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The Deutzia Yuki Cherry Blossom.

John Statham

It's hard to believe that I once hated deutzia. It's so beloved by landscapers that the plant's overuse is mind-boggling, which is why it often gets lumped into graceless masses or scraggly hedges. Then along came D. 'Chardonnay Pearls,' a lovely little form with gold foliage and white scented blooms in June, and I changed my mind completely.

Now we have another new form called 'Yuki Cherry Blossom.' It grows from 30 to 60 centimetres high and wide, blooms in part shade but even more so in full sun, tolerates clay soil, isn't a water gobbler and will stand up to brutal pruning. Deutzia, after all, belongs to the same family as hydrangeas, so maybe there's something in its DNA that makes the shrub tough and reliable.

The leaves are a marvellous shade of green and turn a rich burgundy in autumn. The flowers, meanwhile, are cream with delicate strokes of magenta and blossom from the end of May until well into June.

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Deutzia often gets whacked at mercilessly: rounded, mounded, pruned up and down with big shears. But you really don't need to prune it at all. If you do decide to snick out little awkward bits and dead pieces, prune only enough to give it a nice shape and only once it has finished blooming.

Such an adaptable plant is great for containers. But follow the usual rule: The planter should be at least 60 by 60 by 60 centimetres to ensure safe overwintering for the small shrub.

While deutzia is a relatively drought-tolerant plant, it must be watered weekly, especially in the early months. Plant this Zone 6 beauty in well-drained soil with lots of organic matter (compost, that is) added to the top of the soil.

Get Deutzia 'Yuki Cherry Blossom' at garden centres such as John's Garden in Uxbridge, Ont.

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