Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pieris Japonica Shrub

Boy the weather has been wacky in Pennsylvania. Weeks of overly mild March temperatures and a mild Spring in general has everything confused. Bulbs are blooming in advance, my poor Rhododendrons are once again trying to force blooms much too early, weeds are going nuts and I had to mow my lawn already (not too happy about that one!!!)

Red tulips, out-and-about early this year.  

A red tulip on a crisp late-March morning.

Yesterday was an oddity compared to the past few weeks (or is it months) as the temps remained relatively cool (in the 50s) as they SHOULD BE for March. Great outdoor working weather in my opinion. I finally got around to doing something I've been wanting to do for about 2 years . . . transplanting my prized ornamental Pieris Japonica "Fire Mountain" shrub.

A "Fire Mountain" Japonica, newly transplanted.

I got this fella about 7 years ago in a one gallon container size for under $10.00. I believe it may have come to my knee in height at that time. I planted it in a location that I thought was perfect. We've all done that before, right? Never really taking into consideration how big it may possibly get. Well, it got big. It is now taller than me at about 6 feet and is probably near it's max in height. A perfect specimen size for an ornamental shrub.

Its previous location had it blocking visibility for access in and out of the driveway. It was also on a slight slope and loved falling forward during heavy rain or snow storms. Can't tell you how many times I frantically ran to its aid during storms or to free it from heavily weighing snow. It must be love.

Since the timing and temps were perfect yesterday I decided to "get-er-done" (finally) and am ABSOLUTELY THRILLED with the transplant (and I hope IT IS too!) I had to make room for it which entailed digging up a bizarre lone section of Privet, typically planted to produce a hedge. What's worse is this area was overgrown with trailing ivy and other "viney" culprits. The clearing of the new location took the bulk of my day for the transplant.

A much anticipated arrival . . . the Japonica in a new location where it can be better enjoyed!

The actual move was rather smooth. Japonica's have a relatively shallow root system and since mine LOVED leaning forward, it's shallow roots were already pulling upward on the backside. Guess it wanted to move to a new spot too and was helping out a bit.

The showy, fragrant flower clusters.  Look for species with pink flowers too.

Anyway, I can't say enough good things about this species and would highly recommend it. It provides year-round interest and mine has been maintenance-free. The showy cascading blooms this time of year (as evident from my photos) have a lovely fragrance that you notice just from passing by. New growth on the leaves spout at the tips in brilliant red hues giving it the trademark "FIRE" moniker and Winter buds provide interest as well. So if you are contemplating a care-free type of ornamental shrub, I highly recommend the Pieris Japonica varieties. They enjoy partial-shade to sun and moist, yet well drained soil. From what I read, they can tolerant full sun and poor soil conditions as well. I do have the recommended partial-shade to sun and moist, well-drained soil so that may be the "magic mix".


  1. Oh my how lovely, thanks for these beautiful idea's and views. Amazing landscape photo's, congrat's on your successful "Transplant" beauty. Again thanks for the new page, enjoy checking your Blog/Site/Etsy store. I could sure use your creative talents, do you make house calls!! :)

    1. Thanks NonnaG. I really love where it is now placed as I can enjoy it much more! Thanks for the visit and support!


Show me some love! I always enjoy your feedback and read each and every message!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...