Pieris japonica, sometimes called lily-of-the-valley bush, is native to Asia. However, we have a native American Pieris that is hardy to zone 4 and does not get affected by lace-bug insects as much as the Asian species do.
All Pieris shrubs are evergreen and are related to rhododendrons and mountain laurels. Some cultivars have showy new foliage growth that is red in the spring and quite striking. And some have sweet pink flowers, as well as those with the more common white flowers, in the spring.
These shrubs grow well in woodland plantings and also in partially shaded borders. They are suited to foundation plantings, especially those with a northern exposure. Fortunately, all Pieris shrubs seem to be deer resistant and flower profusely in early spring, as well as having attractive glossy foliage and a neat habit. They are well behaved and don’t outgrow their space so rarely need pruning.
They combine beautifully with shade-loving perennials such as celandine poppy, astilbe, pulmonaria, lamium, Virginia bluebells, and ferns. Because they remain green year-round, they provide a neat backdrop for spring bulbs and summer annuals. Also, ground covers such as perennial geraniums, epimediums, hellebores, brunnera, and tiarella are pretty and stifle weeds if grown among these easy-care shade lovers.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on Lily-of-the-Valley bush.