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Pieris japonica, Japanese andromeda

Pieris japonica, the Japanese andromeda, here in bloom with variegated leaves

Japanese andromeda, or Pieris japonica, is a sumptuous shrub.

Key Pieris japonica facts

NamePieris japonica
Family – Ericaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters)
Climate – temperate
Exposure – part sun

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – spring
Soil – heath soil

Care – light pruning

One appreciates its spring-blooming and its beautiful colorful evergreen leafage.

Planting Pieris japonica

Pieris japonica is planted in fall or spring for specimens purchased in containers.

  • Planting in fall is, as always, the best way to ensure proper root development, but still it can also be planted up to spring as long as it is well watered.
  • If purchased in containers, it’s still good to plant in spring, simply remember to water more often at the beginning.

Once in the ground, best spread mineral-based mulch around its trunk so as to not influence ground acidity.

Propagating Japanese andromeda

Making cuttings is the easiest and fastest method to propagate your Japanese andromeda.

  • Snip 6-inch (15 cm) cuttings off new growth (only partially hardened off) at the end of summer.
  • Remove lower pairs of leaves, keeping only one or two pair(s) of leaves.
  • If possible, dip the base of the cuttings in powdered rooting hormones.
  • Plant the cuttings in heath soil.
  • Keep the cuttings near light, but not in direct sunlight.
  • Keep substrate a little moist.
  • Protect cuttings from freezing in winter.
  • Transplant in the following spring.

Potted Japanese andromeda

Pieris japonica or Japanese andromeda is a shrub that is particularly well suited to growing in a pot.

Thanks to its reduced breadth, more or less 5 feet (1.5 meters), and its evergreen foliage, it hits the nail to decorate a deck, balcony or terrace and arouses interest in winter, spring, summer and fall.

  • Ensure that the bottom of the pot has a hole in it to avoid stagnating water.
  • Prepare a drainage layer with clay pebbles or small rocks, to make water flow through to the bottom of the pot more easily.
  • Fill the pot exclusively with heath and plant your Japanese andromeda.
  • Mulch with pine bark, it will keep moisture in summer and protect from the cold in winter.
  • Water often from spring to fall, as soon as the surface soil is dry.

Learn more about Japanese andromeda

Japanese andromedaAlso called “Forest Flame”, this shrub with bright red and green colors will lend to your hedges a particularly ravishing touch.

Its bunched flowers go from white to red with instances of pink.

They’ll add a very ornamental touch to your garden right at the start of spring.

If you would like purple red flowers, choose the ‘Valley Valentine’ variety, it is a superb bright and colorful option.

This very beautiful persistent green foliage with spots of brilliant pink, white, and red in spring is an ideal shrub to decorate your garden as well as your garden boxes and pots for your terrace.

Smart tip about Japanese andromeda

It is recommended to water in case of dry weather to keep the soil cool.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
White flowers and variegated leaves by Guilhem Vellut under © CC BY 2.0
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