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Straggly Pieris

image I have 2 very straggly pieris in my garden, they

never grows and I don't know if pruning it would help. Any suggestions?


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Any chance you could photograph the plant a little closer? Do you know the variety? Is it Forest Flame? I'm concerned you saying it never grows. How long have you had this shrub?  Make sure your soil is not compacted. They prefer free draining acidic soil conditions.

  • I have had it for about 5 years maybe more. I don't know the variety but it does turn that typical pink colourimage

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Thanks for a close up. Five years does sound like a long time. Before giving them a prune, it's important they grow in the correct conditions first. Have you tested your soil before? The most obvious start would be the soil PH. Pieris shrubs need acidic conditions. If you are sure it's acidic, what is the soil conditions like. They don't do well on heavy and soggy soils. You need to look into that as it's strange for a shrub to not put on much every year. I believe the shortest varieties are around 1.5 meters.

    The way it is growing from your original picture suggests you once had a lot of growth around this shrub. It's also possible that an environment where there is crowding can cause 'leggy' growth.

  • turmericturmeric Posts: 828

    Just a thought but the first picture looks as if the Pieris is trying to grow at the base of a conifer hedge? This would be sucking nutrients and water from the soil and could be leaving the Pieris with nothing to live on.  Do you have another position in the garden where it would have better soil and water?

  • Yes at the base of a conifer hedge but other plants grow well there. do Conifers Not Create An Acidic Soil? The Soil Is Neither Dry Or Boggy

  • turmericturmeric Posts: 828

    I think the leaves of the conifer (if they've been trimmed and spread on the ground) can acidify the soil slightly, but the fact that it's growing there won't acidify the soil.  Soil is usually deficient in nutrients and moisture at the base of conifer hedges and this could affect the pieris.  Difficult to say why the other shrubs are thriving (perhaps they like harsh conditions or enjoy the soil on the dry side) but it looks like the pieris needs a bit more tlc than it's getting in its current position.  Just a thought though, I could be completely wrongimage

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