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Pieris japonica...unwell! Advice needed please

What am I doing wrong with this pieris please.  Dorothy wyckoff.  I bought it about 2.5 months ago from a nursery.  First I had it planted out in a west facing border but soon realised it wasn’t well and have since had it in this pot (ericaceous compost) in a sunnier position. It did seem to start to do better.  I’ve watered it most days when I didn’t find the compost already moist.  I did have a week away where it had to fend for itself.  Crocked pots in the bottom and pot stands on feet so I don’t think it’s too wet round the roots? But I also don’t think that’s it’s being underwatered?  One stem seems worse than the other. Should I cut the ailing one down?

Advice would be appreciated.  As you have likel guessed....I am not an experienced Gardner :)


  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 574
    It may be too hot. Pieris prefer a dappled shade position. We have had some very high temperatures this year and that can cause the plant to become stressed. Move it somewhere a bit cooler as it will be absorbing heat reflected from your wall. Also put some grit, or bark on top of the compost to prevent evaporation, and lift the pot on to 'pot feet' or bricks to allow excess water to run out freely. 

    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • CurlymccannCurlymccann Posts: 3
    edited August 2019
    Thanks for reply.  I moved it there for the photo 😁 it has been in an area that is in shade during the afternoon, and it is usually on terracotta feet.  I’ll put some grit on top and pay closer attention to sun/shade
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,107
    It may be slightly overpotted too. It means when you water, the compost takes longer to dry out because there's more of it. In hot, dry conditions, that can be useful, but for a small plant, it means fine roots are sitting in wet soil for a long time, which isn't great for them. If it wasn't filling the pot fully when you got it, the rootball was probably quite small.
    Although Pieris like moist soil and lots of water, it doesn't mean they don't need good drainage, so it may have been a little waterlogged. Ironically, drooping foliage can be under or overwatering, so it can often be hard to tell the difference. 
    Keep it shady, and just keep an eye on it. It'll probably be fine.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    When it looks like that, keep it somewhere shady. Grown in a pot, the plant is too hot. As mentioned, they need cool surroundings, especially when young. It’s only when shrubs establish more, that they are they more adaptable.

    Right now, water thoroughly and leave to drain off and water again every 2-3 days. Soil in pots also need grit or similar added to aid drainage. Ericaceous compost can get very heavy on its own. 
  • Thanks for advice.  Very much appreciated.  I'll sort out the grit tomorrow and finder a cooler spot in garden.  Fingers crossed!
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