Profile: Japanese Pieris
name: Pieris japonica
Size: 3m tall
by 2.5m spread
This popular spreading
bush is native to Japan, Taiwan and Eastern China with more than
40 named cultivars and several hybrids listed.
Japanese Pieris is also
known by the names Japanese Andromeda and Lily of the Valley shrub,
due to the similarity of the flowers to those of Lily of the Valley.
emergence of the almond-shaped leaf growth is a spectacular sight,
as the leaves start out bronze-coloured and turn a glossy dark green
with a lighter green shade underneath.
In late winter to early
spring 10-15cm long racemes of white or pink flowers appear and
last for approximately three weeks. These flowers are set the year
before and appear as bead-like pink buds throughout winter. These
attractive buds look very pretty against the dark green foliage.
The flowers are faintly
perfumed and the bark is a reddish brown which becomes scaly and
Japanese Pieris is useful
as a hedge or shrub border or as a single specimen. Other varieties
may be used as foreground borders such as 'Bisbee Dwarf', a compact
plant with smaller-than-normal leaves.
prefers partial shade and does not perform well in full sun. Plant
in a rich, moist, acidic soil which is well rained. Pieris must
have protection from strong winds and drought.
The flowers are susceptible
to frosts. Ensure the flower heads are removed as soon as possible
after blooming. Do not prune in winter or you will lose the flower
buds which have formed for the following season.
Propagation is by hardwood
cuttings removed in winter, green wood tip cuttings removed in spring,
or from seed, also in spring. Watch out, as leaf spot, scale and
mites love this bush.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH