Name: Spiraea japonica ‘Walbuma’ aka Magic Carpet Spirea
Type of Plant: A colorful, low growing shrub that is tough, tough, tough. Hardy in zones 4-9, and growing best in full sun to part-sun.
Why I love this: Truthfully, I almost can’t do a consultation without recommending this shrub. The size (to 2’ tall and 3’ wide) works in most landscapes and gardens. The early spring colors are heart-lifting, the flowers pretty and great in bouquets, and if you’re willing to shear it back after it flowers it puts on new, coral growth and more flowers later in the summer. And fall foliage color too! Are you getting the idea that this is a colorful plant.
A Word to the Wise: If you’re planting more than one, space this shrub about 4 to 5 feet apart center to center, even if that seems a bit far apart when you first put them in. Shear four to eight inches off on all sides in a rounded mound shape every spring just before the plant breaks dormancy, and you’ll keep this full, thick and lovely for years to come. Because of the fine texture and brilliant color of the foliage, Magic Carpet combines well with plants that have larger, green or reddish leaves.
Hint: no one calls it ‘Walbuma’ except perhaps the person who gave it that botanical name.