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Japanese kerria, yellow blooms in early spring

Kerria japonica

Kerria is a shrub covered in cute yellow blooms in spring.

Key Kerria facts

NameKerria japonica
Family – Rosaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 m)
Exposure – full sun, part sun

Soil: ordinary     –     Foliage: deciduous   –   Flowering: spring

Planting kerria

Japanese kerria careThe best time for planting Japanese kerria is fall, or winter in areas where it doesn’t freeze.

It’s also possible to purchase specimens in pots or containers in spring, but then you’ll have to be careful about watering. Indeed, you’ll have to water for the first summer.

In the end, in order to favor root development and renewed growth in spring, plant in fall.

  • Follow our advice on planting
  • Space plants by about 32 inches (80 cm) if you’re planting a hedge.

Kerria japonica in pot

It’s possible to plant kerria in a pot, but there is one condition: the pot must be large enough, and you’ll have to be present to water regularly during the growth phase.

In fall, you can trim the shrub very short after leaves have dropped.

Propagating kerria

This shrub tends to send a great many offshoots out from its roots. This makes it very easy to propagate: simply dig them out at the end of summer.

Transplant these offshoots to a light substrate, carefully keeping it a bit moist.

Trimming kerria

kerria pruningPrune ⅔ off from the sprigs of the year when the flowers have died off. This helps give the shrub a beautiful, bushy shape.

It also makes sense to eliminate a few old branches to give the shrub as much light as it can get towards the center.

Kerria japonica will often send suckers out both from roots and stems.

If they’re not growing where you want them to grow, remove them while they’re still small.


All there is to know about kerria

This beautiful shrub is called “Yamabuki” in Japan, where it is native from (together with southern China).

The botanical name for Japanese kerria is “Kerria japonica”. It produces very cute yellow flowers that are very appealing at the beginning of spring.

Vigorous growth, stems that stay green even as they age, and beautiful leafage highlight the gold yellow blooms.

  • In shrub beds or in a hedge, it is quite a statement! Also beautiful and suited to pots.
  • It starts to bloom just after the winter mimosa tree.

Smart tip about kerria

Cut back quite short in fall to promote its upcoming blooming and keep its bearing dense.

Images: Pixabay: Hans Braxmeier, Heung Soon, Marianne Langenbach
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