A broadleaved evergreen shrub, most Pieris varieties have abundant white flowers, although some cultivars, notably ‘ Christmas Cheer’ have pink blossoms. The fruits are not showy. The plants are commonly known as andromedas, and Pieris japonica was originally called Andromeda japonica.
Full sun in all but the hottest climates.
Can take very hot weather, although should have some partial shade above 95F. Will take light frost, but prefers temperatures to remain above 35F.
Moderate. Soil should be somewhat moist, but over-watering can cause root rot. Avoid water with a high lime content.
Cakes or a 20-20-20 fertilizer can be used, although an occasional dose of Miracid helps to keep the soil acidic.
Pruning and wiring:
Trim back new shoots during growth. Can be used for most styles and sizes. Has a long flowering period, and can be pruned while still in bloom. Remove flowers as they fade.
Every 2-4 years in early spring. Use lime-free soil mix.
Some species suitable for bonsai:
Pieris formosa: Chinese andromeda - possibly the most attractive andromeda, with showy white flowers and fiery red new shoots.
Pieris japonica (also called andromeda japonica): pieris, Japanese andromeda - This shrub has drooping clusters of flowers to five inches long, and three inch leaves. It grows to ten feet. Supposedly hardy in zones 6-8. although those who posted suggest thst the plant can take more heat and less cold than this.
Pieris japonica ‘Christmas Cheer’; Japanese andromeda.
Pieris japonica ‘Compacta’: dwarf andromeda, dwarf lily-of-the-valley bush
Compiled by Sabrina Caine