Pieris Aren't Blooming

Pieris is one of the earliest spring-blooming shrubs and makes a lovely backdrop for a wide range of traditional spring bulbs. The flowers of Pieris form on old wood from the previous season. Since these buds are on the plant through the winter, they tend to be a bit tougher than other flower buds, although sometimes the buds are damaged or destroyed by pruning or harsh winters.

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Common Reasons Why Pieris Isn’t Blooming

There are many reasons why Pieris fail to bloom well. The number one reason is poor pruning at the wrong time of year. Pieris blooms on old wood and the new flower buds are easily removed in the winter or early spring. Planting the shrub too deeply also affects blooming ability. Make sure that the base and main trunk of Pieris are slightly above the surface of the soil, allowing the shrub to receive good air circulation. Trees and shrubs that are planted too deeply become starved of air over time and decline in growth and vigor.

Pruning Pieris To Help It Bloom

Pruning Pieris after it has finished blooming early in the spring will help to maintain the blooms for the following year. Cutting Pieris back hard later in the summer or early in the spring can disrupt blooming. Pieris responds to rejuvenation pruning very well. Be ready to lose one or more seasons of flowers after severe pruning. Deadhead carefully at the end of blooming, so that any forming buds are not accidentally cut off or damaged.

Fertilizing Pieris To Help It Bloom

Acid-loving evergreens may need a boost of nutrition after the first couple of years in the garden. Yellowing of the leaves can indicate a lack of nutrition or unsuitable pH level. We recommend testing the pH level of the soil. These tests are simple to perform and available at most home improvement stores or larger nurseries. Soils on the alkaline side will restrict uptake of nutrients that acid-loving plants need to thrive.

Pieris grows best in slightly acid soil with a pH level of 5.0 - 6.5. A slow-release, granular fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants will provide the right blend of macronutrients and micronutrients for Pieris all year. Fertilizer should be applied once in early spring as Pieris starts actively growing. 

Get Pieris To Produce More Blooms

Pieris is not the type of plant that can be forced to continue blooming past its normal range. Deadheading will not encourage more flowers, just new stem and leaf growth. The correct pruning timing and addition of fertilizer early in the spring will support a productive blooming season.

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Why Pieiris Isn’t Blooming

  • Planted too deeply
  • Pruned too late in the summer
  • Pruned before blooming in early spring
  • Soil is not acidic enough