Bridal Wreath (Spiraea reevsiana)
The classic Bridal Wreath or Spirea is one of the heirloom favorite plants, grown for decades in the old south. It is a flowering shrub that grows well in Zone 9. Masses of petite white flower clusters appear on the cascading branches in the spring.
Bridal Wreath is considered to be one of the “easy to grow” perennials, and can be planted in the spring or fall. Depending on the variety, it can reach 6 or 7 feet tall and spread just as wide. Spirea can stand alone or be used for a background plant. More than one planted in a row can form a hedge, but do keep in mind that it is deciduous so it will drop its leaves in the winter. Plant it in an area where the bare graceful limbs are interesting in the winter. Deadheading the spent flowers might get it to flower twice in a season. Pruning can be done after flowering to reduce the height and give it the desired shape. Remove any dead branches at will. This shrub generally comes back if it is pruned severely.
The masses of delicate white flowers cover the plant in the early spring, often before the leaves appear. The bridal wreath makes a great companion plant with azaleas, blooming at the same time as the spring azaleas.
Bridal wreath is best if it is planted in full to partial sun in a well drained bed.
Water regularly until this plant is established. A thin layer of compost can be spread from the drip line toward the center, and fertilizer as well (according to directions). But even when the roots are established, be sure to water during the summer if the rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.