Plant Taxonomy of Gold Mound Spirea:
This bush produces pink flowers clustered together in flat-topped flower heads (as on yarrow plants, for example). Plants bloom in June in my zone 5 garden. These bushes attain a height of about 3 feet tall with a slightly greater spread. The habit is mounding.
One grows Gold Mound spirea bush for its leaves, not its flowers. And folks grow it in great numbers, so if you're the type who doesn't wish to plant what your neighbors are growing, it may not be an optimal selection for you. According to Ohio State University, 'Goldflame' spirea, 'Crimson Pygmy' barberry and this bush "are the three most common deciduous shrubs of small stature in landscapes of the Eastern and Midwestern United States."
I like my Gold Mound spirea's foliage best at two times of the year, one in spring, the other in fall. In April I marvel at the bright golden color of the new leaves. Later, the color changes to chartreuse, which I find less exciting. But then the bush makes a comeback with its fall foliage in October, which is a yellow tinged with red (for a picture of the fall-foliage color, click "More Images" under the photo, above right, to access the mini-picture gallery).
Planting Zones for Gold Mound Spirea:
Sun and Soil Requirements:
Uses for Gold Mound Spirea in Landscaping:
Do These Bushes Attract Wildlife?:
Yes. They are fine plants to attract butterflies.
Care for Gold Mound Spirea:
Deadhead Gold Mound spirea bushes after they're done blooming. This will foster some reblooming as the growing season progress. The easiest way to deadhead in this case is by shearing. In addition to accomplishing the removal of spent flowers, shearing will help you keep the shrub compact and generate new leaves (the newest leaves being the most most colorful ones on this plant).
Pruning full branches is usually only necessary to get rid of suckers (if so desired) or to rejuvenate an old bush. You can also prune branches to keep the bush extra-compact if you are landscaping in a small space. If you do decide to prune, you can do so in late winter to early spring without fear of losing your spring flowers, since this plant blooms on new wood.
Not all bushes respond well to rejuvenation pruning (i.e., a drastic pruning to reinvigorate an old shrub), but spirea is one that does. Prune in late winter or early spring to rejuvenate an old Gold Mound spirea.
The cultivar name was chosen with this bush's most outstanding feature in mind: its golden leaves. There are also evergreen shrubs with golden foliage. Even on overcast days, plants with golden leaves will brighten up your landscaping. It's also fun to combine them with plants of various other colors. For example, you can juxtapose them with plants that have dark flowers (so-called "black flowers") or leaves. They also look good combined with blue flowers.
Cultivar Name Confusion:
The cultivar name is sometimes spelled as one word: 'Goldmound.' The same confusion (one word or two?) exists over the spelling of the cultivar name for a similar bush: thus you will see listings for both Spiraea japonica 'Goldflame' and 'Gold Flame.'
For more shrub ideas, please see the 10 bushes I recommend on my list of shrubs.