Pieris Japonica

mcsix(z8 WA)April 11, 2009

We put one of these in three years ago. We bought it in beautiful bloom, but it hasn't bloomed since. It's in a spot that has good drainage, half-day or so sun, not great soil but decent. I've never fertilized it. It has grown--just no blooms. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

How big? Dinky camellias also come from the grower with buds and then don't bloom again on the purchaser's site until they are of normal flowering size. Growers must use a specific fertilization regime and/or other methods to cause blooming in a smaller size than would occur under ordinary garden conditions.

And if you look at groupings of larger, long-established pieris in local plantings you will see that flowering is not all over each specimen every year. Of course, some of this will be due to heavy seed set causing cyclic flowering, same as in alternate bearing fruit trees.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 12:45AM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

Yes, if it was a small one when you bought it, it might need a few years before it reblooms in your garden. The site sounds right, and it's growing, so it's probably ok. Fertilizer wouldn't hurt but then again I only feed mine once a year, and you say yours is growing.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 10:34AM
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mcsix(z8 WA)

It's about three feet tall now. I guess I'll just enjoy the pretty shrub and let it surprise me one of these springs. Thanks for the responses.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 10:48AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Way too tall to not be blooming due to juvenility. With the slow grow rate under normal conditions one that tall is many years old.

Too much fertilizer can hurt, how much is too much depends on what is in the soil already. Either a given specimen needs to be fertilized or it doesn't. A shrub that does not grow every year is dead, so the fact that a shrub is making new growth does not indicate it wouldn't benefit from fertilization.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 7:33PM
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gardengal48

Conditions that limit flowering on rhododendrons will also apply to pieris - excessive shade, planted too deeply (a common problem) or allowed to dry excessively in late summer/early fall when the buds set.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 10:39AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

On Yaku island in Japan P. japonica grows in a very rainy climate. Even there it may be seen growing along streams - where it poisons the water!

All these southeast Asian plants are coming from a region with the reverse annual precipitation pattern of ours. Another place where rainfall peaks in summer instead of winter is Florida. Our combination of both cool and dry summers is actually kind of unusual in the world, most other populated regions being warmer or damper during the growing season.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 3:23PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I'm real comfortable with our climate. I hope the rest of the world doesn't discover it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:11AM
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PRO
George Three LLC

TRUE. once they discover our climate, they might just steal it!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 11:35AM
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mcsix(z8 WA)

We discovered today that it does have one bloom way down low. Interesting. The plant does look very healthy and has growth. We've totally redone the garden around it with rhodies, azaleas, and astilbe. We've also cut back bordering cedars to make sure they all get a bit more sun (midday sun for about 3-4 hours). I'll try fertilizing the rhodies and azaleas after they bloom and include the pieris. It's a beautiful plant.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 8:49PM
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