Pieris japonica

Sara Malone Zone 9bJuly 8, 2012

Now that I've gotten some guidance on the Leucadendron, here's a question about PIeris: I have had several varieties: 'Dorothy Wycoff', 'Flaming Silver', 'Little Heath', 'Brouwers' Beauty', and they virtually all languish. I have a large garden with hundreds upon hundreds of shrubs and trees, and these are the worst performing plants that I have. The 'Flaming Silver' still look decent, but I lost all of the 'Little Heath' and 'Brouwers Beauty' and the 'Dorothy Wycoff' do not look great. My suspicion is that my soil, which is very slightly alkaline, is not to their liking, that they want acid soil and will not flourish without it. Anyone have any thoughts? If this is the case I will stop falling for them and move on!

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Here I have Forest Flame for about 7 or 8 years, largely neglected, planted in partial shade. My native soil is about 6.5 ph with nothing added but home made compost, and that not regularly. Blooms heavily late winter to early spring with generous white trusses. My foliage color has never been as red as I expected, but that may be due to planting location. My soil is clay/loam and very well drained hillside terraced for planting beds. Whole planting bed is drip irrigated. Deer have never eaten it, although they eat Alstoemeria nearby. Pieris as a novelty plant is a welcome addition to the garden. Al

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:04AM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Hey Al, so nice to find you here! Will respond to your note via email. Your soil is more acid than mine - I am to the slight side of alkaline. Quarryhill is about 6.5 per Bill McN and their Pieris look just fine, and another MG in Glen Ellen grows them without difficulty. I love the plants - that's why I keep falling for them even though they do not thrive here. My 'Flaming Silver' are absolutely stunning in new foliage, and they are the only ones that seem to be able to hang on here.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:01AM
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