The biggest problem about Deutzias for me, is trying to recommend which of this group of flowering shrubs is the best! Deutzia Bushes, Slender Deutzia, or the Cherry Blossom Bush (my favourite common name) is one of those shrubs which can be fully recommend for more or less any garden for a wide range of uses. I like Deutzia!
Deutzia is from the higher families of Hydrangeaceae or Saxifragaceae. The flowers are certainly similar to those of the saxifrage group.
The common name of Slender Deutzia – obviously derived from the slender upright but later arching stems of the Deutzia gracilis (A guess!).
Depending upon variety, the size can range from a very manageable height and spread of 60cm – 1.8m.
Deutzia shrubs originate from East Asia through to the Himalayas, where the property of being hardy is essential to survival. Not only is the Deutzia family of flowering shrubs hardy, but also trouble-free insofar as gardeners are concerned. No pests or diseases worthy of mention.
All of the Deutzias in general cultivation are deciduous medium shrubs with masses of fragrant star-like flowers ranging from pure white through deep pink – some varieties have bi-color flowers. The flowers – which start in late spring – last well into early or mid-summer.
Thereafter it is just a green mound of foliage until leaf fall. Autumn colour of Deutzia is not a selling point. The leaves just fade and drop! The writers who describe Deutzia as being good for fall colour are being rather fanciful. Deutzia ‘Nikko’ is the exception – having scarlet foliage at leaf fall!
Deutzia plants are happy in full sun, though in hottest areas, dappled shade might be a better option. It is naturally found in scrub and semi woodland areas, which gives a clue to the fact that it is not too worried about soil type – even quite heavy clay. Free draining but moist soils are its preference in the normal habitat, but as most garden soils are reasonably well cultivated it is adaptable to whatever we have ourselves inherited – mildly acid to low alkaline.
There are several varieties and cultivars to choose from; all are suited to a suitable spot in a shrub or mixed border. Some Deutzias – especially the taller growing Deutzia gracilis – are good as specimens.
Deutzias are good for containers – especially the type of container where you can perhaps move it to a less conspicuous position through the uninteresting late summer and winter months. But, a mature specimen in container placed where it will benefit from any late autumn or winter sun, will be attractive because of the flaking bark.