Thunberg Spirea, Thunberg's Meadowsweet 'Ogon'

Spiraea thunbergii

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Spiraea (spy-REE-ah) (Info)
Species: thunbergii (thun-BERG-ee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Ogon
Additional cultivar information:(Mellow Yellow)



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


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:

Smiths, Alabama

Hesperia, California

Sebastopol, California

Denver, Colorado

Atlanta, Georgia

Douglasville, Georgia

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Ewing, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Northampton, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

House Springs, Missouri

Fort Jennings, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Norristown, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Anderson, South Carolina

Arlington, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Linden, Virginia

Onancock, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 7, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

The regular green mother species of Thunberg Spirea and the extremely similar Garland Spirea (S. x arguta) were very occasionally sold since the 1890's in the USA, usually found in well-to-do old neighborhoods here and there. This Mellow Yellow cultivar has been planted a good amount in southeast PA and the East and Midwest after 2000 by landscape architects and designers the most, and then by a good number of homeowners. It makes a good yellow, very fine-textured accent, but lots any yellow or red foliage woody plants is not good design, especially if put together. As a horticulturist when I see a yellow foliaged woody plant my first reaction can be fear of micronutrient deficiency as with Pin Oaks. It does well in full sun or part shade.


On Mar 12, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is one of my favorite shrubs.

The profuse white flowers begin many weeks before the other spireas, at a time when my eyes are still hungry for signs of spring. Bloom is excellent in moderate shade, and the gold/chartreuse foliage that follows brightens the shadows. The leaves are narrow, and give it a finer texture than any of the other spireas. It can even have a little fall color.

This tough, adaptable shrub takes heavy pruning in stride. I sometimes see some dieback, but it recovers quickly after pruning. Flowering occurs on the previous year's growth, so any pruning that's needed should be done shortly after flowering.

Dirr says this species is hardy in Z4-8.


On Jun 8, 2013, myrtle29 from Northampton, MA wrote:

i live in western mass and have had this spirea for over 10 years and it has been nothing but wonderful! it is right next to my lonicera frangrantissima so i get a lot of spring color, very early. i do have it in part sun and it does very well, although, i do notice that every couple of years or so i do get that sort of "brown out" and do have to cut it back. it will take it and do better for it , so please don't be afraid to give it a haircut! certainly a plant well worth having in your garden and should have a special place where it can really shine! best of luck!


On Oct 30, 2011, pneumaticat from House Springs, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

I inherited this plant (Spiraea thunbergii, but most likely not the cultivar 'Ogon') with my house. It's growing out of the side of a rock retaining wall next to (and underneath) a red oak, and mixed up with a gallica rose that's also growing out of the wall. This past summer it did not rain for months and this plant gets no extra water. It wilted some, but did not die and is now perfectly healthy. Never fails to bloom each spring, despite the shade. I'm only wondering how to move it as I need to repair the wall.


On Aug 29, 2009, plutodrive from Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant is also good for brightening up a partly shaded garden area.


On Mar 10, 2008, konijntje from Seattle, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I can't say enough about this lovely shrub. I planted it last summer at the peak of the severe drought here in northwest Georgia and put it in an area of the yard where it gets full afternoon sun. It took off immediately and never looked back. Summer and early fall found its leaves bright lime green. Late fall/early winter found its leaves a deep cranberry/orange/plum. It shed all leaves at the peak of winter and then early in February, flower buds appeared. Now, in only the second week in March, it is in full glorious bloom, each branch covered with brilliant white flowers, so welcome in a winter yard. It is a fantastic shrub, adding both vibrant, season-dependent color and a lot of movement, as the branches dance graefully in the breeze. The plant is hardy, too, given that it wen... read more


On Feb 22, 2008, janecarol2 from Fort Jennings, OH wrote:

In the 3 years I've had this plant, every summer the leaves on the outer branches have turned brown and die. In the spring I've had to cut out dead branches. I have this plant in full sun, perhaps that's part of the problem. Last year I watered it during drought and that did not seem to help. I'm going to move it to part shade in a sheltered area & see if it does any better. I live in zone 5