In Bloom: Shade-Loving Pieris

You have to love an evergreen shrub that has showy cascading white, pink or red flowers, colorful new growth which varies by variety, from bronze, brilliant pink to scarlet and thrives in sunny or shady situations. And, is not on the preferred menu of deer.

Newer varieties have a more compact growth habit that’s ideal for low borders and containers. Other, taller types boost foundation plantings (add them to rhododendrons or azaleas for a serious spring flower display) or add romance to a woodland setting.

One of the most underutilized plants in the landscape, which is just not right. If you yearn for easy, fuss-free early spring color, this one’s for you.

Keeping Pieris Happy

  • Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
  • Provide well drained soil, rich in organic matter.
  • Pieris shrubs grow and flower best when planted in partial shade. They will grow in deep shade, but generally do not flower as well, and the new foliage growth is usually not as brilliant.
  • Feed with an acid fertilizer after bloom.
  • Keep roots cool with a thick layer of mulch.
  • Pruning time: spring after flowering.

3 Fun Varieties

Pieris-Pieris-japonica-'Cavatine'-White

 

Cavatine Lily of the Valley

Best Features: An exquisite dwarf variety reaching just 2 feet tall in ten years. Numerous green buds open to white bell-shaped flowers in early spring.

Size: 2′ tall and 3′ wide

 

 

valley valentine pieris

 

Valley Valentine Lily of the Valley

Best Features: Beautiful, deep red buds and pendant flowers

highlight the cool season. Attractive, bronze tint to new growth.

Size: 5′ tall and wide

 

 

 

katsura pieriss

 

Katsura Lily of the Valley

Best Features: Beautiful, wine-red new foliage flushing continuously throughout the season turning dark green with age.  Rose-pink bell-shaped flowers appear in early spring.

Size: 3′ tall and wide

 

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