Japanese Spirea, Japanese Meadowsweet, Maybush 'Alpina'

Spiraea japonica

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Spiraea (spy-REE-ah) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Alpina
Additional cultivar information:(aka Nana)
Synonym:Spiraea japonica var. alpina



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

By simple layering

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Aurora, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Croton On Hudson, New York

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 3, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This Alpine Japanese Spirea is a natural variety of Japanese Spirea that is shorter with smaller leaves and bright pink flower clusters. It has been commonly sold since the 1970's in the Midwest and East USA.


On Aug 25, 2009, mygardens from Croton-on-Hudson, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Our Alpina was a mature plant when we moved to this house 15 years ago. It has never grown over 15 inches tall. I do find new spirea in other parts of the garden, but they are not a problem to move or remove. However, they are not true to seed.The flower looks similar, but the new plants grow to at least 3 feet. Many of the spirea can be confused with each other, but this one has a small oval leaf that is about 1 1/8" long by 3/4" wide. It works well as a low mass in a flower bed.


On Oct 16, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant is very adaptable to many soil types. All spireas all have small leaves and fine, twiggy branches and this one is no different. Once established, they are drought tolerant.

Flowers are light pink. This shrub prefers sun to filtered sunny conditions.