Bring the Outdoors Home

Japanese Meadowsweet | Plant Profile

Japanese Meadowsweet (Spiraea japonica) are large dense shrubs with flower clusters that are attractive to butterflies. The pink, white or purple flowers grow in clusters mainly in early summer but repeat blooms often occur until fall. There are multiple varieties of Japanese Meadowsweet each with slightly different characteristics.

Japanese Meadowsweet prefer average fertility soils with medium moisture in full sun. Japanese Meadowsweet are tolerant of some shade, deer, erosion, clay and air pollution. These shrubs can be invasive and propagation can be aggressive. Remove spent flower heads to prevent this and encourage new blooms.

Japanese Meadowsweet can be planted in mass or aligned to create a hedge along pathways or fences.


There are multiple varieties of Japanese Meadowsweet, each with their own characteristics.

‘Little Princess’ (pictured) are mound forming, circular hedges that only grow up to 2.5′.  Pink and white flowers grow in flat clusters among mint green leaves. The foliage turns red in the fall.

‘Lemon Princess’ has light yellow foliage and pink flat topped flowers. Flowers bloom in late spring to summer. Occasionally, the leaves may take on autumn colors come fall.

‘Gold Flame’ brings interest with its vibrant foliage color change. The leaves appear as bronze or red in spring , become yellow or green in summer, and finished out the growing season with oranges and reds.

‘Gold Mound’ has golden foliage in the summer which turns to interesting fall colors.



Japanese Meadowsweet Characteristics

Hydrangeas are unique in that the flowers can change color depending on the acidity of the soil. White varieties remain white regardless, but blues become bluer in acidic soils. In more basic soils, flowers can appear soft yellow or pink. Aluminum sulfate make soil more acidic and can make the flowers bluer. Lime can be added to soils to remove acidity and encourage softer pink and yellow colors.

Pruning damaged stems in late winter can encourage new growth in spring. Some varieties are not particularly winter hardy. They should be installed in a sheltered location with plenty of mulch. While unattractive, burlap wraps can help hydrangeas survive harsh winters. If not protected in winter, foliage may die back and blooms may be sparse.

Bud blight, bacterial wilt, leaf spot, and mildew are all possible blights of hydrangeas.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 4 - 8
1.50 - 2.50'
2.00 - 3.00'
Bloom Time
May - June
Full Sun
Deer Resistant?