Neon Flash SpireaSpirea japonica 'Neon Flash'
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Spirea japonica 'Neon Flash'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Neon Flash Spirea is a tough and reliable small deciduous shrub, growing 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. Its leaves are purple in spring, deep green in summer, and burgundy in fall, but it is the brilliantly colored flowers that make it so special. Beginning in June and into July with a massive display, they continue through summer and into early fall. Their vibrant bright pink-red color really lives up to this plant’s name, and they stand out right across the garden. For filling gaps in any garden, or for a bold foreground to your beds, this is the plant you need. Use it along a driveway for edging, or on a bank for beauty and erosion control. It will grow in large planters easily too.
Full sun will produce the most flowers on the Neon Flash Spirea, but it will grow well in some partial shade too. It grows in all soils that are not constantly wet, being most vigorous in rich, moist soil, but growing very well even in much drier soils. Alkaline conditions don’t bother it at all, and it normally has no pests or diseases. Deer leave it alone, making it ideal for a cottage or country garden. A little pruning in early spring will keep it fresh and vigorous, and a quick trim after the first flowers are over keeps it blooming for the rest of the year.
Spring and summer in the garden should be full of bright flowers, and for easy growth, few plants do that job better than the Neon Flash Spirea. Easily grown in any garden, it is big enough to stand out, but not to take over, and with brilliant pink blooms in summer and rich red leaves in fall, this tough and hardy plant cannot be beaten. Hardy in zone 4, it needs no special care, but it brings a great look to your garden, and it’s versatile too.
The Neon Flash Spirea is a mounding deciduous shrub, growing 2 to 3 feet tall and the same size across. It has leaves to the ground, leaving no room for weeds to intrude, and whether you grow just one in a small garden, or use as for edging beds in a larger one, its months of bloom are sure to please. The leaves are up to 3 inches long, and oval, with a soft serrated edge. In spring they emerge purple, before turning deep green for the summer. In fall, with the first cool nights, they begin to darken and the whole plant is soon a rich burgundy color, before the leaves drop for winter. Starting in June and continuing well into July, with more blooms in summer and early fall, this dome of foliage is smothered in heads of tiny flowers almost continuously. These clusters of many blooms are 2 to 3 inches across, and they cover the plant almost completely. The flowers are a bright red-pink, the color of red neon, and they really stand out all across the garden. These are the brightest blooms of all the Spirea bushes, and it really lives up to its name. Turn your dull green garden into a firework display with this beautiful shrub.
Use the Neon Flash Spirea alone or in clusters and drifts, anywhere you need bright color and low-maintenance planting. Space the plants 2 feet apart in each direction when planting groups, to give continuous coverage and waves of color. Use it in the foreground of any bed, or in the planting around a terrace, where its broad form can be used to soften the geometry of those hard edges. In beds edged with grass, set the front plants back 18 inches, so that they don’t overgrow the lawn. It also looks lovely mass-planted on a steep bank, where it will stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. A long row edging a large bed, along a driveway, or at the foot of a wall, is a beautiful sight, and colorful for so much of the year. Every garden has awkward corners and spots to fill, and the Neon Flash Spirea is the perfect plant to fill them.
The idea location for the Neon Flash Spirea is in full sun, but it will tolerate an hour or two of shade each day with no problem. It grows easily in almost any well-drained soil, so it will grow happily in just about any garden. It prefers moist soil, and not wet, badly drained ones, but this is not a fussy plant, and it grows easily almost anywhere. It is hardy all through zone 4 and at least into zone 8, or less humid zone 9, such as the north-west, so it grows almost anywhere. Make it a valuable tool in your garden arsenal if you live in cold zones, where it really thrives. Once established it is happy to take on periods of summer drought, although regular watering will give the most blooms, and the lushest plants. It almost never suffers from any pests or diseases, and deer leave it alone. A little pruning in early spring will keep it vigorous. Remove the fine twiggy branches, and some of the oldest ones at the ground, leaving an open framework of sturdy branches that will soon burst into leaf and bloom. After the main blooming is over in July, a light trimming all over will stimulate new flower shoots, and that very simple task will keep this plant blooming right into the fall. If detailed pruning doesn’t appeal to you, just trim back about of quarter of the plant in spring.
The Neon Flash Spirea is a selected form of the Japanese Spirea, Spirea japonica. Also known as ‘meadowsweet’ by older gardeners, this plant is found in southwestern China and Korea, as well as across Japan. It grows wild along streams and on banks, and as at the edges of forests. Wild plants can grow up to 6 feet tall, but garden varieties are usually much smaller. This particular variety was introduced by Barry Yinger. Barry is a graduate of the famous Longwood Gardens, and an expert on Asian plants, especially those from Japan, and he speaks and reads both Chinese and Japanese. Brookside Gardens is a botanical garden in Montgomery, Maryland, and between 1976 and 1982 they sponsored Barry Yinger to collect plants in Japan and Asia. Among the plants he brought back, which were extensively tested, was the plant ultimately named ‘Neon Flash’.
With a background like that, you can be sure the Neon Flash Spirea is not some untested novelty, but a reliable garden plant you can count on. The wide popularity of this plant means our stock will not last long, so order now, or you will be disappointed when you return.