Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush
Exochorda hybrid ‘Blizzard’ (PP# 23,329)
Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush
Exochorda hybrid ‘Blizzard’ (PP# 23,329)
How are the heights measured?
All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.
What is a gallon container?
Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.
How does the delivery process work?
All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!
Why are some states excluded from shipping?
The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.
The Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush is an updated version of an old favorite, which will bring a snowstorm of pure white blooms to your spring garden. One of the most prolific bloomers you can grow, the number of blooms will stagger you. The buds are like white pearls, and the flowers last for a full 3 weeks after they open. This arching shrub grows 4 to 6 feet tall and wide – perfect for borders and slopes, and the green foliage stays lush and healthy all summer, turning yellow in fall.
- Smothered in snow-white flowers in spring
- Flowers are twice the size of older forms
- Attractive arching shrub for beds and borders
- Blooms for weeks and even the buds are pearls
- Easy to grow in any garden
Full sun or partial shade suits the Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush just fine, and this is one of the most reliable and easy-care shrubs you can grow. It thrives in ordinary well-drained soils, is moderately resistant to drought, and needs no special attention. Older bushes can be pruned as soon as flowering ends, to encourage new branches that will bloom the next spring. Generally free of any pest or disease problems.
- Plant Hardiness Zones 4-8
- Mature Width 4-6
- Mature Height 4-6
It’s hard to have too many shrubs in your garden that flower in spring – it’s a season when ‘profusion’ is the name of the game. Sadly many spring shrubs don’t add much to our gardens after spring, so some of the older types are grown much less. One that does continue to offer interest is the Pearlbush. Named equally for the pearl-like flower buds that begin the season and for the pearl-white flowers that come from them and smother the branches in spring, this tough and reliable plant deserves a place in every garden. For over a hundred years the go-to variety was ‘The Bride’, a shrub dressed in white for a spring wedding. That plant is a selection of one created by the famous creator of the French lilacs, Victor Lemoine, over 100 years ago. So you can see why we got excited when we first saw the Snow Day® Blizzard Pearlbush, because this improved version of ‘The Bride’ has flowers double the size, making an much more spectacular display. Grown as a shrub or small tree, this is one spring-bloomer you can’t be without.
Growing the Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush
Size and Appearance
The Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush is a deciduous shrub that grows with an arching habit to a height of 4 to 6 feet and a similar spread. The long main branches grow upright, and smaller side branches grow out from them. The leaves are 2 inches long and 1 inch wide, shaped as graceful ovals, with smooth edges, and a smooth surface colored mid-green. In fall they turn yellow with an occasional flash of orange, after generally remaining clean and attractive throughout the summer. Flowering is early, at the beginning of spring – mid-May in cooler zones to mid-April in warmer ones. Every bud on the winter stems bursts out into a short stem with young leaves, ending in a cluster of between 4 and 10 flower buds. The flowering profusion of this bush is outstanding. As the buds develop they quickly turn white and open slowly, forming the pearls of this plant’s name. When the flowers open they remain in bloom for a full 3 weeks, making a spectacular showing, like a late blizzard has swept across the garden. Each flower is an open bowl of 5 broad petals, gradually opening into a flatter star-like form. The flowers are snowy-white, with no traces of yellow or pink, like the purest snow. Even the stamens in the center are almost white, so nothing detracts from the purity of this lovely bush.
After blooming the flowers become interesting rounded seed pods, about ½ inch across, first green and then pale brown. They are like flattened spheres, with 5 deep grooves around them. This variety of Pearlbush produced very few seed pods, so these are not a particular feature.
Using the Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush in Your Garden
This bush is an essential for the spring garden, and it is perfect for the back of smaller beds or the middle spaces of larger ones. Grow it alone or in clusters of 3 or 5, depending on the size of your beds. It can be kept as an arching bush, or with a little pruning it can be turned into a small tree with 2 or 3 main trunks and a rounded crown. That form could be an attractive feature on a lawn. Plant it among the evergreens around your house, out in shrub beds, at the edges of more natural areas – it looks great anywhere and everywhere.
The tough and reliable Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush is fully hardy in zone 4, and grows well everywhere but in southeastern zone 9, where summers are generally too hot and winters not cold enough.
Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions
Full sun will stimulate the most prolific blooming, but this easy-going shrub will do well in partial shade – aim for a minimum of 6 hours direct sun in spring and summer and it will be fine. It grows happily in any well-drained soil – perhaps preferring acid or neutral soils to very alkaline ones. Some organic material added when planting, and the occasional mulch with more, will keep it very happy.
Maintenance and Pruning
The Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush is rarely troubled by any serious pests or diseases and it is very easy to grow in almost any garden. On poorer soils it will benefit from some slow-release fertilizer applied in early spring, or an annual mulching with some rich compost or other organic materials. It flowers on branches of the previous year, so prune in late spring immediately after flowering, removing a few of the oldest branches low down to encourage new long shoots, and shortening back younger branches that have bloomed to encourage more side-shoots. By limiting the number of stems growing from the base you can develop a more upright form like a small tree.
History and Origin of the Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush
The pearlbush, Exochorda racemosa, is native to China and central Asia. Found growing in woods, slopes and by streams over a wide range, originally it was divided into several different species but botanists today think these are simply local forms that have varied due to isolation following habitat loss. A compact plant with large flowers was created around 1900 by the renowned plant breeder Victor Lemoine, at his nursery in Nancy, France, by crossing together what were then thought to be two species – Exochorda alberti and Exochorda grandiflora. He named it Exochorda x macrantha, and that garden name has been preserved. Later a nursery in the Netherlands selected a particularly good form of that plant and named it ‘The Bride’. It became the main Pearlbush grown in almost all gardens.
In 1999 Thomas Ranney, a professor in horticulture at North Carolina State University, took pollen from ‘The Bride’ and used it to fertilize a plant of Exochorda serratifolia, a form of the pearlbush found in northern China and Korea. Among the seedlings was one with very large flowers, which he named `Blizzard`. It was patented in 2013, and it has been released with the trademarked tag of Snow Day®, by Proven Winners®, as part of their Color Choice® shrub collection.
Buying the Snow Day Blizzard Pearlbush at the Tree Center
We love this improved version of pearlbush, with its taller form and double-sized flowers compared to the older plant, ‘The Bride’. You will love it too, and we hope to see this blizzard break out in gardens all across the country – watch the weather reports. Order now, because everyone is rediscovering the beauty and easy-growth of the pearlbush, and our stock is running out fast.