What Is The Best Soil For Spirea? (Ideal Spirea Soil Type)

Spirea isn’t too particular when it comes to soil – it tolerates poor soil, dry soil, sandy soil, and acidic soil (in addition to partial shade and heat or cold). However, soil moisture and texture can make a difference for spirea.

So, what is the best soil for spirea? The best soil for spirea is loose, well-draining soil (like sand) with a pH of 6 to 7. Spirea tolerates drought, and heavy clay soil will retain too much water for this shrub. Spirea is prone to iron chlorosis in high-pH (alkaline) soil, so opt for more acidic soil when you choose a planting site.

Poor soil isn’t a problem for spirea, but the shrub will look best with good soil, proper nutrition, and full sun.

In this article, we’ll talk about the best soil type for spirea and what can happen with the wrong soil. We’ll also look at ways to improve soil that is not ideal.

Let’s get started.

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What Is The Best Soil For Spirea? (Ideal Spirea Soil Type)

The best type of soil for spirea is loose, well-draining soil (for example, sandy soil). Soil that stays wet for too long will cause trouble, in the form of root rot).

spirea pink
Spirea grows best in loose, well-draining soil (such as sandy soil).

Spirea tolerates many different types of soil, including poor soil with low nutrition. Still, compacted soil and heavy clay soil can cause problems for spirea.

In wet soil with poor drainage (heavy clay), spirea is more likely to get Phytophthora or Pythium root rot. Phytophthora root rot is caused by a fungus that thrives in warm, wet soil. Pythium root rot is a soil borne pathogen that spreads by spores.

Spirea tolerates acidic, neutral, and alkaline soil. A soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0 (slightly acidic to neutral) should be fine for spirea to grow in.

spirea white 3
Spirea tolerates all types of soil, including acidic or alkaline pH.

Keep in mind that some spirea species are prone to iron chlorosis (yellow leaves caused by a lack of iron). There are a few ways to reduce the chance of spirea getting iron chlorosis:

  • Avoid over watering (use drip irrigation and pay attention to soil moisture, since spirea doesn’t need much water)
  • Avoid planting in heavy clay soil (choose a site with well-draining soil like sand instead)
  • Plant in more acidic soil (that is, soil with a lower pH).
drip irrigation emitter
Try drip irrigation to avoid over watering spirea.

The use of iron sulfate will add iron and reduce soil pH (thus making soil more acidic and making iron more available, reducing the chance of iron chlorosis).

Note that spirea also tolerates drought, heat, cold, and pollution.

Sandy soil drains well, so it is great for spirea – even if it lacks nutrition. Check out this article to learn about other plants that grow well in poor soil.

Will Spirea Grow In Sandy Soil?

Spirea will easily grow in sandy soil, since it drains well. Avoid stepping on or driving over soil to keep it loose and avoid compaction.

Will Spirea Grow In Clay Soil?

Spirea can grow well in clay soil. Just remember to avoid over watering, since clay soil has small particles (so it retains moisture for a long time).

clay soil
Avoid over watering spirea planted in clay soil, since it will take a long time to drain.

If your garden has soil that drains poorly, try adding organic material (compost) to improve drainage. (You can learn more about how to make soil drain better here).

Another option is to grow spirea in a container. The soil inside a container above the soil surface dries out faster after watering.

If clay soil gets too wet, it will probably lead to root rot. In that case, there is a chance to propagate spirea from a stem cutting (only do this for a variety that is not patented – the label should tell you).


Now you know the best soil type for spirea (sandy!) and how to make sure your plant gets what it needs to grow well.

You can learn about spirea’s impressive cold tolerance here.

I hope you found this article helpful.  If so, please share it with someone who can use the information.

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Jon M

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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