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Pieris Katsura compact shrub

I bought a Pieris Katsura shrub about 2 weeks ago from a garden centre. We paid £44.99 for it so it was well established with lots of flowers. But the past few day's I have notices that the flower's look as if they are dying. There are a few new red leaf shoots, but some other leaves look brown as if they are dying too. Is this normal?

I have tried to look on the internet but all it say's is where to plant, and how big they grow etc.

Any ideas why this is happening?

Thanks in advance for your responcses.


  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150

    Hi lubylu, do you know what type of soil you have in your garden?

    Pieris need an acid soil same as azaleas and rhododendrons.

    I don't have the "katsura" one but I have "forest flame" and "little heath", both of them live in large pots and I used ericacious compost. I feed them with azalea/rhododendron food (for acid loving plants).

    I did try them in the ground initially but the "forest flame" turned very yellow and looked quite sickly. It's much happier in the right compost.

    If you can post a photo it would help to see the problem for the best advice.

  • lubylulubylu Posts: 6

    Hi Kitty and Verdun,

    Thank you so much for the replies. I haven't a clue what type of soil I have, but I will look into getting a kit to test it.

    I don't have the receipt for when I bought the plant so I'm not sure I could take it back. image

    You mentioned the rhododendron liking acid soil too but we planted one of them in the same border too but that looks ok at the minute.

    I will try to upload a photo on here so you can see what it looks like.

    Thanks again for the replies

  • lubylulubylu Posts: 6
    My plant looks dead this year.  :'(

    Does anyone know if it is dead. There isn't any green on it at all. 
  • lubylulubylu Posts: 6
    I've never seen this shrub look like this before. Do you think it was the frost? Any suggestions as to have to bring it back to life?
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    edited April 2018
    Lubylu, the Pieris is not looking good at all. Was it gradually deteriorating? Or did this happen after the snow and harsh cold weather recently? This is a shrub that really needs free draining acidic soil and a sheltered spot, without that, it will be struggling and grow weak. Scratch some of the lower stems with your nail and see if you see any green, if yes, leave it and see if it recovers, if not and it snaps, it's gone.

    The second batch of photos look like a badly frost damaged Lophomyrtus x Raphii shrub. This shrub is only frost hardy and will not tolerate long periods of frost and cold. You can do the same by scratching some of the middling stems to see if there is green. Again, if yes, snip some off the top growth where leaves have turned crispy and feed the plant and wait. Hopefully new growth will appear if it recovers. If the stems are brittle and snap easily, I'm afraid it's dead. These shrubs will need fleece protection if grown in the ground in this country. Unless you live in a micro-climate. 
  • lubylulubylu Posts: 6
    Hi Borderline. 
    Thank you very much for your reply and advice. 
    I will do what you've suggested once it's stopped raining. Lol
    You mentioned the Pieris being planted in acidic soil. Now I'm not 100% sure if it is acidic soil but we do have a rhodedundrum growing in the same border and it seems to be doing ok.
    We have never wrapped any of the shrubs in fleece and the second shrub photo we have had for a number of years. 
    Anyway I'll let you know what the branches show. 
    Thanks again.
  • lubylulubylu Posts: 6
    Hi Borderline,
    It looks like the Pieris has died.  :'(  There wasn't any green at all when I scraped the lower part of the plant. When I dug it up the branches just snapped off. 
    The Lophomyrtus plant looks like there is life there so just trimmed some of the crisp leaves off. Hopefully it will be ok!
    Thanks for your advice again!
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