Spiraea bumalda ‘Firelight’ (Spirea)

by Everchanging Gardener

in Spireae - Spirea

Height: 80 cm (2 feet)
Spread: 100cm (3 feet)
Bloom: medium pink, mid-summer, slight rebloom in late August
Foliage: Spring foliage is coppery orange-red fading to green-yellow (although duller than Goldmound). Fall colour is burnt red.

Pluses: Spring and fall colour, flower colour
Minuses: A bit faded in mid-summer after flowering unless cut back to generate new growth

The jury is still out on this one for me. The spring growth on Firelight is a wow, a vivid burnt orange and it looks good in the spring garden.

Spirea Firelight spring growth

Spirea Firelight showing new deep copper spring growth in May

Showy hot pink flowers appear in mid summer with a slight rebloom in August if you deadhead although the second flush of flowers is not as good as with Goldmound or Neon Flash. Firelight needs to be pruned after flowering as the dead flowerheads are dark and look poor against the summer foliage.

Spirea Firelight flowers

Spirea Firelight produces pink flowers in June against yellow foliage

The foliage fades in midsummer to a dull yellow and remains that way unless pruned in mid-summer. Pruning after flowering will encourage new growth which again is a nice burnt orange but it soon fades again.

Spirea Firelight yellow foliage in mid-summer

Pruning slightly after flowering helps maintain a nicer foliage colour throughout the summer

Fall colour is a warm orange-red and one of it’s saving graces.

Spirea Firelight fall foliage

Firelight foliage turns a coppery burnt orange in fall.

So from a distance this is a great plant, but up close not as nice as other spirea. If you are looking for copper spring colour and bright pink blooms I’d choose ‘Magic Carpet’ instead. If you are looking for golden foliage in summer, choose ‘Goldmound’. If you are looking for a show stopper specimen spirea consider ‘Neon Flash’ instead.

Garden Location: Best suited for mass planting or in pairs, I have several along the Entrance Garden.

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