Japanese Spirea, Japanese Meadowsweet, Maybush 'Little Princess'

Spiraea japonica

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Spiraea (spy-REE-ah) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Little Princess
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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

Suitable for growing in containers


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 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)

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

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

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer



Good Fall Color

This plant is resistant to deer

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)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow after last frost

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:

Stockton, California

Wheatland, California

Keystone Heights, Florida

Braselton, Georgia

Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Spring Grove, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

West Chicago, Illinois

Iowa City, Iowa

Princeton, Kansas

Jefferson, Maine

Elkton, Maryland

West Friendship, Maryland

Bolton, Massachusetts

Hanson, Massachusetts

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Rapid City, Michigan

Marietta, Mississippi

Grandview, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri

Mount Vernon, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

Camden, New York

Central Square, New York

Delmar, New York

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Morehead City, North Carolina

Akron, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Springboro, Ohio

Albany, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Ford City, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Atoka, Tennessee

Crossville, Tennessee

Lenoir City, Tennessee

Woodlawn, Tennessee

Haltom City, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Winnsboro, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Vancouver, Washington

Woodinville, Washington

Beverly, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 1, 2017, Gunvy0407 from Bolton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I bought about a dozen of these shrubs at Lowes, June 2016. Just the little $8.98 size. It's a year later, and they're on the verge of blooming. They are triple the size they were when I planted them, very full and thickly branched. They are gorgeous shrubs, and I can't wait to see the flowers.


On May 23, 2016, mlml from Penngrove, CA wrote:

Our California native Spirea Douglassi looks very similar. Mine is flourishing in my clay soil that gets flooded when it rains, but it doesn't seem to bother this plant which blooms and blooms.


On May 21, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A tough, adaptable shrub with a naturally neat, dense, well-branched, dome-shaped habit. It can be sheared hard in early spring and will still bloom that summer, and it can also be sheared lightly after bloom to remove the finished inflorescences, if you don't like them. I've never had any rebloom, though mine are in shade.

Flowers open a decent pink but quickly age to a blah color. Spirea 'Double Play Artist' has a much better (more saturated) flower color and reblooms reliably if the old flowers are sheared soon after blooming is finished.


On Aug 5, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This is a commonly sold and planted compact, more fine-textured, delicate looking spirea in the Midwest and Eastern US, with light pink flowers. It has smaller leaves than the mother species of the Japanese Spirea. The leaves are slightly bluish green and turn yellow-orange in fall.


On Jun 13, 2013, iowhen from Iowa City, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I got two Little Princesses at an end of season clearance sale. They got almost no attention (no water) for the first year and a half. It almost killed them. They were each a couple of twigs in a weed patch.

This spring I weeded out the area and have been watering regularly and they look great! You would never know they had been neglected so badly.


On Aug 28, 2010, mslyn from Woodinville, WA wrote:

I planted 2 kinds of spirea, Little Princess and Shirobana. One took over my yard and I managed to finally remove the millions of shoots as well as the original woody plants. I'm not sure which one was the bad one, Can you help me figure it out? Both pictures look about the same as my existing plant.


On May 23, 2010, atcps from WOODLAWN, TN wrote:

A wonderful little shrub. Mine is planted next to the driveway alongside a busy highway where it is neglected. It gets about four hours of sun per day and no care. It blooms a long time and even during the winter when it is bare of leaves, it looks fabulous. I have it paired with Powis Castle artemesia; a super good pairing with similar growing needs.


On Jul 10, 2009, littlelamb from Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've had this plant for 3 years now and I love it. It puts out dainty pink flowers in the late Spring, and my plants are getting ready to put on another (smaller) show now in July. They remain compact but will fill the space you allot for them. A great shrub for hot/humid weather and can go a spell without water.


On May 15, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Spiraea japonica 'Little Princess' is a wonderful small shrub that has small flowers in clusters. It reliably starts blooming in very late April or early May. Deadhead the spent blooms to encourage it to rebloom. I look forward to seeing its dainty blooms each year. I have had mine for many years and it has grown to well within the stated size.


On May 13, 2004, plantcrazy from Big Stone Gap, VA wrote:

They are beautiful bushes but from my experience they do grow a little bigger then the discription says. They flower wonderfully and the butterflies do love them.