright carpet.
The undersized shrub perfectly sets off coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs:
The pink color and greens of the foliage spiraea magic carpet will perfectly shade the awl-like creeping phlox, which has the same flowering period and small lilac-purple flowers. Landing in tandem with sedum, all its species, or surrounded by shaving and omphalodedes (shrubs up to 30 cm high) will look no less spectacular.
- In landscape design, spirea is often combined with bulbous flowers:
- by hypeastrum.
How to plant
Magic Carpet blooms in summer, so these varieties are planted in spring, at the beginning or end of April . The exact landing dates depend on the climate in the region. For better survival of the bush, the event is held on a cloudy day.
Selection of planting material
When buying a seedling with a closed root system, you need to make sure that the roots do not break through the drainage holes . In this case, the bush is planted long ago, its roots are clamped in a cramped space and it may not take root. A bush with an open root system can be inspected visually and by touch.
Learn also about Little Princess Spirea: the size of an adult bush, how to grow when pruned.
In general, a healthy seedling has the following qualities:
- the roots are flexible, fibrous, with no signs of rot;
- foliage is missing;
- green bark, flexible branches;
- the presence of several sleeping kidneys is mandatory.
Preparing the landing site
For the Japanese beauty, the ideal peninsula would be light penumbra: both the flowering will be lush and the petals in the sun will not discolour. The root system of the plant is not deep, so groundwater can be located a meter from the surface of the garden.
The plant is suitable for loose, fertile soils with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction, the optimal value is 6–7 pH . Sand and peat are added to heavy land, about 1 kg per 1 m².
Important! If there is a slope in the territory of the site that needs to be strengthened from shedding of soil, spirea fits perfectly. Its roots are fibrous, grow in width and perfectly hold the soil.
The depth and width of the landing pit should be one third more than the volume of the root system. In this case, you need to focus on the already prepared roots, i.e., shoots shortened to 15–20 cm . A hole is dug up a few days before planting, so that the earth sags a little. Half of the extracted soil is mixed with humus in equal parts.
- A drainage layer of 20 cm is placed at the bottom of the hole (it may be broken brick, gravel or pebbles).
- A fertilized part of the soil is poured on top, forming a hill 25 cm high.
- The seedling is placed on the embankment, straightened roots and sprinkled with soil, leaving the root neck above the surface of the soil to prevent decay.
- The bush is watered and cover the trunk circle with mulch.
Spirea is not capricious in care, special knowledge when growing it from the gardener is not required. All that is needed is a standard set of procedures, which we will discuss in detail below.
Watering and feeding
Spirea is resistant to drought, it does not need frequent watering. The shrub is excellent at natural rainfall. They irrigate the near-stem circle 3-4 times a season, 15–20 liters of water each. Then you need to put 10-15 cm of mulch, which will protect the superficial root system from overheating, the dominance of weeds and drying out. Before mulching, the soil around the trunk is gently loosened.
Did you know? From the wood, the meadowsweet, as they called spirea in Russia, made ramrod and sticks for a whip.
Before flowering in late May, the plant needs stimulating top dressing : mullein infusion is diluted with water to a volume of 10 l and 10 g of superphosphate is added. After pruning for the winter, the bush also needs to be fed in order to strengthen the defenses for wintering. For this, 50 g of potassium and superphosphate are introduced into the trunk circle.
In the early spring in April, the first pruning of the season is carried out . Remove the frozen tips of branches, branches growing inside the crown, old shoots that interfere with the shape of the crown. Young and healthy last year’s parts of the plant with buds are left. 4–5 branches with the correct growth direction are left from young shoots.
Over the summer, pruning is only sanitary in nature; shoots that are broken by the wind or birds, sick and weak, are removed . During flowering, you need to get rid of dried out inflorescences: this will be an incentive for the appearance of new flowers.
Important! In regions with severe winters (Urals, Siberia), autumn pruning is not carried out so as not to weaken the bush in the winter.
In the fall, pruning is a simultaneous preparation for winter. The bush must be freed from shoots competing with the main skeletal branches, sick and broken, old parts.
In the southern regions it is enough to cover the near-trunk circle with a mulch layer of 20–25 cm, covering it with a spruce top . After the snow falls, you need to warm up a good snow layer around the trunk.
In the north of the country for young bushes install a warming frame:
- Wooden stakes are driven around the trunk, forming a fence up to 50 cm high.
- A net is attached to the stakes, which will keep the layer of covering material from spreading by the wind, and also will hold the snow.
- The bush is neatly tied and bent to the ground.
- The plant is completely covered with a layer of foliage, straw and branches, you can additionally use agrospan.
A low shrub of spirea is the best option for a novice landscape designer: the plant is unpretentious in maintenance and easily pruned. In addition, due to its compact form and interesting leaf color, spirea is decorative all season until late autumn.