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Neon Flash Spirea Shrubs

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Photo of Neon Flash spirea.

Closeup picture of Neon Flash spirea.

David Beaulieu

Plant Taxonomy of Neon Flash Spirea Bushes:

Plant taxonomy classifies 'Neon Flash' as Spiraea japonica 'Neon Flash' (sometimes given as Spiraea x bumalda). The cultivar, 'Neon Flash' is one of many from which to choose among spirea bushes.

Plant Type for Spireas:

Spirea plants are broadleaf, deciduous flowering shrubs.

Characteristics:

The cultivar name, 'Neon Flash' indicates the brilliance of this plant's deep pink flower clusters. Flowers bloom in early summer. Neon Flash sends multiple stems (covered with dense green foliage) straight up from its base and reaches 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Leaves have a bit of reddish color in them in spring; that same color reappears in fall, only darker. The foliage offers a relatively delicate texture and can form a contrast with larger-leafed plants such as oakleaf hydrangea.

Planting Zones for Neon Flash Spirea Shrubs:

As you probably guessed from the specific epithet, japonica, the species plant is indigenous to Japan. Grow this bush in planting zones 4-8.

Sun and Soil Requirements:

Plant in full to partial sun and in a well-drained soil. While one of the good points about spirea bushes is that they aren't fussy, planting them in a loamy soil enriched with humus will encourage optimal performance.

Uses in Landscaping:

Neon Flash bushes may be attractive enough to use as specimen plants for the summer, when they bloom, provided that you are industrious enough to deadhead them faithfully (see below) to encourage reblooming. But 'Gold Mound' and 'Goldflame' are better-suited to serve this function.

You can also mass together in landscaping property lines or grow them in front of a house, as foundation shrubs.

Care for Neon Flash Spirea Shrubs:

Pruning is optional, as these plants stay reasonably compact. But if you do wish to prune Neon Flash spirea bushes to improve their appearance, here's how to proceed:

  • Prune back the oldest few branches to ground level every other year.
  • Some prune the remaining branches in early spring (these spirea bushes bloom on new wood) to within a foot or so of the ground, to encourage vigorous new growth).
  • Also, Neon Flash spirea bushes will flower again if you deadhead or lightly trim after the initial blooming.

Outstanding Feature:

One outstanding feature of spirea bushes, in general, is that they require little maintenance. I grew up with a Vanhoutte spirea in my parents' yard; neglected all these many years, it still produces its display of white blossoms every spring. Neon Flash spirea is also low-maintenance, but this pink-flowering shrub adds colorful "flower power" to its resume. Another pink-flowering shrub is Anthony Waterer spirea. Those seeking interesting foliage colors may select Gold Mound spirea, which lights up a landscape with its golden leaves.

Wildlife Attracted by Neon Flash Spirea Shrubs:

Neon Flash spirea bushes are plants that attract butterflies. The plants also attract birds and bees.

"Spirea" Bushes: Meaning Behind the Name:

In English, we have dropped the first "a" in the Latin genus name, Spiraea, to arrive at "spirea." But the Latin name, too, has some history behind it. The name derives from the Greek, speiraira, which had been a plant that the Greeks used to make garlands. That name, in turn, is based on the Greek, speira (coil, twist, wreath), from which we derive the word "spiral" (one twists or "spirals" plant material around itself in order to make a garland). So if you've ever wondered if spireas have anything to do with spirals, the answer is yes (in terms of etymology) and no (in terms of how we use spirea bushes today).
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