Exochorda, the pearl bush: care and blooming

Pearl bush exochorda

Exochorda is a spectacular flower shrub with abundant white spring blooms.

Exochorda facts, a summary

Name – Exochorda x Macrantha
Family – Rosaceae
Type – shrub
Height – 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters)
Exposure – full sun or part shade

Soil: ordinary, well drained – Foliage: deciduous – Flowering: mid→late spring

Since it is easy to grow and care for, it’s an ideal shrub for a flower bed, and does especially well as part of a flowered hedge and in containers or pots on a terrace.

Planting Exochorda

As for most shrubs, it’s best to plant your Exochorda in fall to favor root development before winter and renewed growth in spring.

However, if purchased in a pot or in a container, you can also plant in spring, taking great care to water more during the first few months, especially in summer.

  • Ensure that you have well-drained soil, rich and with lots of humus for a beautiful blooming.
  • Exochorda loves very sunny spots but prefers part shade in regions where summers are hot and dry.
  • Avoid drafty and windy spots to protect the blooming in spring.
  • Proper mulch in summer will help it cope with drought.

Exochorda mostly fears excessively chalky soil so be wary of highly alkaline soils.

Propagating your Exochorda

You can multiply an exochorda plant through sowing in fall or in spring, or through layering in spring and summer.

As for cuttings, although some gardeners have succeeded, it’s known to be quite difficult and results are much less guaranteed than for layering.

Pruning and caring for Exochorda

Exochorda is a shrub that requires very little work and care all year round.

Regarding pruning

Exochorda shrub grown to four feet after four years with white flowers.The beginning of spring is the best time to prune this shrub.

  • Prune dead wood and fragile branches off.
  • Wait for the end of the blooming to reduce or balance out branches.
  • Avoid drastic cutting back, favor light and delicate pruning instead.
  • Only cut by about ⅓ the new year’s growth.

Regarding watering

  • Exochorda copes quite well with dry spells but only if it isn’t set in full sun.
  • Otherwise, water in case it doesn’t rain for a long time.
  • Water on a regular basis, however, your exochorda growing in pots.  Container Exochorda need regular watering because soil in pots and containers tends to dry out much faster.

Exochorda diseases, pests and difficulties

Exochorda doesn’t often fall sick, and apart from the occasional caterpillar, you won’t find any pests on it.

However, it sometimes is finicky when it comes to blooming.

Exochorda not blooming

If you have an Exochorda not bearing flowers, there are a few things you can check on:

  • is your Exochorda getting enough sun? Exochorda needs several hours of full sun a day for it to bloom well.
  • pruning schedule – don’t prune exochorda before spring blooming. The best time to prune exochorda is just after the last flowers have wilted away.

All there is to know about Exochorda

Pearly flowers of ExochordaNative to Asia, Exochorda is such a wondrous shrub that the common name for it is “Pearl bush” or “Pearlbush”. This is a reference to the white flowers that look as pristine as pearls when just about to open.

All in one ornamental, abundantly flower-bearing and easy to care for, Exochorda is a shrub that definitely boasts appealing assets. Slowly but surely, it is winning over the heart of many gardeners.

Exochorda holds well both to drought and cold, since it’s hardy down to 5°F (-15°C).

  • This shrub looks similar to Spirea, but with larger flowers.

Main Exochorda varieties

A few varieties exist that are beautiful. They differ slightly in terms of shape and foliage density.

  • ‘Bailmoon’ – short and roundish bearing
  • Exochorda racemosa – sparse foliage, especially during blooming, letting flowers shine through
  • Exochorda ‘The Bride’ – certainly the most famous with abundant large flowers
  • ‘Lotus Moon’ pearl bush – shown in the picture at the top of this article

Smart tip about exochorda

Growth is rather slow, which makes it an ideal shrub for smaller gardens.

Images: CC BY 2.0: Josh Egan-Wyer, CC BY-SA 2.0: F. D. Richards