Thursday, April 30, 2020

Plant of the Week: Spiraea x vanhouttei 'Pink Ice'

Hi Plant Peeps. What to choose, what to choose for the plant of the week? So many plants are worthy of a post, as you fellow plant lovers know. 

After much contemplation, I decided to go with this lovely variegated Spiraea. Spiraea x vanhouttei 'Pink Ice.'

This plant is one of the legacies of the now-defunct Fry Road Nursery. It came as a spunky little thing, in a four inch pot or it could have been a plug since I bought a lot of my plants that way back in the day. This one specifically in the year 2009. 

Any plant with "pink" in its name will pique my interest and I swoon over variegated foliage too. I was defenseless against this beauty. 

This is how it looked a few weeks ago as the flower buds were forming. 

The little sputnik flower buds, protruding from their bright pink petioles are utterly charming.

Eventually, the pink fades to white, and the little buds open to flossy flowers, attractive to bees.

 And then after a week or so, the petals fade and fall off. 

This picture was taken in 2018

One other nice thing about this plant is that there is lots of new growth at the base. This means that rather than having to deadhead to keep it looking tidy all season, a gardener can cut back the woody stems to the ground. This opens up the plant so the new growth can stretch and grow.

Then, until fall, we are bedazzled with green and cream--with a touch of pink--variegated leaves. Like most, if not all in the genus Spiraea, this one is deciduous so it appears as nothing but sticks in winter. Unlike most Spiraea, however, this one doesn't get that disappointing foliar mildew. (Maybe I'm the only one with this troubling annoyance?)

I've found 'Pink Ice' super easy to grow.  Mine is in dappled shade in the morning and a few hours of sun in the afternoon.

It is about 2 feet and 3 feet tall and wide right now.

Pink Ice Spiraea is winter-hardy in Zones 3-9. See more photos and prose here: Plant Lust

Below is a really crappy photo of 'Pink Ice' in August. 

(PS. I'm not receiving any compensation for these Plant of the Week posts, [unless you want to pay me]. Just having fun, sharing what I love.) 

Thank you for visiting. Go ahead and tell me what you think.


  1. It's lovely! I almost like it better before it blooms (although it's gorgeous then, too), because the foliage and buds are so attractive and interesting!

  2. Oh, I love this one! Such a cool plant. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Ah, yet another genus of plants I admire but have failed to try. Most are ill-suited to my climate but there's supposed to be a Western Spirea (S. douglasii) that will grow here; however, I've yet to find it offered locally. Your specimens are lovely.

  4. Not sure why I thought it would be a lot more upright... I like its habit in your photos far better than my imaginary image. Love those cascading branches! We sell them at Joy Creek, but I don't recall seeing a fully grown one, so this post was educational - thank you!

  5. That one is definitely a keeper! Thanks, Grace.

  6. I have a feeling this would not tolerate our winters .. but what a beauty!
    This is one lean year for finding plants at what used to be garden centers.
    I am grateful for all the wonderful plants i have found in previous years though! .. I have a soft spot for spireas so of course you have me hooked Grace .. thanks SO much ! LOL
    Joy ;-)


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