I have 6 Spiraea shrubs, 2 are 4 ft wide & look great, the other 4 are not even 1 ft wide. What do I do?

Question by Dinosaur: I have 6 Spiraea shrubs, 2 are 4 ft wide & look great, the other 4 are not even 1 ft wide. What do I do?
We have central landscaping area in front of our home along our home’s walkway that these 6 Spiraea shrubs are located at leading to our front door. In this landscaped area we have these shrubs, 3 hosta’s, 1 small crabapple tree and 6 green bushes. The Spiraea’s are on the left outer edge of the walkway, then we have a crabapple tree in the middle along with 3 hosts plants around the tree. On the right side towards our home and garage we have 6 green bushes that were planted by the previous owner as well.

The previous home owner who lived here planted them 5 yrs ago and we have moved here 2 yrs ago. We want to remove all of these Spiraea shrubs, but we are afraid whatever we plant there will not grow also. Since we have 2 Spireaa’s that look good and 4 that do not, should we remove all of them or keep the 2 and replace the others with new Spiraea’s? The last 2 yrs we tried to water them, put fertilizer spikes and also pruned them every year, but they didn’t grow 1 inch.
i live in Milwaukee, WI

Read answers:

Answer by RScott
Sounds like variations in the soil depth. Had you been the one who planted them you may have noticed. If it was me I would dig test holes near a healthy one and one of the slow growers to see. If the soil looks different you can dig deep “moats” around the slow trees and refill with better soil. Another word of caution. When trees aren’t growing well, adding fertilizer to them may actually compound the problem. Other things to consider are the amount of sun and water they receive. You may think you are giving them the same amount but again various soils hold various amounts of water. RScott

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2 Responses to “I have 6 Spiraea shrubs, 2 are 4 ft wide & look great, the other 4 are not even 1 ft wide. What do I do?”

  1. tysdad62271 says:

    Stop pruning them and check the soil for bugs. Clean all litter from very bottom of bush. Sometimes they get shocked from too much pruning.

  2. cameoanimals says:

    Spiraeas are extremely hardy and tolerant of most conditions so I would try amending the soil where the others are not growing. Also are they all the same type? If not, they come in many sizes and shapes so they may not be meant to grow taller. The previous owners may have done severe pruning to them before as this is a common practice to rejuvenate out of control shrubs. Since I don’t know your zone, it is hard to make a recommendation if you decide to remove them. I live in zone 4 and find that Barberries, Currants, Burning Bush and Dwarf Korean Lilacs all grow well under less than ideal stituations.

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