How to Grow Spiraea Betulifolia Tor - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Spiraea betulifolia tor is an erect, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 6-9’ (less frequently to 12’) tall with a similar spread. It is noted for its ovate-lanceolate, toothed, dark green leaves and clusters (corymbs) of pinkish-white flowers that bloom in mid-spring.

How to Grow Spiraea Betulifolia Tor - Plant Care & Tips

Also called

  • Birchleaf spiraea
  • Hardhack
  • Grey birch
  • White birch
  • Black birch

Common Knowledge

  • Spiraea betulifolia tor is a small deciduous shrub that is native to North America.
  • It typically grows to 3-6 ft. (0.91-83 m) tall and 6-12 ft. (83-66 m) wide.
  • The leaves are obovate to elliptical in shape and are dark green in color with a toothed margin.
  • The flowers are white and borne in clusters of 5-15 blooms.
  • The flowers are followed by small, brown, bead-like fruits.
  • S. betulifolia tor is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscapes.
  • It is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions and is adaptable to both sun and shade.
  • S. betulifolia tor is resistant to many common diseases and pests.
  • It is a relatively low-maintenance plant.
  • S. betulifolia tor can be propagated by seed, division, or softwood cuttings.

Related plant:
Spiraea Grefsheim

Growing Steps

  1. For spiraea betulifolia tor, first step is to sow the seed in a well-drained soil mix.
  2. Water the soil regularly and keep it moist.
  3. Once the seedlings emerge, thin them out to give each plant enough space to grow.
  4. Apply a balanced fertilizer to the plants when they are about 6 inches tall.
  5. Pinch back the tips of the plants when they are about 8 inches tall to encourage bushier growth.
  6. Keep the plants watered during dry periods and mulch around the plants to help retain moisture.
  7. Prune the plants back by one-third in late winter to early spring to encourage new growth.
  8. Deadhead the plants regularly to prolong blooming.
  9. Divide the plants every few years to keep them healthy and vigorous.
  10. Enjoy the beauty of these lovely plants in your garden!

Related plant:
Spiraea Japonica Shirobana

The Soil

About soil condition, Spiraea betulifolia Tor requires well-drained soils and does not tolerate flooding. It prefers sandy or gravelly soils and can grow in loamy soils. It cannot tolerate heavy clay soils.

Light requirement

Like the other Spiraea betulifolia, the 'Tor' has beautiful white flowers that bloom in the spring. It is a deciduous shrub that is best planted in full sun. It grows to be about 3-4 feet tall and wide, making it a great choice for smaller gardens. The 'Tor' is also quite tolerant of drought and clay soils, making it a low-maintenance plant.

The Temperature

The temperature condition that is required for the growth of Spiraea betulifolia tor is a cool climate. This plant is native to the northern hemisphere and is found in North America, Europe, and Asia. It prefers cool, moist conditions and does not tolerate heat or drought well. In the wild, it is often found growing in damp, shady areas such as along streams or in forest understory.

Ideal Humidity

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 60-70%. If the humidity is too low, the leaves will start to curl and the plant will become dormant. If the humidity is too high, the leaves will start to yellow and the plant will become stressed.

The Fertilizer

Discussing fertilizer, this plant does best with a 1/2 pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet of garden space. However, too much nitrogen will cause the plant to produce more leaves than flowers. The best time to fertilize is in early spring, before the plant begins to produce new growth. For organic gardeners, compost or well-rotted manure can be used in place of chemical fertilizer.

About light

Pruning is an important part of keeping your spiraea betulifolia tor healthy and looking its best. While the plant doesn't require pruning, it can help to control its size and shape. Pruning also encourages new growth, which can help keep your plant looking full and lush. To prune your spiraea betulifolia tor, start by removing any dead or dying branches. Next, trim back any overgrown branches to encourage new growth. Finally, shape the plant by trimming back any stray branches.

Plant Propagation

Propagation of Spiraea betulifolia Tor is generally by seed, although softwood cuttings can be taken in late spring. Sow seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in September or October. Place the seed trays in a shady position and protect from frost. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Softwood cuttings can be taken in late spring and rooted in a cold frame.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate is relatively fast, with the plant being able to add about six inches to its height each growing season. However, some growth may be stunted during periods of drought or other environmental stressors.

The Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are diseases such as rust, powdery mildew, and leaf spot. These can be controlled with fungicides. Another problem is aphids, which can be controlled with insecticides.

List to Know

  • Remember to give your spiraea betulifolia tor plant plenty of sunlight. It needs at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out in between watering.
  • Feed your plant a high-quality fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
  • Prune your plant regularly to encourage new growth and prevent it from becoming too leggy.
  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Treat any problems promptly to prevent them from spreading.
  • Give your spiraea betulifolia tor plant plenty of room to grow. It can reach up to 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
  • Mark the location of your plant so you don't accidentally step on it or damage it when working in the garden.
  • Be patient when waiting for your plant to bloom. It typically takes a full growing season for

Alternative Plants

  • Spiraea betulifolia l.
  • Spiraea betulifolia l.forma lutea
  • Spiraea betulifolia l.var lutea
  • Spiraea betulifolia l.forma rosea
  • Spiraea betulifolia l.var rosea
  • Spiraea betulifolia l.forma rosea lutea
  • Spiraea betulifolia l.forma
  • Spiraea betulifolia l.var
  • Spiraea betulifolia l.var à tiges retombantes
  • Spiraea betulifolia l.var à tiges droites

JC Raulston Arboretum - Our Plants - Spiraea betulifolia 'Tor'
Spiraea betulifolia | Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens
Spiraea betulifolia | UW Libraries Digital Repository

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Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Shrubs Category