How to grow pieris

How to grow pieris

Find out how to grow acid-loving pieris, in our detailed Grow guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do Plant in January

Do Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does flower in March

Plant does flower in April

Plant does flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Take cuttings
Take cuttings

Do not Take cuttings in January

Do not Take cuttings in February

Do not Take cuttings in March

Do not Take cuttings in April

Do not Take cuttings in May

Do Take cuttings in June

Do not Take cuttings in July

Do not Take cuttings in August

Do not Take cuttings in September

Do not Take cuttings in October

Do not Take cuttings in November

Do not Take cuttings in December

Prune
Prune

Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do not Prune in April

Do Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do not Prune in September

Do not Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Pieris japonica is an attractive evergreen shrub, grown for its handsome foliage and display of early spring flowers. The young leaves are often bronze or red, maturing to dark green. They contrast beautifully with the small, white jewel-like flowers, which are very attractive to bees. Pieris is perfect for growing in a shrub border or woodland area, but it does require acid soil.

Advertisement

Find out more about growing pieris, below.


Where to grow pieris

How to grow pieris - where to grow pieris
How to grow pieris – where to grow pieris

Pieris requires acid soil which is moist but well-drained, and a sheltered, partially shaded spot. If you don’t have acid soil then choose a compact cultivar and grow it in a container of peat-free ericaceous soil.


How to plant pieris

If planting in the ground, dig a generous hole and plant up to its original planting depth. Mulch the soil around the plant with leaf mould or bark chippings.

How to plant shrubs


How to propagate pieris

Pieris can be grown from seed. Sow under cover in spring. However, to reproduce the parent cultivar, take semi-ripe cuttings in midsummer and keep in a heated greenhouse over winter.


Growing pieris: problem solving

Pieris can succumb to honey fungus and phytopthora root rot.


How to care for pieris

Mulch annually with well-rotted pine needles, leafmould or bark chippings to maintain a low soil pH. Remove faded flowers and frost-damaged foliage in late-spring.


Pieris varieties to try

How to grow pieris - varieties to try
How to grow pieris – varieties to try
Advertisement
  • Pieris ‘Forest Flame’ – this has great foliage and typical white pieris flowers. The new leaves appear bright red in spring, changing colour through pink, cream and green. It has been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Pieris japonica ‘Firecrest’ – this has bright red young bracts in spring, and pure white flowers. It has been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Pieris japonica ‘Purity’ – a striking cultivar with green leaves and bright white flowers.
  • Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ – this has bright red young bracts in spring, and pure white flowers. The foliage matures to a deep, rich green.
  • Pieris japonica ‘Katsura’ – is a compact variety with dark green foliage and pinkish-purple flowers.
  • Pieris japonica ‘Passion’ – a new cultivar with pinkish red flowers and foliage that is flushed red in spring turning glossy green later.