Deutzia is an underused shrub that, in recent years, has finally begun to get the credit it deserves. With over 60 species in this genus, deutzia has a fair amount of diversity. New cultivars feature beautiful blooms, fall color, and even deer resistance. They have also scaled down some, allowing these versatile shrubs to be planted in even the smallest of gardens.
Deutzias claim to fame is their bountiful white blooms in early spring. Specimen plants are amazing to behold when in full bloom, as the whole plant can be covered in blossoms with hardly a single leaf visible. Although most often white-blooming varieties, there are pink selections as well. Not only are the blooms themselves gorgeous, but the flower buds are perfect little spheres. Chardonnay Pearls is marketed specifically for its buds. Right before the flowers burst open, the plants calls to mind bubbles running up the side of a flute of sparkling wine.
Deutzia Care Must-Knows
It is hard to believe that they didn't catch on as valuable garden plants sooner. They are extremely low-maintenance. Plant in well-drained soils and provide consistent moisture until they are established. Once established, they can handle drought well with few if any negative side effects.
Plant in full sun to maximize flower buds and fall color. A few types of deutzia turn deep burgundy red for a show of color in fall. While full sun is ideal for flower production, some varieties of deutzia, like Chardonnay Pearls, do better in part sun (their blooms can burn in too much sun).
Don't overprune deutzias. These plants have a naturally beautiful arching habit that can be ruined with too pruning. If you absolutely need to prune them (for renewed vigor or to remove some old branches), the best way is to selectively prune only the oldest branches all the way back to the base. This keeps the overall shape intact and encourages new growth from the base. Do any pruning just after these plants bloom, as they set their flower buds in the fall.
There have been fantatic introductions to the deutzia market recently. One of the first to begin the deutzia revolution was Chardonnay Pearls. This brought interesting foliage into the mix and began the work of shrinking these plants to a more manageable size for the small garden. This has continued to be the trend, with other new varieties like Nikko and Yuki Cherry Blossom, both of which remain under 2 feet tall and wide—max. Pink blooms have also been brought into the mix, and we're sure that more great things are on the horizon.
More Varieties of Deutzia
'Chardonnay Pearls' deutzia
Deutzia gracilis Chardonnay Pearls bears clusters of white springtime flowers and golden-yellow foliage that looks good through fall. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 5-8
'Codsall Pink' deutzia
Deutzia scabra 'Codsall Pink' is an especially showy variety reaching 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide. It features 6-inch-long clusters of double pink flowers in late spring along with fuzzy foliage. Zones 5-8
Deutzia 'Magicien' is spangled in spring with starry pink flowers backed with a white reverse. It grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-8
Deutzia Pink-A-Boo bears clusters of beautiful pink flowers on a mounding shrub reaching 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Zones 5-8
Deutzia gracilis is a compact, upright shrub that grows to 3 feet tall and wide. It bears clusters of white flowers in spring. Zones 6-8