Rediscover This Forgotten Beauty
It’s that old-timey shrub with a funny name.
Legendary Alabama philosopher Forrest Gump tells us life is like a box of chocolates. “You never know what you’re gonna get.” Gardening is like that too. A recent visit to the home of my former Southern Living colleagues, Charlie and Cindy Thigpen, brought me face-to-face with a rarely seen plant called “deutzia” (DOOTS-ee-ah). Native to China and Japan, it was named for the 18th century Dutch botanist, Johann van der Deutz – but, of course, you already knew that.
Their shrub one is a hybrid of fuzzy deutzia (Deutzia scabra) called ‘Pink-A-Boo.’ Its mid-spring blooms are deep pink in bud, opening to blossoms of pink and white. It grows about six feet tall and wide. It can be hard to find in garden centers, but worth asking about. A very similar selection named ‘Strawberry Fields’ is offered online from Direct Gardening, although they’re currently out of stock. Fall is a good time to plant, if you don’t get one this spring.
Hybrid deutzia is easy to grow. It has no serious insect or disease pests. Deer don’t eat it and it’s very tolerant of cold, heat, and drought. Plant it in full to part sun and well-drained soil in USDA Zones 5 to 8. Prune, if needed, immediately after it finishes blooming.
Looking for something none of your neighbors have? Plant a deutzia, dude.