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Sundrop™ Spirea

Spiraea 'Bailcaro'

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Sundrop Spirea with green foliage and pink flowers

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Sundrop™ Spirea boasts beautiful sprays of pink flowers in early summer that stand out against petite, golden foliage that holds its color, even through the summer heat. This natural compact selection has a beautiful, rounded form that requires little or no pruning and is the perfect addition to any border. Sundrop™ has proven itself to be hardier than most golden spirea. Discovered by Terry Schwartz and introduced by Bailey Nurseries.

Plant Attributes

Sundrop™ Spirea, a spectacular addition to the Spiraea genus, is a beloved deciduous shrub valued for its striking ornamental features and resilient nature. Like other Spireas, this variety is native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, demonstrating an impressive ability to thrive in a range of climatic zones.

One of the key defining characteristics of the Sundrop™ Spirea is its radiant foliage. Its leaves are a vibrant yellow, granting the shrub its "Sundrop" moniker. The leaves' color intensity can vary based on exposure to sunlight, with a more brilliant yellow display in full sun. This feature alone makes it an attractive addition to any garden setting, but there's more to this remarkable plant than its luminous leaves.

The Sundrop™ Spirea is also cherished for its delightful bloom period. From late spring to early summer, the shrub bursts into bloom, producing clusters of small, white or pink flowers that contrast beautifully with the golden foliage. The flower clusters appear on arching branches, creating an attractive cascading effect that adds depth and interest to any landscape design.

Sundrop™ Spirea is relatively compact, typically growing to a height and width of 2-3 feet, which makes it an excellent choice for smaller gardens or for use as a border plant. It's known for its robustness and versatility, being drought-tolerant once established and capable of thriving in a wide range of soil types, provided they have good drainage.

Another standout attribute of the Sundrop™ Spirea is its winter hardiness. It can tolerate cold temperatures down to USDA Hardiness Zone 4, making it suitable for landscapes that experience colder winters. This combined with its minimal maintenance requirements and its eye-catching ornamental attributes, makes the Sundrop™ Spirea a cherished plant in gardens worldwide.

Landscape Use

Given its many appealing attributes, the Sundrop™ Spirea is a versatile addition to a wide array of landscape designs. Its stunning golden foliage and vibrant flower clusters make it a perfect candidate for various landscaping uses.

  1. Border Plant: The compact size of the Sundrop™ Spirea makes it ideal as a border plant. Whether outlining a walkway, garden bed, or property line, the shrub's bright yellow foliage and contrasting flower clusters can provide definition and draw attention to the desired area.
  2. Foundation Plantings: The Spirea's small stature and appealing aesthetic make it a fantastic choice for foundation plantings. Placed alongside a building or home, it can soften harsh lines and create an inviting feel.
  3. Mass Plantings: When planted in large groups, the Sundrop™ Spirea can produce a stunning visual effect. The repeated golden hue, punctuated by its vibrant blossoms, can be quite a sight, especially during its peak blooming period.
  4. Container Gardening: Given its relatively small size and contained growth, the Sundrop™ Spirea can be an excellent choice for container gardening. This can add flexibility, allowing the plant to be moved as desired or necessary.
  5. Rock Gardens: Sundrop™ Spirea can be a lovely addition to rock gardens, where its luminous foliage can provide a contrasting color and texture to stones and other rock garden plants.
  6. Wildlife Gardens: The flowers of the Sundrop™ Spirea attract butterflies and other pollinators, making it a great addition to wildlife gardens.
  7. Mixed Shrub Borders: The spirea's vivid colors can bring an infusion of interest to mixed shrub borders. Its ability to pair well with other plants, especially those with purple or dark green foliage, adds to its landscaping utility.

Remember, the Sundrop™ Spirea is a relatively low-maintenance plant that thrives in well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Its versatility, resilience, and visual appeal make it a popular choice for many landscape designs.

Planting & Care

Planting and caring for the Sundrop™ Spirea is relatively straightforward, given its resilient nature. Here are some guidelines to ensure the healthy growth of your Sundrop™ Spirea:

Planting: Select a location that offers full sun to partial shade. Although Sundrop™ Spirea can tolerate a range of soil types, it thrives best in well-draining soil that's either loamy or sandy. The planting hole should be twice as wide as the root ball and roughly the same depth. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface, and backfill the hole with the excavated soil.

Watering: After planting, water the Spirea thoroughly. Continue to water regularly for the first few weeks until the plant is established. Once established, the Sundrop™ Spirea is quite drought tolerant, but it's still a good idea to water it during prolonged dry periods.

Fertilizing: Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer in early spring before new growth begins. This will give the plant the nutrients it needs to produce healthy, vibrant foliage and flowers.

Pruning: Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring before the onset of new growth. Prune back to a few inches above the ground to promote a more compact, bushier growth and to stimulate abundant flowering. Spirea is quite forgiving when it comes to pruning; even severe pruning will not harm the plant.

Mulching: Applying a layer of mulch around the base of the plant can help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth. However, make sure to leave a gap around the stem to prevent any potential rotting issues.

Pest and Disease Management: While generally disease and pest resistant, it's important to keep an eye out for any potential issues. Aphids can sometimes be attracted to Spirea. If they appear, they can usually be controlled with a strong jet of water from a hose or with insecticidal soap.

Following these care guidelines will help ensure your Sundrop™ Spirea thrives, providing your garden with its distinct, radiant appeal year after year.

Additional Information

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Sundrop™ Spirea


Plant Features

  • Height: 12-15"
  • Width: 2-3'
  • Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Heat Zone: 7
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Habit: Dense Mound

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