All About Japanese Pieris

Japanese pieris is a shade-loving evergreen that blooms in early spring with dainty flowers that resemble lily of the valley.

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Pieris japonica "Valley rose" blooming in spring in the botany.

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Pieris japonica "Valley rose" blooming in spring in the botany.

Photo by: Annet_ka

Annet_ka

Pieris japonica "Valley rose" blooming in spring in the botany.

Plant type: Broadleaf evergreen
USDA Zone: 4b to 7

If you can provide the right conditions for this dressy shade plant, you'll be getting four seasons of show. Bundled ribbons of small, creamy white bell-shaped flowers cascade over the rosettelike evergreen foliage in spring, and by midsummer the buds for next year's flowers form and remain through the winter. But the plant's showiest part might be its new foliage, which opens bronze to sizzling red, depending on the cultivar, then matures to a satiny dark green. Japanese pieris grows slowly to form a mound anywhere from nine to 12 feet tall and 2/3 as wide. Note: Toxic to goats and sheep.

Culture: Give Japanese pieris moist, well-drained, organic, preferably acid soil in a site sheltered from drying winds, and keep it well pruned after flowering. Provide winter protection in Zone 4b.

Selected cultivars

  • 'Coleman'. Pink flowers with buds that stay red through winter.
  • 'Captain Blood'. Deep red buds in winter and white flowers. Long, narrow leaves.
  • 'Dorothy Wycoff'. Dark red buds open to pale pink flowers.
  • 'Flamingo'. Deep rosy-red flowers.
  • 'Geisha'. Slender leaves and white flowers.
  • 'Nana'. Dwarf form, white flowers.
  • 'Red Mill'. New growth is bright red, and white flowers are long-lasting.
  • 'Temple Bells'. Dwarf form with new foliage that's bronzy orange; large white flowers.
  • 'Valley Valentine'. Deep rosy-pink flowers.
  • 'White Rim'. Creamy leaf margins.

     

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