Pieris japonica (Thunb.) D. Don ex G. Don
Japanese Pieris, Japanese Andromeda, Lily-of-the-valley Bush
Andromeda japonica, Lyonia polita, Lyonia popowii, Pieris japonica var. taiwanensis, Pieris polita, Pieris popowii, Pieris taiwanensis
Bloom Time: Spring
Pieris japonica is a shrub or a small tree with simple, alternate leaves on brittle stems. It grows up to 13.1 feet (4 m) tall, occasionally up to 32.8 feet (10 m). Flowers are white, appear in early spring, and usually last for two or three weeks.
How to Grow and Care
As they are originally from a forested habitat, they do best in dappled shade. The intense sun in early spring can burn the tender new growth. They will not do too well in full shade as they won't produce as many flowers, and the color of the new growth won't be as intense. They need well-drained but moisture-retentive humus-rich acid soil. If you have alkaline soil, you will have to grow it in a pot; you can add ericaceous compost and feed and mulch with pine needles, but it will only be temporary, and alkaline soil will always be alkaline soil.
They are hardy shrubs but may need some protection from late frosts, which will burn the new growth and flowers. The frost probably won't kill the plant, but it will mar the spring display, which is usually the main reason it is grown.
Plant them to the same depth as in the pot and water well. Keep an eye on the watering in the first season, particularly if there is a long dry spell.
See more at How to Grow and Care for a Lily of the Valley Bush.
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