Scarlet O'Hara Japanese Pieris
Pieris japonica 'Scarlet O'Hara'
Pieris japonica 'Scarlet O'Hara' in spring
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 10 feet
Spread: 6 feet
Hardiness Zone: 5a
Other Names: Japanese Andromeda
A genuinely exquisite broadleaf evergreen shrub much cherished for its delicate and showy chains of small white bell-shaped flowers and bright red emerging foliage, one of the hardiest cultivars; performs best in moist, organic and acidic soils
Scarlet O'Hara Japanese Pieris features dainty chains of white bell-shaped flowers hanging below the branches in early spring. It has attractive dark red-tipped dark green foliage which emerges scarlet in spring. The glossy narrow leaves are ornamentally significant but remain dark green through the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The furrowed gray bark is not particularly outstanding.
Scarlet O'Hara Japanese Pieris is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Scarlet O'Hara Japanese Pieris is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Scarlet O'Hara Japanese Pieris will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder zones.
This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets.