The First Snow Spirea (Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’) Care Guide

The First Snow Spirea, otherwise known as the Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’ or Garland Spirea ‘Grefsheim’, Spiraea × arguta ‘Grefsheim’, First Snow Spirea, is a rather popular shrub plant by gardening love by enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green-colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this First Snow Spirea Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

In order to take proper care of your First Snow Spirea you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The First Snow® Spirea needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the First Snow Spirea in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, chalk, and loam.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your First Snow Spirea is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the First Snow Spirea belongs to the Rosaceae family, the genus Spiraea and the species Cinerea, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’ (spy-REE-a x sin-e-RE-a).

Some of the more popular Rosaceae plants are Malus Domestica ‘Fuji’, Pink Rugosa Rose, Laurel Cherry, Prunus Salicina ‘Ozark Premier’, Juneberry, Armeria Pseudarmeria ‘Dreamland’ Plant Patent #30601, Badja Peak Mint Bush, Chocolate Cosmos, Berri-Magic® Japanese Skimmia, Blushing Knock Out® Shrub Rose, Aronia arbutifolia var. nigra, Rosa X ‘Cecile, Potentilla Fruticosa ‘Monsidh’, Forsythia X ‘Courtasol’, Prunus Serrulata ‘Kwanzan’, Red Delicious Apple, Prunus X ‘Snofozam’, Yellow Banksian Rose, Baby’s Breath Spirea, Prunus X Cistena Plant Patent #29575, Potentilla Fruticosa ‘Hachapp, Golden Delicious Apple, Wall Spray, Magnolia X ‘Daybreak’, Malus Domestica, Oklahoma Redbud, Ninebark ‘Diablo’, Potentilla Fruticosa ‘Gold Star’, Prunus Cerasifera ‘Krauter Vesuvius’, Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’, Prunus Persica Var. Nucipersica ‘Snow Queen’, Rhododendron Yakushimanum ‘Crete’, Climbing Rose ‘Golden Showers’, Rosa X ‘Joseph’S Coat’, Spiraea Japonica ‘Conspiyet’ Plant Patent Applied For, Thriller Lady’s Mantle and Prunus Subhirtella ‘Pendula’.

As with other Spiraea’s, the First Snow Spirea is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The First Snow Spirea is a plant native to Japan and China.

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your First Snow Spirea. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’ will be most used to regions where the plant hardiness level falls between 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the First Snow Spirea is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.


But what exactly does this mean for your First Snow Spirea? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’ can grow up to 5′ – 6′ (150cm – 180cm) in 5′ – 6′ (150cm – 180cm) and 5′ – 6′ (150cm – 180cm) in 5′ – 6′ (150cm – 180cm). 

These dimensions make the First Snow Spirea a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful weeping shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 60″ – 72″ (150cm – 180cm) free so the First Snow® Spirea can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the First Snow Spirea is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’ needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your First Snow Spirea in soil with moist but well-draining to well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your First Snow Spirea then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your First Snow Spirea needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the First Snow Spirea prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, chalk, and loam.

This is why most experts agree that the First Snow Spirea requires soil with clay, high organic matter, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the First Snow Spirea requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a deciduous plant, the First Snow Spirea will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid).


You can expect your First Snow Spirea to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring). In particular, this shrub is well known for its fragrant, flowers for cutting and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The First Snow Spirea produces some beautiful white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the First Snow Spirea have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with an alternate organization in its leaves. You can expect the leaves from your Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The First Snow Spirea is well known for being able to attract butterflies, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.


How should you then organize your garden to include your new First Snow Spirea? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Spiraea X Cinerea ‘Grefsheim’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most cottage gardens of all types. Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the First Snow Spirea’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, banks and slopes, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a cutting garden, border, or a woodland garden.


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy First Snow® Spirea in your garden or home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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