My dwarf deutzia was healthy, bloomed beautifully in the spring. I then pruned it cutting off the old blooms. It was looking fine but within just a few days, the entire centre was bare, no leaves only stems. The stems are not dead as they are green inside. I had been watering it well with a hose. My second thought was that deer had eaten it which I doubt.
Any info and suggestions are most welcome as I would like to save it.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. Deutzia gracili ‘Nikko’ ( Dwarf Deutzia) is such a lovely plant. I hope you had a beautiful display of flowers in the spring !
You are correct about pruning this plant right after flowering. I am not sure from your question whether you did more than deadheading (removing dead flowers) ? Dwarf Deutzia benefits from fairly heavy pruning. Here is a previous response from the Toronto Master Gardeners about pruning Dwarf Deutzia that might be helpful :
It’s hard to tell from your picture what else is going on with your plant, although something is clearly going on! Are there any fallen leaves ? This could indicate some kind of a systemic problem within the plant itself. Are there any leaves that looked damaged or chewed ? This could indicate the presence of insects. Leaves with large chunks missing, or if the leaves are just gone could indicate that animals of some kind have found your plant. Rabbits do like Deutzia spp. While eating they leave a neat, clean cut while deer leave a rough, shredded bite.
Dwarf Deutzia are generally pretty easy to care for. They prefer full sun to light shade and are easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils. Good drainage is important, something to keep in mind as you are watering your plant. They have no serious disease or insect problems.
This website might be helpful in tracking down whatever is causing this damage to your plant: