Nikko DeutziaDeutzia gracilis 'Nikko'
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Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Nikko Deutzia is a low-growing groundcover deciduous shrub, staying just a couple of feet tall, but spreading as much as 5 feet across. It has attractive light green leaves that are slender like a willow, and these turn dark burgundy in fall. Flowering in spring, it is covered with many open clusters of small, pure-white blooms in April and May, making a great display. Grow it in the front of beds, over slopes, and to fill those inevitable awkward spots found in every garden. Use it in planter boxes and tubs as well, perhaps beneath a small tree or upright shrub.
Easily grown, the Nikko Deutzia thrives in full sun, but it will be happy in partial shade too. It grows easily in any well-drained soil or almost any kind, growing most vigorously in richer soils with regular watering. It can be trimmed after blooming if needed, but don’t over trim, as the arching form is part of the beauty. Pests, diseases and eve deer normally leave this low-maintenance shrub alone.
Every garden needs low-growing groundcover, but it doesn’t have to be the same boring periwinkle, because shrubs offer so much more. The unique Nikko Deutzia certainly does. This beautiful, low, arching shrub won’t grow more than a couple of feet tall, but one bush will cover an area 5 feet across, spreading over the ground, down slopes and over rocks. It looks great trailing over a wall too, or even spilling out of a large planter. The lovely willow-like leaves turn wonderful shades of burgundy in fall and best of all are the weeks in spring when it blooms. The clusters of pure-white flowers are carried profusely all over the branches, and their soft fragrance is a delight. One of the best shrubs for small gardens, the lines of its slender arching branches are even lovely in winter, rising above any snow, or catching the winter light. Take a miss on the usual culprits found in dull gardens, and go for the experts’ choice instead when you want to fill the foreground of your beds – go for the Nikko Deutzia, one of the most versatile and lovely garden shrubs available.
The Nikko Deutzia is a low-growing deciduous shrub with many arching branches that rise just a foot or two above the ground. Each year it spreads wider, and a mature plant will be about 5 feet across, with many interlaced branches forming a solid mass of vegetation. The leaves are an attractive bright green, and they are slender and pointed, reminiscent of a willow-leaf. They are almost 2½ inches long, and in fall they turn rich shades of burgundy, making a great show alongside other fall-foliage trees and shrubs in your garden. The bare twigs are an attractive soft light gray.
Flowers appear in April or May, and blooming is always profuse and reliable. Every new shoot terminates in a long cluster of small star-shaped blossoms. Just ¼ inch across, they make up for their small size by arriving in profusion, making a wonderful display of pure-white. They brighten up any bed, and never clash with your existing plants, no matter what colors those blossoms are.
It is amazing how versatile this shrub is. It looks just as good fronting a border of large shrubs as it does nestling up against a boulder. Fill those awkward corners and soften the edges of terraces, paths and driveways. Use it as ground cover over any unsightly part of your garden, or to disguise a manhole cover or drain opening. It looks great spilling down slopes, and the branches and roots reduce soil erosion and wash-out. Single plants are perfect for smaller gardens, or mass plant it for larger areas, spacing plants 3 feet apart – just a few will cover a large space very effectively. If you have large planter pots with trees or other taller shrubs, grow the Nikko Deutzia beneath them for a look that is both striking and delicate. Mix it with more upright plants in planter boxes around a patio. Wherever you see a bare spot, think Nikko Deutzia.
This reliable shrub is completely cold hardy in zone 5, and reliable throughout all but the hottest parts of the country, growing well in zone 8.
The versatility of the Nikko Deutzia is clear from its light needs. Blooming will be most profuse in full sun, but it will grow happily in a variety of light conditions. It also grows well in partial shade, even preferring some shade in the afternoon when grown in hot areas. It is just as easy about soil, since it will grow across a wide range of soils, as long as the spot has good drainage. Both acid and alkaline soils are acceptable, and established plants have some drought tolerance, although regular watering will keep it happiest.
There is very little needed to keep the Nikko Deutzia growing well. Pests, diseases and even deer normally leave it alone, and it can be left to take care of itself. If you do want to trim it, do this immediately after flowering, perhaps shortening back any longer stems to encourage bushy growth. Don’t over-trim, as the natural arching form is a large part of the beauty, and too much trimming will also inhibit flowering.
The Nikko Deutzia was originally grown at Watanabe Nursery in Gotemba City, Japan. In 1976 the Director of the US National Arboretum in Washington D.C., John Creech, was travelling in Japan with the Arboretum’s Chief Horticulturist, Sylvester March. They brought this novel shrub back to the Arboretum, believing it was a species called Deutzia nakaiana. In the 1980’s it was re-examined by the Arboretum’s plant taxonomist, Frederick Meyer and Roy Davidson, a plantsman at the Bellevue Botanic Garden in Washington state. They decided it was in fact a form of the slender deutzia, Deutzia gracilis. In 1976-77 a nurseryman at Greenbank Nursery in Cumbria, England, called C.G. Hollett, coined the name ‘Nikko’ for this plant. By the time it was being more widely grown in the late 1980s that became the accepted name for this unique variety. It was taken up with enthusiasm by the gardening world, winning the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant Award in 1989, and the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK in 1996.
We love how easy-care groundcover shrubs bring permanence and stability to your garden, and save work too. The one thing that isn’t permanent is our supply of this incredibly popular shrub, and we know our Nikko Deutzia won’t be around long. Order what you need now, as the ‘out of stock’ sign will be going up soon.