Just now getting flowers on my Pieris

sbcand(z7NC)September 13, 2009

I planted 2 Forest Flames and 1 Mountain Fire Pieris last fall and they had the long flowers on them. I left the flowers on through the winter and then pruned off in the spring.....thus I am just now getting the flowers again. I've read where most flowers bloom in the spring. As mush as I have long awaited these long flowers to get here, should I go ahead and take them back off so they will bloom in the spring or just keep them on during the winter and prune again in March? Also, should I do any fertilizing at all on these plants? I have sandy soil which I thought I amended enough but I've hardly had any red new growth on any of them. Mostly lime green or pale pink new growth.

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Stop!!!! Why in the world you decided to cut off flowerbuds is beyond me.

Pieris forms its flower buds in midsummer, so that string of buds that you see are the initial stages that will survive the winter and open in spring.

Occasionally plants here in the South (and in the subtropics) will go partially dormat in heat and drought in summer, and a return to comfortable temps or rainfall in fall (with the same length of day) can cause a "second spring" and some bud opening.

Don't bother fertilizing now, as you don't want a flush of tender growth that could be fried in the first freezes in Oct/Nov. Do continue to monitor the pieris for moisture so their rootballs don't dry out, and adds some compost and fresh mulch over the root zone so that it heads into winter in best health.

Once the plant establishes and isn't being "screwed with", chances are it can flower naturally in spring and put on new growth on its own terms.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 6:38PM
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Ok I won't touch them. It's just I have read to cut the flowers after they bloom and the blooming is suppose to be in the spring....not the fall. Anyway, I'll just do what I've always done and let the strings stay on during the winter and then prune back after they bloom in the spring. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 8:09PM
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I typically remove the spent flower panicles in May just because they are less than attractive. In April use some hollytone, compost or other acidic organic fertizlizer at a lite rate. Like most ericaceous plants (azaleas rhodies blueberries and such) they don't like nor need heavy fertilization.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 10:58PM
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