Stephanie Hudak

Stephanie Hudak

By Stephanie Hudak, Columnist

Darling Deutzias. Okay, maybe I stretched it a bit with the title, but deutzias are a great shrub that isn’t used enough in the landscape.

They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors with the added attraction of being deer resistant – don’t we love that part – and attract birds.

They produce fragrant flowers and then give you beautiful fall color and can tolerate full sun or part shade.

There are new varieties that have variegated leaves so even when the spring flowers are spent you get color through the summer. We are at the end of their zone tolerance – they do five to eight – but they are still a worthy plant.

A sweep of them on a bank where you don’t want to do grass, or the boring junipers, would be a great idea. Some can get up to 10 feet but there are also wonderful dwarf varieties that would be ideal for the back of a flower bed.

A little background on deutizia: it is also good to know where your plants originated so you can acclimate them properly. Deutzia is a genus of about 60 species in the Hydrangeaceae family and are native to eastern and central Asia, Central America and even Europe.

But the highest diversity comes from China, which has given us 50 species. Okay, that was enough education, but it is always good to get the foundation information. Now let’s talk about the plants. What do they give you?

How about the idea of a waterfall of white or pink spring blossoms on cascading branches? Just imagine this hardy shrub planted near a low wall or fence and allowing the branches of foamy flowers to spill over the edges. Good ole forsythia has been doing that and so can winter jasmine, but there is so much more variety available with the deutizias.

To name just a few: check out the classic ‘Chardonnay Pearls’ which has clusters of white flowers and golden-yellow foliage. It grows three feet tall and two feet wide – a nice subdued size for most any garden.

This is an absolute prize winner in the deutzia family, and probably one of the easier ones to find in the market. But if you need a different color look at ‘Pink-A-Boo’ (don’t you just love the name) – it has clusters of beautiful pink flowers on a shrub that is eight feet tall and six feet wide.

Okay, this one is a “little” bit bigger, but it could have a place in your garden. For those that want a smaller, more slender shrub, look at ‘Slender Deutzia’ – which is a compact, upright shrub that grows to three feet fall and wide.

It has clusters of white flowers. Then there is – and I love this name – ‘Yuki Cherry Blossom’ (12 – 24” tall). Yes, it really does look like cherry blossoms when in bloom. It has a shower of elegant pink flowers and is great for mass plantings because it has a neat, mounded habit with a rich burgundy fall color.

For another deutzia with great visual appeal, check out ‘Crème Fraiche’. It is a variegated plant and looks wonderful when planted near yellow-flowered annuals or perennials (12 – 24” tall). For those places where you need a low spreading shrub consider ‘Nikko’, it only gets to a two feet by four feet and has an abundance of while flowers.

It was awarded a Gold Medal by the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society. This one may be hard to find at a nursery but you might get it from a catalog. Look for ‘Yuki Snowflake’, which is said to have an over abundance of white flowers, so much so that you can see the leaves.

This is a 2014 introduction so I can’t vouch for those facts, but hey, gardening about the challenge and excitement of the newest plants, right.

Hopefully I got you excited and interested in a new plant to put in your garden. I wish I could tell you where to get these but we are running out of nurseries. I just learned recently that two of Atlanta’s major places: Habershams and Hastings are closing their doors. Support your local nurseries!!

Or they will all be gone. Check out Thomas Orchards in Bishop, I heard they just got in new shipments of goodies. Love the box stores but they don’t carry the really fun stuff.

They tell me spring is coming but I am confused since I have only experienced fierce winter and then summer heat – did I miss something? Group hug ya’ll.

“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.