Pieris Japonica: Grow & Care for Japanese Pieris

Written by Iris

Jul 30 2021

Pieris Japonica: Grow & Care for Japanese Pieris
Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris) is poisonous. Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris) grow in the mountains, the horse after eating will be dizzy, like drunk. The branches are about 110cm high, and the ornamental period is 2 to 6 months. There is no pollen transmission, so it is suitable for people with pollen allergy.

Where to Grow Pieris Japonica

These plants will do best in full sun or partial shade and will struggle with no sunlight whatsoever. To give them the best chance at healthy growth, choose a location that is east or west facing to be safe. Some varieties from our list above can handle facing south, but none should be planted in a north-facing direction.
Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris)

When to Grow Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris)

For the best results, plant your Pieris Japonica in spring or autumn. With a Pieris, you can expect red growth around the leaves in February, followed by the most vibrant period of growth in March. This gives way to flowers – usually white but not always, as we’ve seen above – in April and May. As an evergreen, the leaves will stay on year-round.
Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris)

How to Grow Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris)

Steps for Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris) Propagation with Seeds

  • Propagate andromedas from seed in spring for the best results, or in autumn if absolutely necessary. Test the viability of the seeds by soaking them in a bucket of water for 24 hours. Discard any seeds that float to the top.
  • Fill 4-inch plastic pots with a moistened mixture of three parts sterile compost and one part perlite. Fill the containers to within 1/2 inch of the top. Gently firm the mixture to eliminate any air pockets.
  • Sow one andromeda seed in each pot. Place the seed on the compost mixture. Gently press it into the surface so it is halfway buried. Scatter a very thin layer of compost over the seed so that it's covered but still exposed to the light.
  • Mist each pot with a spray bottle to settle the compost onto the seeds. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over each pot to prevent the compost from drying out too quickly.
  • Move the pots into a cold frame, or place them indoors near a west-facing window with bright, indirect light. Shield them from direct sunlight, to keep the seeds from drying out and going dormant.
  • Mist the compost every day to prevent it from drying out. Do not allow the compost to dry out for longer than a few hours, to prevent the seeds from going dormant. Avoid making the compost soggy, too, since wet conditions can cause the seeds to rot.
  • Watch for germination in 20 to 30 days. Remove the plastic wrap after the andromeda seeds sprout. Grow them in their containers until they reach 3 inches in height and have several sets of leaves, then transplant them into the garden.

Steps for Propagation with Stem Cuttings

Making cuttings is the easiest and fastest method to propagate your Japanese andromeda.
  • Snip 6-inch (15 cm) cuttings off new growth (only partially hardened off) at the end of summer.
  • Remove lower pairs of leaves, keeping only one or two pair(s) of leaves.
  • If possible, dip the base of the cuttings in powdered rooting hormones.
  • Plant the cuttings in heath soil.
  • Keep the cuttings near light, but not in direct sunlight.
  • Keep substrate a little moist.
  • Protect cuttings from freezing in winter.
  • Transplant in the following spring.
Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris)

How to Care for Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris)


Japanese pieris plants prefer to grow under full sunlight, getting at least six to eight hours a day. In warmer climates, you can get away with planing your Japanese pieris in a partial shade location that shields it from the harsher afternoon light.


All varieties of Pieris Japonica thrive in sandy, loamy soil with some acidity. For optimal growing conditions, the soil should be well-drained with some residual moisture. This plant will not tolerate alkaline soil, so use nutrients to adjust the soil pH if the area you’re planning on planting into is not acidic enough.


Water Pieris japonica once per week during spring, summer and fall to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Reduce watering frequency to once every two to three weeks during winter, when the plant's active growth has ceased. Soak the soil to a dept of at least 6 inches at each watering.

Temperature and Humidity

As long as it's planted in the proper USDA hardiness zone, Pieris Japonica does not have any special temperature requirements. Do your best to protect the plant from cold or especially harsh winds, which can result in leaf browning or die-back.


Fertilize once every year during early spring using a 14-7-7 NPK fertilizer. Apply at the rate recommended by the manufacturer's instructions. Water lightly before and after feeding, soaking the soil to a depth of at least 2 inches, to prevent root injury and release the nutrients into the soil.


Prune Pieris japonica immediately after blooming ends to improve the plant's aesthetic appeal and overall health. Trim back any excessively long growth and remove any damaged or diseased limbs as necessary using hedge clippers.

Pests and Diseases

Hardy though it may be, Pieris Japonica is not immune from pests and diseases. Although there are no particularly severe threats, it’s always a good idea to keep your eye out for any potential issues. If you see discolouration on the leaves, dead patches, or any other blemishes, your plant may be feeling poorly.
Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris)

Varieties of Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris)

Pieris ‘Forest Flame’ – this has great foliage and typical white pieris flowers. The new leaves appear bright red in spring, changing colour through pink, cream and green. It has been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Pieris japonica ‘Firecrest’ – this has bright red young bracts in spring, and pure white flowers. It has been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Pieris japonica ‘Purity’ – a striking cultivar with green leaves and bright white flowers.
Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ – this has bright red young bracts in spring, and pure white flowers. The foliage matures to a deep, rich green.
Pieris japonica ‘Katsura’ – is a compact variety with dark green foliage and pinkish-purple flowers.
Pieris japonica ‘Passion’ – a new cultivar with pinkish red flowers and foliage that is flushed red in spring turning glossy green later.
Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris)

Pieris Japonica (Japanese Pieris) FAQ

Is Pieris japonica poisonous?

Excessive salivation, vomiting, and abdominal pain usually develops 6-8 hours after the plant is eaten. ... Honey derived from rhododendrons, Pieris and other members of the Heath family can contain toxic levels of grayanotoxin ("mad honey"), and can cause poisoning in people who eat it.

Do Pieris lose their leaves?

Look out for the following symptoms of pieris lacebug on Pieris and Rhododendron; The foliage develops a coarse pale mottling on the upper surface and by late summer the leaves can have a bleached whitish yellow appearance. Heavy attacks may cause leaf drop on Pieris.

Does Pieris grow fast?

How fast does a Japanese pieris grow? Pieris japonica 'Katsura' reaches 3 by 3 feet in five years. At maturity, it can be between 6 to 9 feet with a spread of 6 feet.