There is no other plant that will enhance and brighten your garden or backyard better than ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea. This delightful dwarf shrub is very attractive, and yet easy to care. It will provide interest from an early spring to late fall. Read this tips to learn how to maintain this lovely shrub attractive and healthy.

What is Magic Carpet Spirea?

‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea is a flowering shrub of the genus Spireae, which consists of 80-100 plants, mainly shrubs. It is a variety of Spirea Japonica, the species native to Japan and China, thought this variety, sometimes called ‘Walbuma’ Spirea, is the selection made in England.

Gardeners love this shrub because of its lovely, vivid leaves that change colors through seasons. It is regarded for its exceptional growth habit too. New leaves and buds are red or russet, while mature ones are yellow or gold yellow, which makes a perfect color contrast with small pink flowers. It blooms from June to October, producing clusters of pink flowers which persist for several weeks. You can prolong blooming by removing old, extended flower heads.

The foliage is compact and mounded, and ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea is an exceptional low-growing shrub – it can grow up to 24 inches tall. It has a dense and spreading growth habit so it can spread up to 24 inches wide. These features make ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea an excellent ground cover.

This plant is an extremely hardy variety so it’s suitable for USDA 3-9 hardiness zone, but it loves sunny positions. With appropriate light conditions the shrub will look stunning with its colorful foliage.

How To Care for your Magic Carpet Spirea

This shrub is regarded as a low-maintenance plant. This beautiful little shrub needs occasional maintenance and upkeep, but it’s generally an easy-care landscaping shrub. Your ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea can live for approximately 20 years if you grow it under proper conditions.

‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea
It grows well in poor or average soil and in any type of soil but you can fertilize it in spring before new growth begins to encourage more flowers. Water it once in a week or frequently in extreme heat conditions. Young plant with roots that haven’t established yet should be watered more often until the plant establishes a strong root system.

It is rarely bothered by pests and issues with this plant are limited. Pests that are occasionally found on ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea are Japanese Beetle, aphids and powdery mildew in extremely wet conditions.

How to Prune your Magic Carpet Spirea

To maintain the attractive shape of ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea, you will have to prune it regularly. The pruning should be done annually in late winter or early spring, when the plant is dormant since this variety produces flowers on new wood. Make sure you prune it before the last winter frost before new buds occur.

Remove any unhealthy, withered or damaged stem and prune several stems to the ground. Don’t be afraid to reduce its size by two-thirds its total height.

You can prune it drastically and heavily to keep it small and carpet-like. In that case, prune it every year, but skip a year if you notice that your ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea grows slowly.

Additionally, you can prune it lightly after its blooming period. ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea doesn’t require this additional pruning, but it will help if your plant is a vigorous grower. After the last blooms expire, cut off the stem just bellow the spent flowers. This way you will neaten up your plant.

How Big Can Your Spirea Grow?

This shrub is mainly prized for its low-growing habit, so it would best if you prune it annually to keep it small. Consider the pruning methods mentioned above to maintain the size of the bush. Usually, the shrub won’t go taller than 24 inches, but if you over fertilize it, it can go larger.

If you want a larger Spirea bush, maybe it’s best to search for some varieties with taller growing habit such as ‘Ogon’, ‘Anthony Waterer‘, ‘Goldflame‘ etc.

Does your Spirea need Shade?

The ideal position for ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea is a full-sun position. It can tolerate shade, but it will have the best color display and will produce more flowers if the plant gets enough sun.

Spirea Flowers
Actually, depending on the sunlight amount it gets, the foliage will have a specific color. Mature leaves will keep its wonderful golden color if you place it in full sun. Under partial shade, they will turn a slightly greenish, while in dense shade and low-light positions leaves are bright green.

Good Companion Plants for your ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea

‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea is a quite versatile landscape shrub and fits well in various design ideas. Due to its neat, low mounded form, it’s perfect for a foundation planting. It is also suitable for rock gardens and mass planting.

Though it looks well as a specimen it can be planted along with other plants to achieve an interesting texture or intense color contrast. Good companion plants for ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea are Barberry, Raspberry, Potentilla, ‘Wine and Roses” Weigela, Salvia, Coneflower (Echinacea) etc.

You can create the colorful autumn flower bed by combining ‘Magic Carpet’ with some species that have a late bloom. Ideal companion plants are those that belong to Aster or Chrysanthemums genus.

Are ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea Deer Proof?

