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PlantFiles: Japanese Pieris, Andromeda, Lily of the Valley Shrub
Pieris japonica

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pieris (pee-AIR-iss) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.

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10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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7 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive carrielamont On Feb 16, 2015, carrielamont from Milton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

We moved into this house 20 years ago with established shrubs everywhere. (In fact, most of them were too close to the foundation!) This pieris was fine for a long time and I love the emerging red foliage and the fragrance of the delicate little blooms. Recently (maybe the past 4 years) it has just gotten way too big for its spot.

If you're planning to add one, remember it can grow quite large.

Positive tropicsofohio On Aug 31, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

this whacky ohio weather pushed it into bloom! its september 1 in a day! its also has that beautifull red growth(that prob. wont harden it time for winter) but im soo excited!!!

no blooms yet, just flower buds

update: i guss its just getting ready 4 spring. i hope it blooms early in spring. it has a great contrast with the snow.

Positive raisedbedbob On Feb 9, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Low growing Azaleas are a wonderful match for this plant. Really attracts the bees when in bloom.

Neutral flowercrazy39 On Aug 26, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

Very slow growing shrub! It likes shade more than sun and I have yet to see any blooms on it after two years. The foliage is beautiful though and comes out a rich red and turns to green. Very interesting.

Positive jesup On Apr 30, 2005, jesup from Malvern, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Lots of new cultivars are available, including varigated forms. Many sport blood-red new foliage (Mountain Fire, Flaming Silver, etc). A number now have pink or reddish flowers. Flowers VERY early; VERY fragrant. Consider protecting it from winter winds (or use wilt-pruf/etc), but overall very hardy if planted in acid, humus soil. Happy in part shade.

Dead-head after flowering for increased flowers the next year or if you don't like the look of the seeds.

Around here, deer eat EVERYTHING -- and they don't seem to touch pieris.

Positive wordsilk7 On Jan 14, 2005, wordsilk7 from Norwalk, CT (Zone 7a) wrote:

We have one growing along the front foundation, on the northwest side of the house underneath a catalpa tree. It's over five feet tall and about 4 feet wide. This shrub has been growing there for more than 15 years and is strong and beautiful, surviving some really bad New England winters, salt, pollution, compact acidic soil, etc. without us ever having to do anything at all to protect it. It's an amazing shrub. Maybe if we did more it would get taller and fuller but, to be honest, it's the perfect size for it's location.

Positive pokerboy On Sep 27, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

This shrub in my region also produces great sprays of lily of the valley like flowers in Mid Winter to Early Spring. pokerboy.

Positive Tre On Apr 24, 2004, Tre from Schaumburg, IL wrote:

I have several Pieris Japonica, cultivar 'Purity'. This shrub is a little fussy, but a true pleasure to enjoy. Pieris Japonica was a challenge for my garden because this shrub likes moist but "fluffy" acidic soil and our soil is very compacted clay. Soil preparation was the key. I mixed our natural soil with 1 part course (clean) sand and 1 part peat moss to 1 part clay soil, digging a hole that was 2 times the width of the root ball to give the shrub plenty of room to root without struggling. Feed with an acidic fertilizer right after blooming. For best bloom next season, cut "spent" blooms as they fade and before they develop into fruits. Flower buds for the next spring form on previous season's growth, so do not prune this plant in the fall / winter or you will not see many flowers the following spring. To my experience, this plant prefers shade to sun; it may survive in sun but it will be stressed, and the leaves will not achieve the dark glossy green that makes the white flowers all the more striking. Sun stress, soggy soil, and neutral or alkaline soil can also cause pale leaves, lack of flowering, die-back, and less resistance to pests. Prone to scale and mites. I sprayed my "sick" one with an iron sulfide solution, then later replanted it out of the sun and it came back strong the following spring. Shelter from harsh winter wind in northern areas. It will recover from frost damage if otherwise healthy. Very good for a foundation planting on north or east side of house, or planted in dappled shade garden. Likes to be mulched with pine needles, appreciates the "working in" of composted matter to surrounding soil in very early spring.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Midland City, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Boulder Creek, California
Merced, California
Paradise, California
Guilford, Connecticut
Norwalk, Connecticut
Wilmington, Delaware
Keystone Heights, Florida
Peachtree City, Georgia
Talking Rock, Georgia
Pekin, Illinois
Schaumburg, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Adamstown, Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland
Frederick, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Dracut, Massachusetts
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Milton, Massachusetts
South Hadley, Massachusetts
Topsfield, Massachusetts
Port Huron, Michigan
Manchester, New Hampshire
Jamesburg, New Jersey
Neptune, New Jersey
Glen Cove, New York
Monsey, New York
Southold, New York
Staten Island, New York
Syosset, New York
Banner Elk, North Carolina
Garner, North Carolina
Hilliard, Ohio
Eugene, Oregon
Mill City, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Springfield, Oregon
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Malvern, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Lexington, South Carolina
Crossville, Tennessee
Humble, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Blacksburg, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Langley, Washington
Seattle, Washington (2 reports)

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