Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’

February 18, 2019 Dave Marciniak 0 Comments

The usual common name for Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ is Japanese Andromeda, which I will not use. I’ve never heard a homeowner call it “Andromeda”. I’ve heard pieris, I’ve heard japonica – that one’s fun, since there are a gazillion plants that are blahblah japonica – but never andromeda. Now you kids get off my lawn!

In all seriousness, I have always loved Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’. Its eventual size is predictable, growing super slowly to a max of 6 to 8 feet tall and 3ish feet wide. It takes a good decade for it to crack 4 feet tall. Like I said, super slow. That’s a good thing in a lot of home landscapes.

What’s less predictable is what Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ will look like as it grows. These plants love being in the partial shade of a backyard with mature trees, but they’ll also grow in full sun. They need soil that drains well. That’s a more important consideration than exact light requirements. As with most plants, the more sun they get the fuller and bushier they’ll be. In the shade, they’ll get thin and woody and get a whole lot funkier looking. The ones shown above were planted in a spot where they got a decent amount of sun. You can see that the foliage is still pretty dense and they have similar shapes to one another. Now look at this one.

This is a Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ that’s grown up on the shady side of the house. It’s right at about 8 feet tall, but the trunks are visible and the shape is pretty cool.

Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ gets covered with clusters of hanging white blooms in the springtime.  It got the name ‘Mountain Fire’ because new growth comes in a beautiful red, fading to green over time.

Want to buy Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ in Virginia?

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