How to Plant and Grow Deutzia

This pretty shrub produces clouds of pink or white spring blooms.

Chardonnay Pearls deutzia
Janet Mesic-Mackie.

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.

Deutzia's claim to fame is its bountiful white blooms in early spring. Specimen plants are amazing to behold when in full bloom, as the thick cover of blossoms leaves hardly a single leaf visible. Although most often white-blooming, there are pink selections as well. The blooms are gorgeous, and the flower buds are perfect little spheres.

Deutzia Overview

Genus Name Deutzia
Common Name Deutzia
Plant Type Shrub
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 1 to 10 feet
Width 2 to 8 feet
Flower Color Pink, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green, Chartreuse/Gold
Season Features Colorful Fall Foliage, Spring Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Fragrance, Low Maintenance
Zones 5, 6, 7, 8
Propagation Layering, Seed, Stem Cuttings
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant, Slope/Erosion Control

Where to Plant Deutzia

Plant deutzia shrubs in full sun for maximum flowering and well-draining soil. Some deutzias can survive in part shade, but their bloom display is reduced. Deutzias grow well in USDA zones 5–8. They are lovely in a woodland garden and can be used as border plants and low hedges. The large ones make spectacular specimen shrubs standing alone. These low-maintenance plants are useful for erosion control and are deer-resistant.

How and When to Plant Deutzia

The best time to plant deutzia is in the fall to give it enough time to develop a root system before the spring blooming begins. Dig a hole wider than the nursery container and the same depth. Loosen the soil at the bottom and amend it with compost to improve drainage. Settle the plant at the same level it was in the container with the top of the root ball level with the soil line. Backfill the hole, firm the soil with your hands to eliminate air pockets, and water well.

Gardeners can plant deutzia in spring or summer, but then the shrub needs to be watered weekly until winter.

Deutzia Care Tips

It's hard to believe that deutzias didn't catch on sooner. They're extremely low-maintenance.


Plant deutzia in full sun to maximize the flower buds and fall color (a few varieties turn deep burgundy red for a show of color in fall). While full sun is ideal for flower production, some varieties, such as 'Chardonnay Pearls,' do better in part sun, as their blooms can burn in intense sun.

Soil and Water

Plant them in well-drained soil and provide consistent moisture until they're established. Once established, natural rainfall might be sufficient for the plants. They can handle drought with few adverse side effects.

Temperature and Humidity

Deutzia plants don't like hot weather. They grow best in slightly warm temperatures but tolerate a wide range of conditions and can handle low winter temperatures down to -4°F. Most deutzias are deciduous. In cold areas, they go dormant in winter and lose their leaves.


After the plant is established, apply a slow-release granular fertilizer in spring each year. A mulch of well-rotted organic matter, also applied each spring, contributes to the health of the soil.


Don't overprune deutzias; they bloom on the previous season's growth. These plants have a naturally beautiful arching habit that can be ruined with too much pruning. If you 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.

Potting and Repotting Deutzia

Small varieties of deutzia can be planted outside in containers. Choose a container with drainage holes and fill it with planting medium that has been amended with compost. Most deutzia shrubs are deciduous, so the plant will lose its leaves in winter (a few subtropical varieties are evergreen in warm areas). Repot only when the plant is crowded in its pot.

Pests and Problems

Deutzia plants are relatively pest-free, but they can occasionally be affected by spider mites, mealybugs, or aphids. If this happens, the shrub can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Although they enjoy moist soil, they are susceptible to root rot in soggy soil. It is better for the soil to be a little dry than too wet.

How to Propagate Deutzia

Deutzia is best propagated by rooting softwood cuttings in late summer, but the process isn't quick. Cut 6-inch long pieces from the stem tips. Remove all leaves except for one or two pairs at the top. Dip the other end of the cutting in rooting hormone and insert it into a sterile rooting medium. Throughout the winter, keep the cuttings in a greenhouse or cold frame where the temperature is about 40°F. After the last spring frost of the next year, transplant them to slightly larger pots filled with potting soil or rich garden soil and keep them in a sheltered location. They won't be ready to go into the garden soil until fall.

Types of Deutzia

There have been fantastic introductions to the deutzia market. One of the first was 'Chardonnay Pearls,' which 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. Pink blooms have also been brought into the mix.

'Chardonnay Pearls' Deutzia

Chardonnay Pearls deutzia
Janet Mesic-Mackie

Deutzia gracilis 'Chardonnay Pearls' bears clusters of white spring flowers and golden-yellow foliage that looks good through fall. It is marketed specifically for its buds. Just before the flowers burst open, the plants call to mind bubbles running up the side of a flute of sparkling wine. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 5-8

'Codsall Pink' Deutzia

Codsall Pink deutzia
Peter Krumhardt

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 and fuzzy foliage. Zones 5-8

'Magicien' Deutzia

Magicien deutzia
Mike Jensen

Deutzia 'Magicien' is spangled in spring with starry pink flowers with white backs. It grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-8

'Pink-A-Boo' Deutzia

Pink-A-Boo deutzia
Peter Krumhardt

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

Slender Deutzia

Slender deutzia
Marty Baldwin

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do deutzia shrubs attract pollinators?

    The masses of fragrant deutzia blooms attract bees, bumble bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The highly concentrated nectar is especially important for honey bees.

  • How long do deutzia blooms last?

    Alas, the masses of blossoms that cover most deutzias live for only a couple of weeks. Because of this, some gardeners underplant them with perennials or bulbs to extend the season of interest.

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