If you have a deer problem at your house, this plant might be a perfect choice for your garden. ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea is deer-resistant, which means the plant is not a normal part of their diet. They may taste it or chew a leaf or two, but generally the plant is not their primary source of food.

Considering its deer-proof nature, you can plant it around the plants that usually attract deer. This way you can try to keep deer away from the plants that are the primary source of their food.

How to Prune Magic Carpet Spirea

Magic Carpet spirea (Spiraea japonica “Walbuma”) brightens a garden with rosy-pink flowers set against a background of bright, yellow-green leaves. Magic Carpet is regarded as a low-maintenance plant but benefits from pruning to rejuvenate its growth and to maintain its appearance. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, this compact shrub reaches an average size of 18 to 24 inches tall by 24 inches wide and requires full-sun exposure. It is used as a low border shrub and in the foreground of flowerbeds.

Timing Pruning

Magic Carpet responds well to pruning and quickly produces new healthy growth. An annual hard-pruning in late winter or early spring can help the shrub. Pruning should be completed before the final frost and before the plant forms new buds so that during the growing season it has a neat, uniform shape without any old, unattractive branches. Additionally, light pruning can be performed annually at the end of the shrub’s blooming period in late spring to early summer to clean up expired blooms and maintain the plant’s shape.

Preparing Tools

The best tool to use for annual hard-pruning is small hand pruners so you can assess the health of stems as you prune them individually. Magic Carpet’s stems are thin so do not require the use of larger tools such as lopping shears and a pruning saw. Hand shears work well for cleaning up the plant after its blooming period and allow you to trim the entire plant quickly. Because the hard-pruning session just a couple months earlier requires careful inspection, such close inspection of stems after the shrub finishes flowering isn’t necessary.

All pruning tools should be disinfected before you begin pruning; disinfect them again after pruning diseased branches. Soak the blades in a solution of diluted bleach — one part bleach to nine parts water — for about 10 minutes before wiping them clean and rinsing them with water. Alternatively, spray the blades thoroughly with the diluted bleach solution from a spray bottle, and allow the solution to sit on the blades for about 10 minutes before rinsing the blades with water.

Tackling Hard-Pruning

Magic Carpet spirea can handle pruning of up to two-thirds its total height, but such a severe pruning may not be necessary if the stems appear neat and relatively healthy. Estimate the amount of pruning required visually, or measure the tallest stems for more accurate pruning. Cut each stem back to about 1/4 inch above a healthy bud, leaf node or intersecting branch; a bud is a small bump that will develop a flower or stem, and a leaf node is a small bump that will develop a leaf. Repeat the procedure throughout the entire plant to give it a uniform shape. If you notice signs of disease or damage, usually indicated by dead or black stems, then cut them to the ground. An old plant may require rejuvenation pruning over a period of three years so it grows completely new branches. In the first year, cut one-third of its total branches to the ground, and repeat that task with another one-third of the old branches in the second year. In the third year, cut back the remaining one-third of the old branches.

Shaping after Blooms

Magic Carpet spirea does not require pruning after its blooming period, but pruning at that time helps maintain a neat appearance in the vigorous grower. After the last blooms expire, shear off the tips of the stems just below the spent flowers. Cut back as much as one-third of each stem’s length if the plant appears unkempt or overgrown. If you have trouble giving the shrub a uniform shape by using large garden shears, then use smaller grass shears or hand pruners for better control.

