Pieris japonica is native to the mountains in Japan, China, and Taiwan. It is an evergreen shrub that provides a variety of interest in the landscape. It belongs to the Ericaceae family of plants. The new growth and leaves are very colorful in shades of rose, bronze, and red maturing into the green. And the blossoms are very original very similar to lily of the valley.
Pieris japonica flowers start in early spring or even winter (February) but in full swing in spring. The flowering season lasts about 2-3 weeks. The flower color ranges from white to pink and red depending on the variety and they are clustered each individual flower looks like an urn or a lantern. It does like acidic, moist, but well-drained soil. Protect it in winter and shelter from strong wind especially before it has established.
Pieris japonica is also known as Lily-of-the-Valley Shrub, Japanese Andromeda or Japanese Pieris.
Propagate Pieris japonica by softwood cuttings in summer and semi-hardwood cutting in late summer or early autumn. Plant it in full sun or partial shade but it could tolerate full shade. It could grow from 1 to 4 meters or 3 to 13ft. Pieris japonica attracts bees but could be toxic to humans, cats, and dogs and it is deer-resistant.
Pieris japonica is only of the seven species of Pieris which includes P. Cubensis, P. Floribunda, P. Formosa, P. Nana, P. Phillyreifolia and P. Swinhoei. And Pieris japonica itself has over 100 varieties.
Some of the most popular varieties are:
Pieris japonica ‘Carnaval’ where the green leaves have a cream color edge
Pieris japonica ‘Bonfire’ with white flowers
Pieris japonica ‘Katsura’ with pale pink flowers
Pieris japonica ‘Christmas Cheer’ which has pink-tipped flowers
Pieris japonica ‘Pink Delight’ which has drooping pink fading to white flowers
Pieris japonica ‘Sarabande’ which is a compact shrub with white flowers
Pieris japonica ‘Passion’ with dark pink or reddish-pink flowers.