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Pieris Japonica

Posted by mcsix z8 WA (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 11, 09 at 20:23

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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RE: Pieris Japonica

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 12, 09 at 0:45

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.


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RE: Pieris Japonica

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.


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RE: Pieris Japonica

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.


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RE: Pieris Japonica

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 12, 09 at 19:33

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.


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RE: Pieris Japonica

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.


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RE: Pieris Japonica

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 14, 09 at 15:23

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.


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RE: Pieris Japonica

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 15, 09 at 10:11

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


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RE: Pieris Japonica

  • Posted by eeldip north portland (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 17, 09 at 11:35

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


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RE: Pieris Japonica

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.


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