Spirea Magic Carpet Shrubs for Sale Online

In general gardening terms, pruning is probably the most misunderstood gardening chore, and certainly, the chore that is most likely neglected. When we specifically look at pruning with regards to spirea, this misunderstanding and negligence can be magnified. Pruning has been described as a “combination of art and science.” Pruning a specific plant to look a specific way, involves art in creating a unique definition for a specific plant, and it involves science in understanding the physical growing habits of the plant to be pruned. The most important reason for pruning Magic Carpet Spirea is to improve the overall health of the plant. Many times, spireas that have not been pruned in a few years will develop dead or degenerative twigs. Removing the dead and dying limbs will minimize the possibility of diseases such as “dieback” and will also allow the plant to re-concentrate its energies. In many instances, spireas that have been neglected for a number of years will become infested with insects such as scale. Severely pruning such infested spireas will not only re-invigorate the plant, but will also reduce insect problems and minimize corrective treatments necessary to eliminate such problems. Another reason for pruning Magic Carpet Spirea is to re-define the plant’s definition within the landscape. Many times, a plant may outgrow its intended size in the landscape, and must be pruned to re-define its purpose. Pruning should always be associated with re-invigorating a plant by allowing it to focus its energies on producing more vigorous branches, foliage, and flowers. Specific plant objectives require specific pruning techniques. If a Magic Carpet Spirea is being trained as an hedge, it would need to be pruned differently than if it were being grown as a specimen form. Screenings and hedges of spirea would need to be pruned for their specific purpose within the landscape. It is also important to understand the specific growing characteristic of a certain plants when pruning that particular plant. When pruning established spireas where no labeling is present on a variety to identify it, you need to look at the general growth patterns of the plant to be pruned. These observations should give you a good idea of how the plant tends to grow, and also how you should prune the plant. Many times, gardeners inherit a wealth of shrubs in their gardens when they purchase a previously owned residence. Although these plants may have been lovingly cared for by the previous owner, it may be necessary to severely prune these plants to restore vigor or to create a different definition in the landscape for the new owner of the property. Severe pruning should be done just after the plant has finished blooming. In some instances where the required pruning would be drastic, the pruning may be done towards the end of summer even if the plant has not finished blooming. Severe pruning of spireas is generally thought to involve the removal of one third to one half of the existing plant. However, in some instances, this severe pruning could be even more drastic. In most cases, the plant should have no problem recovering from such a major pruning, and the pruned plant should quickly begin to grow with vigor. If severe, pruning is necessary, it must be realized that the plant will shift its focus in the short-run from setting flower buds to growing vigorously, and it is very likely that the Magic Carpet Spirea will have few if any bloom buds during the season following the major pruning. During the second season following the severe pruning, the spirea should resume normal bud setting, and the plant should have healthier blooms because of the increased vigor in the plant. It is important to always use sharp tools when pruning plants. Knives, hand cutters, saws, and shears should be sharpened if necessary before pruning any plants. A sharp cut will heal quicker than a jagged cut, which will also minimize the likelihood of disease investing a cut during pruning. It is generally recommended to not use power equipment such as gas hedgers to prune spirea. Prune limbs flush to the feeder branches without leaving “nubs”. These leftover branches could eventually provide host for disease to enter your spireas. Many gardeners apply a pruning sealant or paint to all cut surfaces after pruning, but that practice is generally not necessary. Pruning large spireas may be minor or major. Its general purpose is to maintain or restore vigor to the plant. Large spireas that have been severely pruned have the advantage of a large root system that has excessive capacity, and its roots are capable of supplying all of its energies to a smaller number of branches and foliage. This enables the plant to increase its vigor, and become healthier. Pruning large spireas that are well established will enable the plant to have continued vigor, and lead to many more years of supplying beauty to the landscape.

Magic Carpet Spirea

Get a huge boost of charm with this well-behaved, useful shrub. Magic Carpet Spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Magic Carpet’), is a colorful, rounded shrub that fits almost anywhere in the landscape. If you want a color show all season long, try this easy care rounded plant.

You’ll love how easy it is to grow this little shrub. This pretty shrub is actually one tough little plant. Perfect for experienced gardeners and total newbies alike. And the color is absolutely remarkable!

In spring, new growth is soft burgundy and the foliage quickly brightens to vibrant lime green and is decorated with an amazing June flower display of pink flower clusters. Get ready to watch the butterflies dance over this welcome nectar source!

Once that first big flush is done, shear the whole plant back by 1/3 with hedge clippers. Tidy homeowners will love this crisp, clean look.

This minimal pruning task takes just a few minutes and will encourage a large rebloom later in the summer. Magic Carpet Spirea is a beauty, and with some judicious deadheading and the right climate, the flowers will rebloom until November.

Now, on the other hand—if you are swamped this summer, you can choose to do absolutely nothing at all to this plant. It will still look great, grow into a nice, naturally rounded, shape and give you a second small flush of blooms later in the summer.

In fall, the foliage turns rich, russet tones that remain colorful well into winter months. Magic Carpet Spirea is an outstanding landscape plant, perfect for foundation plantings, and included in patio plantings.

Full sun brings out the brightest colors, so give it a sunny spot. Once it’s established in your yard, it becomes drought tolerant.

If you want some fall fireworks in your garden, make Magic Carpet Spirea your centerpiece! Order yours today and get ready for a fabulous color display.

How to Use Magic Carpet Spirea in the Landscape

You’ll find a million places to tuck in one or two of these beautiful small shrubs. Add a few to each planting bed to help unify your landscape design.

