Plant Encyclopedia

Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Levgreen'

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Matcha Ball Ash Leaf Spirea

Discover More Information On Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea

Matcha Ball® forms a perfect round ball of pretty fern-like foliage in a fresh shade of green. (That green color looks like Matcha tea, thus the name.) When the foliage first emerges in very early spring there is a hint of color in the leaves and petioles that range from red to orange-peach in color, ultimately maturing to green. Unlike Sem, Matcha Ball® sparsely blooms and doesn't develop suckers so it maintains a tight round form throughout the growing season. Fall color is yellow. It prefers moist, well-drained organic soil, and tolerates full sun to some light shade. Discovered by Denis Levac of Quebec, Canada.

Plant Attributes

The Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea is a unique cultivar known for its exquisite fern-like foliage and its rounded growth habit. This plant derives its name from its bright green leaves, reminiscent of the color of Matcha tea. Its attractive foliage emerges in early spring, with an interesting interplay of colors ranging from red to orange-peach before ultimately maturing to the definitive vibrant green.

With a moderate growth rate, Matcha Ball® reaches a height of 2-3 feet and spreads to about 3-4 feet, forming a symmetrical round ball that adds a pleasing structural element to any garden. Unlike the similar variety 'Sem', the Matcha Ball® sparsely blooms and does not develop suckers, maintaining its compact, rounded form throughout the growing season.

Its fall color is a notable yellow, offering an additional splash of seasonal color to the landscape. The plant produces white flowers, although these are not as prominent as its foliage.

Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea is hardy in Zones 3-7 and heat-tolerant up to Zone 7, meaning it can withstand both cold winters and moderately warm summers. It prefers moist, well-drained organic soil and can tolerate conditions from full sun to light shade, demonstrating a degree of versatility in terms of planting location.

It is a suitable choice for anyone seeking a low-maintenance, beautiful, and structurally-interesting plant to add to their garden.

Landscape Use

The Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea has several potential uses in landscaping due to its distinctive shape, vibrant foliage, and adaptability. Here are some of the common uses:

  1. Border Planting: Due to its compact, rounded shape and attractive foliage, the Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea is a great choice for border plantings. It provides a bright, structured boundary line, particularly effective along paths or driveways.
  2. Focal Point: Planted individually, the spirea can serve as a captivating focal point in a smaller garden or yard due to its unique, round form and the changing color of its leaves.
  3. Mass Planting: When planted en masse, the spirea creates an eye-catching, low-lying hedge. The consistency of its shape allows for a neat and orderly appearance, ideal for formal garden layouts.
  4. Mixed Shrub Borders: The fern-like texture of its leaves provides an appealing contrast when mixed with plants that have larger, broader leaves. It adds a layer of visual interest in a diverse shrub border.
  5. Container Planting: Due to its moderate size, the spirea can also be grown in larger containers. This could be a good option for patios or balconies, or for adding greenery to paved areas.
  6. Foundation Planting: Its hardiness and compact size make it suitable for foundation plantings, where it can provide year-round interest.

Embracing the Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea in your garden design will not only infuse the landscape with a unique, aesthetic allure, but also introduce an element of tranquility and rhythm through its harmonious, round form. As each season ebbs and flows, the nuanced changes in the spirea's foliage will keep your garden dynamic and engaging, painting a vivid tableau of life's fleeting yet beautiful transformations. So, whether you are an expert landscaper aiming to create a distinctive vista, or a gardening enthusiast who finds joy in nurturing the variety of Mother Nature's bounty, the Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea is poised to add an unforgettable stroke of charm and elegance to your green canvas.

Planting & Care

The Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea, while relatively low-maintenance, will flourish optimally if certain planting and care guidelines are followed.

Planting:Select a location with well-draining soil, as spirea prefers not to sit in waterlogged conditions. The site can range from full sun to partial shade, although a sunnier spot will often lead to more vibrant foliage.

When planting, dig a hole twice as wide but just as deep as the root ball. Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, pressing down gently to eliminate any air pockets. Water thoroughly after planting to help establish the roots.

Care:Regular watering during the first growing season is crucial to establish a deep, extensive root system. Once established, spirea is moderately drought tolerant, but it will appreciate water during dry spells.

Fertilize in early spring with a general-purpose garden fertilizer to promote vigorous growth and to enhance the color of the foliage.

The Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea naturally grows into a neat, round shape, so extensive pruning isn't necessary. If you do decide to prune, do it in late winter or early spring before the new leaves appear. However, be mindful not to prune too heavily, as the plant blooms on old wood.

Keep an eye out for common pests such as aphids or powdery mildew, although spirea is generally resistant to most pests and diseases.

With the right care and attention, the Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea will be a captivating, easy-care addition to your garden.

In terms of mulching, a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant can help retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and moderate soil temperature. Remember not to mound mulch against the stem of the plant as this can encourage rot.

As far as cold weather is concerned, the Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea is a hardy plant, able to withstand temperatures of USDA Zones 3-7. Nevertheless, in the event of particularly harsh winter weather, you may consider providing some extra protection. Wrapping the plant in burlap or applying a layer of straw or leaf mulch at the base of the plant can help protect its root system from extreme cold.

The key to maintaining a healthy Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea is providing the basic needs: well-drained soil, sufficient sunlight, regular watering especially during dry spells, and annual feeding. Its natural shape and hardiness make it an excellent low-maintenance choice for both new and experienced gardeners. With these care tips in mind, this unique plant can lend your garden its vibrant color and attractive form for years to come.

Additional Information

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Matcha Ball® Ash Leaf Spirea


Plant Features

  • Height: 2-3'
  • Width: 3-4'
  • Hardiness Zone: 3-7
  • Heat Zone: 7
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Habit: Rounded
  • Flower Color: White
  • Foliage: Bright Green

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