Drooping pieris

Sorry if this has been asked before.  I have a few pieris Forest Flames in various positions in the garden.  The branches on most of them are drooping down to the ground, though they have lots of flowers on them.  Should I be feeding them with something?  If so, what - ericacious feed?  Should I mulch?  Would be devasted is they died off!  I'm desperately hoping they'll recover and produce the lovely red shoots.  Also, should I try to cut off most of the flowers when they're past their best?.  Thank you for any comments.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 2,992
    If possible, can you post a photo of what it looks like right now? It's very difficult to advise on plants that are drooping. They can droop due to many reasons, including over-feeding, causing branches to be weak and unable to support their weight. The shrub may have developed this habit due to heavy shade and it's trying to reach the light. If the leaves are not drooping, it's a good sign though.
  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 905
    I would give your Peris a granular ericaceous feed. I use Mirecle Grow ericaceous feed for all my acidic plants and it seems to work well when they are not at their best.
  • Poly-anthusPoly-anthus Posts: 60
    I'll try to get out to take a photo tomorrow if the wind and rain ease off a bit!  Thank you for your replies.
  • Poly-anthusPoly-anthus Posts: 60

    The first picture is of the one against the back fence.  It gets sun most of the day in summer.
    The second one is at the front in a little bed in the gravel.  It's in shade in the morning but gets sun in the afternoon.  It's looking a bit sad - most of the branches only have foliage and flowers at the ends.  I hope there's some hope for it.  I don't fancy trying to dig it out of the little bed without creating havoc all around it!

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 2,992
    edited 25 March
    Thanks for posting those photos. Your shrubs look very healthy. I had a feeling it would look like this, and I believe you should not be feeding them at all, that droop is due to the branches laden with flowers. The leaves have a lax sort of habit anyway.

    I think they can be pruned back to shorten some of the base branches. This is so you don't have them trailing all over the ground. Don't worry about the shrub looking a bit twiggy and leaf-less after that, they will recover throughout the year. Sometimes, shrubs need some pruning to stop them from growing longer and longer branches. You can shorten some of the branches after flowering.
  • Poly-anthusPoly-anthus Posts: 60
    Thank you so much Borderline.  You've made my day!  I was particularly worried about the one at the front (second pic) which has branches lying flat across the gravel.  When these have finished flowering, should I just cut a few of them well back into bare stems so that the whole area is not a mass of twigs?  Also, I haven't been feeding them at all.  Perhaps after I've cut a few bits back, I should be giving them a bit of a feed?  Thank you for your advice, much appreciated.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 2,992
    After pruning it back a bit, you can feed or I think the best thing would be fork in a very thick layer of ericaceous compost around their base, and they should do fine. 

    It's totally up to you how you prune back. I would halve the length on some for the branches, and shorten some of the other stems. Around the base, I would cut back further in to lift the base up a bit so you don't have long stems trailing on the soil or ground for next year. 
  • Poly-anthusPoly-anthus Posts: 60
    Many thanks again Borderline.  I really appreciate your time and advice.  After flowering, I'll be out there with the ericaceous compost and pruners, and with trepidation, I'll cut it back, lol.  Thanks again.
  • Mine also went like this , it's just heavy with so much lovely blossoms and then the rain in the small flower cups. 
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