You could also go big and use a mass planting to maximize the impact. To create a solid hedge, plant 12 – 18 apart on center. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next. Increase the spacing to 2 – 3 feet apart for individual plants.

For a larger planting, use a zig-zag planting pattern. Mulch between the plants and keep new mass plantings weeded.

Use several shrubs along the edge of a sunny path, sidewalk or in a berm planting in the front yard. Brighten up rugged rock gardens, or other tough and dry planting sites. Add as facer shrubs for mixed shrub borders.

Magic Carpet Spirea does well in lush container gardens that work on your patio from spring to fall. Dress them up with other grasses and annuals or use several shrubs together in a single display.

These shrubs are butterfly magnets. The changing color of this Spirea variety adds to its appeal. Your garden will benefit in each phase of the growing season.

The plant is quite often used for erosion control where it is mass planted to secure hillsides. Popular for city plantings, Magic Carpet is very tolerant of commercial settings and urban environments.

#ProPlantTips for Care

Give this sun lover as much sun as you can in your landscape. It prefers well-drained soil but is versatile. Add a layer of mulch to 2 feet outside of the plant. This will keep the roots cool and cut down on surface evaporation.

Each year, you’ll rejuvenate the plant if you give it a light trim. Do it in early spring before the new growth emerges or wait until the first flush of flowers have faded. Remove ? of the foliage, and you’ll be rewarded with a second bloom.

There are no serious insect or disease problems. Magic Carpet tolerates a wide range of soils and is easy to grow.

If Magic Carpet Spirea does a little too well in your area, don’t worry. Nature Hills uses Plant Sentry™ system to protect your community from regulated plant materials.

Take a colorful ride with this marvelous Magic Carpet Spirea. You’ll love the way it performs so well for you, without fuss or muss. Order this wonderful small shrub today!

Plant Finder

Magic Carpet Spirea flowers

Magic Carpet Spirea flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Magic Carpet Spirea flowers

Magic Carpet Spirea flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Magic Carpet Spirea foliage

Magic Carpet Spirea foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 24 inches

Spread: 3 feet


Hardiness Zone: 3b

Other Names: Spiraea japonica


A first rate garden detail shrub for color effect, with foliage emerging bright red fading to yellow in summer, turning deep red in fall, and showy flat-topped clusters of pink flowers in early summer; forms a dense, compact ball, neat and tidy

Ornamental Features

Magic Carpet Spirea features showy clusters of hot pink flowers at the ends of the branches from late spring to early summer. It has attractive yellow foliage which emerges tomato-orange in spring. The small serrated pointy leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding scarlet in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Magic Carpet Spirea is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Magic Carpet Spirea is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Magic Carpet Spirea will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn’t necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Magic Carpet Plant

Magic carpet plant, a nonhardy creeping plant, makes a lovely ground cover for sun or shade. It deserves to be more widely grown for the carpet it creates over rolling terrain. A member of the buckwheat family, it comes from the Himalaya mountains of Asia.

: This charmer creeps across the ground and seldom reaches more than 3 inches in height, but each plant can reach up to 2 feet in diameter from its long trailing stems. Each bright green leaf is marked with a V-shaped purple band. The flowers, lifted above the foliage on short stems, are round, fluffy balls of pink, up to 11/2 inch in diameter.


: In frost-free areas, magic carpet plant can make a permanent ground cover. Elsewhere, it is good for covering large amounts of ground quickly. Grow it in either sun or partial shade in average or richer soil that is well drained. Space plants 8 to 10 inches apart for summer coverage. Plant outdoors as soon as all danger of frost has passed. Pinch the tips of small plants to induce branching.

: For good-sized plants that will grow quickly to cover the ground, start indoors 8 to 10 weeks prior to planting in the garden. Seed germination takes 15 to 25 days at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

: Plant it in small pockets for its small, cloverlike blossoms. Use it like any ground cover — underplanted near bushes and shrubs — for providing a carpet of green. Plant it beside walks and pathways or next to ponds or streams. Its trailing stems are especially attractive creeping over rocks or walls. It’s also a good trailing plant to use in flowering containers. Plant near the edges so the small stems will cover the maximum outside surface of the container. It’s a charming indoor plant in hanging baskets. Give it medium-to-nigh light and pinch the tips to make it bushy.

Magic carpet plant scientific name: Polygonum capitatum

Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Annual Grasses; learn more about annual grasses and foliage
  • Perennial Grasses; read more about perennial ornamental grasses and unusual ground cover
  • Gardening; turn your garden into a lush retreat using these step-by-step instructions

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