Japanese Spiraea Spiraea japonica 'Candlelight'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Japanese spirea 'Candlelight'


The Japanese spirea 'Candlelight' is a striking ornamental plant mainly known for its vibrant foliage and charming flowers. Its leaves are a captivating mix of colors throughout the growing season, starting with a golden yellow tint in the spring, which may be complemented with shades of orange. As the seasons change, the foliage transforms into a lime green, providing a brilliant contrast in the garden. The plant blooms in flat-topped clusters of tiny, attractive pink flowers, which create a showy display that is both eye-catching and adds a soft texture to the landscape. The blooms are often abundant and can attract pollinators like butterflies, adding not just color but also movement and liveliness to the plant's surroundings. The stems of this plant are slender and sometimes reddish when young, adding another layer of color interest to the overall appearance of the shrub. Overall, the Japanese spirea 'Candlelight' is admired for its changing colors, ease of care, and its ability to brighten up any landscape with its dynamic foliage and charming flowers.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Japanese Spirea, Japanese Meadowsweet, Maybush, Spiraea.

    • Common names

      Spiraea japonica 'Candlelight'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Japanese meadowsweet is generally not considered toxic to humans. There are no well-documented cases of poisoning from ingesting this plant, and it is not known to cause adverse effects if accidentally consumed in small quantities. However, it is always prudent to avoid eating any plant material unless it is known to be safe for consumption.

    • To pets

      The Japanese meadowsweet is not commonly known to be toxic to pets such as cats and dogs. It is not listed among plants that are poisonous to these animals, and there should be no notable symptoms of poisoning from incidental ingestion. However, as with any non-food plant, ingestion in large quantities may cause gastrointestinal upset or other non-specific symptoms. Always monitor pets and prevent them from eating large amounts of any plant material.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Foliage: The Spiraea japonica 'Candlelight', commonly known as Japanese spirea, features vibrant golden-yellow leaves that add a splash of color to any garden.
    • Seasonal Interest: It produces pink flowers in the summer, providing visual interest throughout multiple seasons.
    • Low Maintenance: Japanese spirea is easy to care for, requiring minimal upkeep once established.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, this plant has moderate drought tolerance, making it suitable for various climates.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees, promoting biodiversity.
    • Compact Size: Its relatively small size makes it suitable for urban gardens or smaller spaces.
    • Easy Propagation: This plant can be easily propagated through cuttings, making it simple for gardeners to expand their collection.
    • Hardiness: Japanese spirea is hardy in a variety of planting zones, typically from zone 4 to zone 8.
    • Versatility: It can be used in a variety of landscaping applications, including borders, foundation plantings, and as a colorful specimen plant.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Spiraea japonica 'Candlelight' can be used in floral arrangements for its attractive foliage, providing a bright contrast with its golden leaves.
    • As a creative art medium, the leaves can be pressed and included in nature-inspired craft projects or botanical prints.
    • The dense growth habit of this shrub makes it suitable for use in privacy screens or hedges in landscaping.
    • The branches of Japanese spirea can be incorporated into living fences or interwoven in willow-like structures within a garden setting.
    • The bright foliage of 'Candlelight' can provide a natural dye for fabrics, yielding unique and potentially varying hues.
    • This plant may be used in educational settings to teach children about the lifecycle of plants and the importance of pollinators in gardens.
    • Japanese spirea's growth pattern and adaptability make it an ideal species for bonsai creation and training.
    • It can serve as a natural mulch as its leaves fall and decompose, contributing nutrients back to the soil.
    • The plant can be used in photography as a backdrop or as an element of interest due to its vibrant leaf colors, especially in the golden hour.
    • Japanese spirea can be a useful plant for ecological studies or research, particularly regarding its interaction with local fauna and invasive potential in non-native regions.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Japanese spirea is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Japanese spirea is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Adaptability: Spiraea japonica 'Candlelight', commonly known as Japanese spirea, often symbolizes adaptability due to its ability to thrive in various conditions and its responsive nature to pruning.
    • Renewal and Rebirth: With its bright, fresh foliage and prolific blooms that emerge in spring and early summer, Japanese spirea is often associated with themes of renewal and rebirth as it represents the rejuvenation of nature each year.
    • Celebration: The vibrant and cascading flowers of the Japanese spirea can symbolize celebration, joy, and the beauty of life, often used in garden settings for their cheerful presence.
    • Longevity: Japanese spirea is a hardy plant that can live for many years, making it a symbol of longevity and endurance in the face of life's challenges.

Every 1-2 weeks
10,000 - 20,000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Japanese Spirea 'Candlelight' prefers moist, well-drained soil. It should be watered thoroughly at planting time and then given around one inch of water per week during the growing season. Avoid over-watering as this can lead to root rot. During hot spells or prolonged dry periods, additional water might be needed to maintain soil moisture. During winter, reduce watering as the plant has dormant periods. It is important to water the plant at the base, keeping the foliage dry to prevent disease.

  • sunLight

    Japanese Spirea 'Candlelight' grows best in full sun to partial shade. Ideally, it should receive at least six hours of sunlight each day. The perfect spot for this plant would to be in an area that gets morning sunlight and some afternoon shade, as this helps to protect the plant from the harshest rays of the day.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Japanese Spirea 'Candlelight' can survive in a range of temperatures, but it thrives in hardiness zones 4 through 8. This plant can handle temperatures down to about -30°F and up to 85°F. The ideal temperature range for vigorous growth and flowering would be between 60°F and 75°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Japanese Spirea 'Candlelight' is important for maintaining its shape and encouraging prolific blooms. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Remove any dead or weak wood and trim back the plant by about a third of its size annually to promote healthy, dense foliage and abundant flowering.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Japanese Spiraea 'Candlelight' thrives in loamy, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. To create an ideal soil mix, combine equal parts of garden soil, peat moss, and perlite or coarse sand to ensure good drainage. Regularly amend the soil with organic compost to maintain fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Japanese Spiraea 'Candlelight' typically does not require frequent repotting. Repot every 3-5 years to refresh the soil or if the plant has outgrown its current container. Early spring is the best time for repotting this shrub.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Japanese Spiraea 'Candlelight' is tolerant of a range of humidity levels and does well in the natural outdoor humidity. It does not have specific humidity requirements and is quite adaptable to different outdoor conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Not ideal indoors, requires full sun to partial shade.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade, prune after flowering.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Japanese spirea 'Candlelight' begins its life cycle when seeds germinate in spring, after stratification which breaks dormancy. The young seedlings quickly establish a root system and grow into juvenile plants, developing stems and leaves featuring a golden-yellow color that matures to lime green in summer. This deciduous shrub reaches maturity in two to five years, during which it produces clusters of pink flowers that attract pollinators. After blooming, the flowers of Japanese spirea give way to small brown pods containing seeds, which disperse in late summer to early fall, continuing the cycle. In autumn, the foliage may turn reddish before the plant enters dormancy, shedding its leaves in response to colder temperatures. Each year in spring, the cycle is renewed as the plant breaks dormancy, sending out new shoots and leaves to start the growth process over again.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Spiraea japonica 'Candlelight', commonly known as Japanese Spirea, is most commonly propagated through softwood cuttings. The best time to propagate is in late spring or early summer when new growth is mature enough to be firm yet still flexible. Cut a 4 to 6-inch piece (10 to 15 cm) from the end of a healthy branch, making sure each cutting has at least two sets of leaves. Remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and insert it into a pot filled with well-draining potting mix. Ensure the pot stays moist and is placed in indirect sunlight. Rooting can be expected in a few weeks, after which new growth will indicate the cutting has successfully taken root and can eventually be transplanted outdoors.