Pieris is a beautiful evergreen shrub that is very popular for its red or pinkish young shoots, that apear several times a year. For each new branch that the plant makes new red to pink young leaves. Later on, these leaves turn into green. Most species also flower in April - May. The flowers are pretty white, pink to red 'bells'. The pieris thus takes different 'shapes' during the year. This makes the plant so attractive.
Most species have green leaves, but there are also some variegated varieties.
Depending on the variety, Pieris can grow up to 2m high in 10 years (average).
Because of its acidophilic character, the pieris is often planted in combination with Rhododendrons or other acidophilic plants.
Substrate: Pieris grows best in soil with a slightly acid pH between 4 and 6. Mix the existing soil with peat and keep the mixture airy. The roots of a Rhododendron grow relatively shallow (up to Max. 50 cm). Make your planting hole not too deep (40 cm), That way the roots are able to take enough oxygen. Use sure no lime.
Location: Pieris prefers an acidic (pH 4-6) and not to dry soil, well drained. A pieris doesn't like too bright sun. The young leaves will quickly ' burn '. So a spot in partial shade is ideal for a pieris. It is also better to avoid a location with to much wind (N-E).. The plant can be planted, in combination with other solitary acidophilous plants (Rhododendron, Viburnum tinus, Camellia, ...) or he can be held as a pot plant on the terrace. As long as you provide the plant with enough water.
Flowering period: A Pieris blooms in april-may. Depending on the species, he gives white, pink to red ' bells '. Several times a year, most varieties also show very nice red 'shoots'. Those shoots make a beautiful display of colour. However, this is no blossom, these are new branches and leaves that appear.
Pruning: After flowering, in may, it is better to remove the flowers. This promotes the branching of Your plant. Besides cutting the longest branches to keep the plan's shape, pruning is not recommended. Pruning of dead branches on older plants is preferred. If necessary, deep pruning above the ground (1 inch) is possible. But it will take several years for the plant to recover.
Fertilization: In the growing season, from april to september, it is better to ad some slow-acting fertilizers.
Water: Keep the soil moist for proper growth, but too much water (saturated soil) does the roots choke. Use preferably rain water. A pieris can also be kept perfectly in a tub or pot as a terrace plant. In a tub you should provide the plant with enough water.
Frost: A Pieris is pretty hardy. Shelter from North and East wind is desirable. Frost late in spring can damage the young shoots.
Growth: Depending on the variety, a Pieris can grow up to 2,5m in about 10 years.