Deutzia

These exceptional shrubs earn their garden spot with arching branches covered in clouds of delicate blossoms

The Deutzia genus contains flowering deciduous shrubs that bloom heavily in spring. Their long, slender branches elegantly arch to give these shrubs a weeping or cascading appearance that is absolutely charming, but the shrubs are downright dazzling when the large, pendulous clusters are in full bloom, concealing the foliage in thick sprays of delicate, white to blushing pink blossoms. The flowers can be bell shaped or star shaped, single or double form. Most are fragrant and very enticing to butterflies and hummingbirds. Typically, the dense foliage is finely textured, but it can be papery, soft, or rough and can be green, yellow, or variegated, depending on the variety, with some varieties exhibiting fall color. Some species of this genus also have peeling or exfoliating bark in shades of reddish to orangish-brown, which adds winter interest.

Deutzia is a genus with over 60 species. The plants are fast growing and range in size from compact ground covers that only grow 1 to 2 feet tall and wide to tall and bushy types that can reach up to 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Many new cultivars are scaled in between to fit modern gardens. Larger deutzias are gorgeous specimen, foundation, backdrop, or hedge plants, while more compact varieties are great accent, border, and container plants. A few species are becoming popular for home gardens, including D. gracilis (slender deutzia), Deutzia ningpoensis (Ning-po deutzia [syn. D. chunii]), Deutzia scabra (Fuzzy deutzia), and many hybrids.

Deutzias tolerate partial shade, but maximum flowering occurs in full sun. However, in hot summer climates, the shrubs may require from some afternoon shade. Deutzias are happy in a wide range of soils, except those that are excessively dry or poorly drained and soggy. The plants are extremely low maintenance, generally pest and disease free, and deer resistant.