Japanese Pieris, Japanese Andromeda

this refined cousin of the rhododendron and azalea blends beautifully with assorted acid growers including ferns and other woodland plants and its relatives. A clean evergreen shrub pieris, with a dense habit requires no pruning. Its delicate sprays of buds, pink or white blooms, seed capsules, attractive deep green mature leaf, and brilliantly-coloured bronzy red new leaves in spring make it amazing through the entire year. As a specimen, part of a mass planting a shrub border, or a container subject, it really is a classic for medium to light shade. Several cultivars are available, including a variegated compact kind with white-edged leaves.

IiIy-of-the-valley shrub. The blooms are long-lasting. Thin. oblong leaves. Are pink as they emerge in spring to bronzy red.

They grow to shiny, ossy strong green, making a tiered effect. In most climates light shade is not bad. But especially in climates that are rather hot, medium shade is best. Pieris needs to be sheltered from the wind and winter sun in cold areas. Earth must be rich, high in organic content, acid, and fast-draining. If pruning is required— it and never is, except to form the plant—prune immediately after flowering. Crown rot. Fungus leaf spot, die-back scales, fungus, lace bugs. And mites can be severe difficulties unless controlled by appropriate sprays.

P. floribunda (Mountain Pieris, Mountain Andromeda; Zones 5 to 8 ), native to the eastern United States, is fairly similar to P. japonica in appearance and demands but more compact and smaller (2 to 6 feet high and broad), and it flowers in April. Flowers are pure white. A really old specimen in an English garden is 6 feet high and 15 feet wide. P. floribunda is less vulnerable to weeds than is P. japonica.

P. ‘Woods Flame’, a 6 to 7-foot hybrid between P. japonica and P. forestii, has brilliant scarlet new growth and is hardier than P. forestii.

P. forestii (Chinese Pieris) is more caring than other species. It strongly resembles them but is larger and more compact, and its own new development is more brilliantly coloured. Hardy to Zone 8.