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There Pieride it is a plant that comes from the East: it has a decidedly pleasant appearance, it produces flowers but also decorates when it does not have them due to its beautiful leaves and slightly extravagant shapes that recall its origins.
Let's get to know the appearance of the Pieride and also all the attention we have to pay it to make it grow at its best.
Pieris, perennial plant
The term Pieris indicates not a single plant but a dozen plants and not all of them can be grown in gardens, the only one, which is the one we also find in our area, is the Pieris japonica, originally from Japan and China. More than a plant, it is a medium-sized shrub, with a decorative and pleasant, evergreen appearance.
Pieris Andromeda: characteristics
Imagine a shrub-shaped plant, round and rather broad, which produces many thin branches. The leaves with which they are adorned are evergreen and oval or lanceolate, with a leathery texture and shiny appearance. When the warm season arrives, rather prematurely compared to other plants, our Pieride produces its flowers.
At the end of winter, small, bell-shaped flowers begin to appear, white and waxy in texture. Next to the spring buds there are also leaves that have a different color from the others and tend more to red, or even are bright red. We talked about white flowers but in truth we can also see other colors bloom, depending on the hybrids and cultivars we meet. There are some with variegated colored leaves, some that produce pinkish flowers or even smaller than average size. The plant never exceeds the half a meter high and that is why it can be used very easily to decorate borders.
They prefer not to be in direct sun, they are usually grown in half shade or in full shade, certainly without exaggerating in putting them in a dark place. If we place them in the sun we must be very careful that it can have moments of rest, without rays hitting it, especially in the hottest hours of the summer.
As for the soil, we must take into account that these plants need that suitable for acidophilic plants, low in calcium. In general these are shrubs resistant and rustic, able to survive both in the open ground in the garden and in pots. They resist frost and bad weather, outdoors, and when they live indoors they must be treated with greater care also because they have a smaller space for their roots.
It is very important, whether in pots or in full earth, not to do form water stagnations. This does not mean that it should never be watered, we must do it regularly, especially in the months following planting, checking that the soil never remains dry but not that too much water accumulates so much that the roots rot.
Knowing how to dose water correctly is very important because it allows us to grow a healthy, floriferous and luxuriant shrub. To enhance its flowering, towards the end of winter, when the good weather begins to return, we can spread a slow release granular fertilizer and if the leaves start and turn yellow, you can always use a greening agent.
So far we have talked about soil for acidophilic plants without going into detail but now it's time to do it. Belonging to the heather family the Pieride loves acid soils and therefore without too much limestone. It is not the best for us who living in Italy most likely find ourselves dealing with a soil rich in limestone and as if this were not enough, even the tap water that we could use to water it is on average rich in calcium.
It is difficult to get rid of this problem because even when we put one in the open ground Pieride with acidophilic soil, after some time the soil around the roots will accumulate limescale which will damage the roots and the plant itself. A remedy can be to provide it with a greening fertilizer, rich in iron in the form available to the plant, or by placing the plant in a large hole to be filled with peat and soil for acidophilic plants and then water it with rain water or with limescale-free water. With this trick we can keep the soil around the plant acidic for longer, this applies for many years but we must still be ready for a possible explant with the subsequent replacement of the soil around the plant, always with the same method.
If we are in an area that is more limestone than ever, it is better, however, to abandon the idea of putting the Pieride on the ground, it is best to give it up and plant it in a pot so that the soil can be kept in check.
Pieris Japonica in vase
Among the many species of Pieris there is the Japonica which is the one that is mostly grown in gardens. It comes from China and Japan and forms medium-sized bushes that grow very slowly. The branches are very dense, the leaves that sprout there are dark green but near the buds they become bronze and even come to take on a color bright red which makes the shrubs colorful even before the white, small, abundant flowers appear.
There Floribunda it is a Pieris that comes to us from overseas, from the United States of America and forms less compact bushes than those of the Japonica. They consist of very many branches, thin, covered by evergreen leaves but of a lighter color and do not change color near the shoots. The flowers bloom at the apex of the stems, in erect panicles and are very fragrant.
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