Rhodo vs variegated pieris

miclino(5)June 4, 2012

Have a rhodo besse Howell in a prime location in front yard. Raised bed with sun till 2pm. It blooms nicely for about 10 days and that's it. Also getting somewhat leggy. Looking for something with a longer season of interest. Does anyone have experience with piers flaming silver? How slow growing is it? Pros cons? Dieback issues?

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Rhododendrons, Kalmia, and Pieris just have the spring bloom and are a nice shrub the rest of the year. If you want flowers try roses.

What I like is the rhododendrons (and some do bloom for at least 3 weeks) and then plant flowering perennials around them so there is a full season of bloom.

The longest blooming rhododendrons I have are Boule de Neige (white) and Scintillation (pink). With perennials you can get a full season of bloom and choose from a multitude of colors.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Thanks. Thats pretty much what I have now but with real estate so limited, I was hoping for something with more than one season of interest. That being said, there are few things quite like a rhodo in bloom

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:03PM
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Plus I figured, the Pieris would give me the same evergreen coverage but have the bonus of colorful new foliage as well as variegation.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:05PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

For interesting foliage, dwarf Japanese cut leaf maples are one of my favorites.

Acer palmatum dissectum 'Chantilly Lace'
3 to 5 feet, Zones 5-8, Sun to part shade

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 10:04AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

One big advantage of Pieris is deer don't like them. That is a big plus where I live. I put in a deer fence so I use Pieris outside the fence. Boxwood is also something that deer don't like. There are some spectacular Pieris:

Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire'
4 to 8 feet, zones 5-8, tolerates dense shade

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 10:12AM
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Thanks! Do you think acid loving plants such as Rhodo and Pieris would do well planted right at the base of a brick patio?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 1:47AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

A problem with mortar that most people don't think of is the mortar left over from mixing it up. Have you ever seen a bricklayer clean up his mess and take the mortar, not used, off the job? It's usually just covered up. As a retired landscape contractor, I have found it to be the case in almost all brick chimney and patio jobs I came across in 30 plus years of landscaping.
I have hauled off a lot of mortar from new construction, to landscape makeovers.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:52AM
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I absolutely have to try a flaming pieris, where can I find sulfur to make sure the soil is acidic? I just bought a beautiful specimen so I want to make sure I have the best chance of success, I am planting next to a brick patio.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:17PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

I buy my sulfur at my Ace Hardware. Their horticulture section has lots of different plant foods and also powdered sulfur. You can also use the powdered sulfur that is for plant diseases, but it is more expensive for virtually the same thing.

Below is a link for an online source:

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Sulfur at amazon.com

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 5:29PM
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