How to Grow Little Princess Spirea - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Little princess spirea is an extremely versatile and useful plant. It is a deciduous shrub that can be used as a specimen plant, in hedges, or in mass plantings. It has small, deep green leaves and produces an abundance of delicate pink flowers in the spring. The flowers are followed by small, round, red fruits.

How to Grow Little Princess Spirea - Plant Care & Tips

Also called

  • Burning bush
  • Dwarf burning bush
  • False spiraea
  • Garland spiraea
  • Snowmound spiraea

Good to Know

  • Little princess spirea is an ornamental shrub that is native to Japan.
  • It is a deciduous shrub that grows to a height of 2-3 feet and a width of 4-5 feet.
  • The leaves are ovate-shaped and have a toothed margin. They are green in color and turn yellow or orange in the fall.
  • The flowers are white or pink in color and are borne in clusters. They bloom in the spring and early summer.
  • The fruit is a black drupe that is poisonous to humans.
  • The plant is tolerant of a wide range of soils and prefers full sun to partial shade.
  • It is a popular landscaping shrub and is often used as a foundation plant or as a border shrub.
  • It is susceptible to a number of diseases and pests, including powdery mildew, stem canker, aphids, and scale insects.
  • It is deer resistant.
  • It can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or division.

Related plant:
Photinia Little Red Robin

How to Grow

  1. For little princess spirea, first step is to find the perfect spot in your garden. It should be in full sun or partial shade.
  2. The soil should be well-drained and moist.
  3. Amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or manure.
  4. Dig a hole that is twice the width and depth of the plant’s root ball.
  5. Place the plant in the hole and backfill with the amended soil.
  6. Water deeply and regularly for the first growing season.
  7. Fertilize in early spring and mid-summer with a balanced fertilizer.
  8. Prune in late winter or early spring to shape and encourage new growth.
  9. Protect from strong winds and harsh winters.
  10. Enjoy the beautiful flowers and foliage of your little princess spirea!

Related plant:
Little Henry Sweetspire

Considering the Soil

About soil condition, little princess spireas are adaptable to a range of soils as long as the site is well-drained. They are tolerant of both clay and sandy soils, as well as chlorosis. The ideal soil is moist but well-drained, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.

Light condition

Not too different with other Spirea shrubs, the Little Princess Spirea (Spiraea x urticifolia) prefers full sun to partial shade in order to thrive. It's a low-maintenance shrub that's deer-resistant and easy to grow. This plant blooms in late spring with pretty, pink flowers that attract bees and butterflies.

Ideal Temperature

The temperature condition for the little princess spirea is that it should be kept in a cool area. This plant does not like it too hot or too cold. It should be kept in a spot where it gets some sun but not too much.

Humidity Aspect

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 50%. If the humidity gets too low, the leaves may start to turn brown and crispy. If the humidity gets too high, the leaves may start to turn yellow and drop off.


About fertilizer, this kind of plant likes acidic soils, so use fertilizer that has a low pH. You can also use organic matter to help lower the pH of the soil. As for the roots, they like to be in moist but well-drained soils. If the roots are too wet, they will rot. If the roots are too dry, the plant will not be able to uptake water and nutrients.

Plant Pruning

Pruning your little princess spirea is important to keep the plant looking its best. You can prune the plant in the spring or fall. If you prune in the spring, you will need to wait until after the plant blooms. If you prune in the fall, you will need to wait until the leaves have fallen off the plant. When pruning, you will want to remove any dead or diseased branches. You will also want to trim back any branches that are growing too long.

The Propagation

Propagation of little princess spirea is typically done through softwood cuttings taken from the tips of new growth in late spring or early summer. Cuttings should be 4-6 inches long and taken from healthy, disease-free plant material. Place the cuttings in a well-drained potting mix and water thoroughly. Keep the cutting moist but not wet and in a location with bright indirect light until new growth appears, which can take 4-8 weeks. Once new growth appears, fertilize with a half-strength balanced fertilizer and continue to water as needed.

Growth Speed

Usually, the plant growth rate is about 1 to 2 feet per year. With the right amount of sunlight and water, this plant can grow up to 3 feet per year. It is a fast-growing plant that can reach its full size in just a few short years.

Basic Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant plants are powdery mildew, rust, and leaf spot. These can all be treated with fungicides. However, if the plant is already infected, it is best to remove the affected leaves and stems.

List to Know

  • Do not forget to water your little princess spirea regularly. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
  • Feed your little princess spirea every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
  • deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage new growth and heavier flowering.
  • Prune your little princess spirea in late winter or early spring to shape it and promote new growth.
  • Give your little princess spirea plenty of sunlight for best results.
  • Be sure to plant your little princess spirea in an area with well-drained soil.
  • It is important to mulch around your little princess spirea to help retain moisture in the soil.
  • Pests and diseases are not usually a problem for little princess spireas, but be sure to keep an eye out for them nonetheless.
  • Make sure to water your little princess spirea during dry spells.

Alternative Plants

  • Spiraea japonica 'Little Princess' plant
  • Spiraea japonica 'Little Red Princess' plant
  • Spiraea japonica 'Little White Princess' plant
  • Spiraea japonica ' Japanese Snowbell ' plant

  • Spiraea japonica 'Dwarf Snowmound' plant
  • Spiraea japonica 'Compressa' plant
  • Spiraea japonica 'Albiflora' plant
  • Spiraea japonica 'Green Mound' plant
  • Spiraea japonica 'Walter's' plant

Spiraea japonica 'Little Princess' habit: UIPLANTS
Spirea | East Asian Plants: A Cultural and Horticultural Guide
Spiraea japonica 'Little Princess' habit: UIPLANTS

Richelle Author Photo
Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Shrubs Category