Spiraea japonica “Walbuma” grows to 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. (Richie Steffens)

Spiraea japonica “Walbuma” grows to 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. (Richie Steffens)

Great Plant Pick: Spiraea japonica ‘Walbuma’ Magic Carpet

This Japanese spirea bursts out in color in spring, revealing brilliant orange-yellow new growth.

What: Spiraea japonica “Walbuma” is a small, deciduous shrub. It bursts out in color in early spring revealing twigs covered in brilliant orange-yellow new growth. The foliage color softens to orange blushed chartreuse as it matures. In early summer lacey pancake-like clusters of glowing pink flowers grace the tips of its branches. Magic Carpet Japanese spirea maintains a more compact habit than many other selections, and the golden-colored foliage is not prone to reverting to the typical green form.

Where: This small spirea prefers full sun to light or open shade. Plant it in rich moist to well-drained soil, although it will tolerate clay if the drainage is adequate.

Size: This Japanese spirea will grow to be 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide when mature.

Care: Provide regular water to this small shrub to keep it looking its best through the summer. A few older stems can be pruned to the ground in the winter every year. Alternatively, cut the entire shrub back to 6 to 8 inches tall every three or four years and allow it to regrow.

— Richie Steffen,

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