Spireas Are Stunted And Have Tiny Leaves And Few Blooms

Question From: T. Kazmakites - Fishkill, New York, United States
Q: After last winter (cold with no snow coverage in up state NY) many of my Princess and Neon Spireas came up with very tiny leaves and only a few blooms. They seem to be growing fine, just very stunted and very small leaves. Most of the other Spireas in the yard have the normal size leaves and bloomed fine. These are in different areas so tried different things - soaking systemic, fertilizer. Nothing helped.

A: You may be killing them with kindness, They probably suffered from winter kill or were damages by a late season frost. Chemical fertilizers are high in salts and can damage plants when improperly applied. I would be sure to keep the shrubs watered so soil is moist but not sodden. Mulch them with 3 inches of good organic mulch this winter and cut them back by 1/2 in early spring just as you see them beginning to bud out. Fertlizing with a kind and gentle product such as Neptune's Harvest Fish and Kelp fertilizer with get them off to a good start. Fertilizing now will do more harm than good. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy