White flowers on dark green foliage. Plant Spotlight: 'Tor' Birchleaf Spirea.

Plant Spotlight: ‘Tor’ Birchleaf Spirea

Could you tell me the name of your favorite spirea? You just rolled your eyes, didn’t you? 

That’s okay. While spirea is a commonly used plant for landscapers, it’s not the plant that customers get excited about when they’re at the nursery. Most people wouldn’t even recognize this favorite as spirea, though.

This little gem is called ‘Tor.’ 

White flowers of 'Tor' Birchleaf Spirea on dark green foliage.

About ‘Tor’ Spirea

‘Tor’ is a birchleaf spirea with deep green foliage in the summer that has a slightly blue tint in the spring. This small shrub is covered with charming white flowers from late spring to early summer. Autumn brings a colorful kaleidoscope of orange, red, and purple.

Fall red, orange, and gold fall foliage of 'Tor' Birchleaf Spirea.
Photo Courtesy Spring Meadow Nursery

‘Tor’ Birchleaf Spirea in the Landscape

Birchleaf spirea has dense foliage that is somewhat oval and rather birch-like. This tidy little birchleaf offers a quiet charm to cottage gardens or elegance to formal landscapes. It draws in butterflies early in the season while, at the same time, deters deer.

Dark green foliage closeup of birchleaf spirea.

Growing Birchleaf Spirea

This low-maintenance shrub can be pruned after it blooms. It can also be given a hard pruning in late winter to rejuvenate it. Birchleaf spirea needs full sun and plenty of water to thrive.

‘Tor’ Spirea

Spiraea betulifolia ‘Tor’

White flowers of 'Tor' Birchleaf Spirea on dark green foliage.
Zone:4 – 8
Height:2 – 3 feet
Spread:2 – 3 feet
Bloom Time:May to June
Bloom Description:White
Plant Description:Deep green foliage on densely mounded plants
Light Requirements:Full sun
Water:Medium – does not like to dry out completely
Maintenance:Cut back after blooms are finished or rejuvenate in late winter
Features:Attracts butterflies, tolerates deer
Notes:The cultivar’s name comes from the Gaelic word torr meaning hill or mound, a reference to the habit of the plant.
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