It’s March and my Spireas branches are long and look dead. Should these be pruned back?
Dane County Wisconsin
Thank you for writing.
Spirea can get to be quite a tangle.
General advice hardly seems adequate. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4298982/
There is a difference between pruning summer blooming and spring blooming plants.You do not say which yours are.
Spireas produce flowers on new wood.
There are three approaches.
1. Hedge clipper shaping, after the blooms.
2. Going deep to remove the largest oldest branches.
3 Cutting the whole plant to the ground.
All of these work. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/prune-tips-spirea-bushes-56024.html In general, if your plant is a real messy tangle, Remove half the branches, trim the others by at least a third. There are many videos if you google Spirea pruning.