Pieris Little Heath - who has one?

WendyB(5A/MA)August 2, 2011

Mine is reverting. I did some major pruning to it this past spring because it was getting taller than I wanted. When I did that, I noticed the middle was a bit empty. I knew it would fill in and it is, but the new middle growth is all green. waaaaaaaah...

I'm sure if I cut these branches out, either I will have empty spots or more green will sprout. The ends of the branches are variegated, just this new growth coming from the lower part of the branch is green.

Has this ever happened to you?

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runktrun(z7a MA)

Wendy,
I have Pieris "Little Heath" variegated and Pieris "Little Heath" (non variegated). My variegated "Little Heath" I planted 2-3 years ago in full sun and yes I have come to regret it a the Pieris lacebug has done considerable damage. The loss of leaves however has not encouraged the plant to replace the leaves with the non-variated Pieris leaves. Honestly I knew better when I planted it in full sun but the temptation of enjoying the variegated foliage all winter was too great.
Sadly Wendy I don't think there is any turning back for you I suspect as soon as you made that first cut you allowed the non-variegated to show itself but you might have some fun experimenting with the shrub.
To be honest I have come to like the non variegated P "Little Heath" better than the variegated. It holds up wonderfully against winter elements and I love the ultra shinny leaves.
I have included a link to a cool blog that has (in two parts) some relatively clear explanations of variegation that I thought you might enjoy reading.

Here is a link that might be useful: Green Sparrow Gardens Varigation Part 1

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 3:42PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I have three Little Heaths and last year I realized one of them had sent out a major non-variegated branch (I hadn't noticed because the nearby ornamental grasses had grabbed all my attention). A second Little Heath had a small amount of non-variegated growth and the third one had no reversion.

The non-variegated growth was very pretty and I wanted to propagate it but I messed up the process by pruning it all off and then trying to root that. Didn't work. In hindsight, I should have just layered it, pinned down on the soil.

Anyway, I pruned all of the non-variegated growth off and there hasn't been much new reversion. I just went out and looked and there is one small branch reverting. Most of the variegated branches have put out new variegated growth from the top.

You might want to keep pruning out the lower green growth and live with the empty spots. If the new top growth remains variegated it may spread out and partially hide the emptiness. I'm just guessing here, though.

Claire

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 4:50PM
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