13 April 2013

Pieris Survives The Graveyard

Another plant given, another plant taken. And, this one survived. Last year a friend requested I pick out one pieris for my yard from three that she had purchased to give away. This was my first introduction to the plant. Not knowing anything about it (nor did my gardening friend) I greedily selected a 'Canadian grown cultivar.'
"Clusters of spring blooms resembling lily of the valley cascade near ends of branches. New spring growth is bright red or pink when emerging. Mature foliage is lustrous dark green. Requires rich acidic soil and ample moisture; protect from hot winds and sun."
None of the plants had any blooms - only colorful labels with colorful descriptions. The back yard is shady on the north side of the wood fence. This is my graveyard of plants, and the graveyard had plots available. To date, this area has killed an aralia, an acanthus, two ferns, a hosta, and a ligularia. (Either a zombie ligularia or acanthus is trying to come back from the dead with a few leaves poking up.)

The little pieris that could, survived the winter and thrived. The thing is a mound of blooms, although a small mound. One thing I will note is that stems supporting the blooms are weak, bending downwards.

I have a bad tendency to plant things too close together, so I have given this little one and the nearby hydrangea and buddleia some space. The tag did not have a size listed, so we assume an eventual 4-5 feet (1.2 - 1.5 meter) adult.

The tag was correct so far. The foliage has been dark green and evergreen, needed in this section of the yard for some winter interest. There is no new growth yet, but I expect those red shoots later. The plant seems comfy in its new home mixing it up with our Virginia clay, and the owner is happy it is surviving. Maybe the graveyard of plants has turned the corner.