Pieris Japonica

Distinctive, rich color makes Interstella lily of the valley shrub out of this world!

Forgive us for using maybe too many superlatives, but this plant earns them: Interstella pieris is one of the earliest blooming plants, starting its display of beautiful, bell-like, ruby-colored flowers before the calendar (and the weather!) even say its spring. And there are hundreds of them, dangling delicately from fine stems against a gorgeous evergreen backdrop. The flowers persist for a very long time – two months or more, often – and when they are done, the plant begins a dazzling display of star-like bright red new growth. So, obviously, it’s beautiful, but there’s more: this is possibly the most shade tolerant flowering shrub, blooming well even in very low light conditions, and it’s deer resistant, too. 

Top reasons to grow Interstella pieris:

– lantern-like blooms are delicately colored with a deep ruby tone.

– extremely early to bloom, and blooms are very long lasting.

– one of the best shrubs for shade.

Characteristics

Plant Type: 

Shrub

Shrub Type: 

Evergreen

Height Category: 

Medium

Garden Height: 

36 – 48 Inches

Spacing: 

36 – 48 Inches

Spread: 

36 – 48 Inches

Flower Colors: 

Pink

Flower Colors: 

White

Flower Shade: 

Ruby-red and white

Foliage Colors: 

Green

Foliage Colors: 

Red

Foliage Shade: 

Green, with red new growth

Habit: 

Mounded

Container Role: 

Thriller

Plant Needs

Light Requirement: 

Full Shade

Light Requirement: 

Part Sun to Sun

Light Requirement: 

Sun

Maintenance Category: 

Easy

Blooms On: 

Old Wood

Bloom Time: 

Late Winter

Bloom Time: 

Early Spring

Bloom Time: 

Mid Spring

Bloom Time: 

Late Spring

Hardiness Zones: 

5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b

Water Category: 

Average

Soil Fertility Requirement: 

Average Soil

Soil PH Category: 

Acidic Soil

Uses: 

Border Plant

Uses: 

Landscape

Uses: 

Mass Planting

Uses: 

Specimen or Focal Point

Uses Notes: 

Pieris makes an outstanding specimen, especially in shaded areas that can be difficult to fill with something truly special. However, with its beautiful evergreen foliage, it lends itself to being planted just about anywhere. 

Maintenance Notes: 

Pieris is related to rhododendrons and as such, requires similar conditions: acidic soil, moist but well drained soil, and protection from the worst of winter winds, especially in the colder parts of its range. A 2-3″/5-7cm layer of mulch is very beneficial.

This plant should not be regularly pruned or cut back, but you may selectively remove branches as needed to develop the shape you wish.