Andromeda Plant

Pink Japanese Andromeda

Pink Japanese Andromeda Flowers

What is Andromeda?

 Also known as the Lily of the Valley plant or Japanese andromeda, the plant belongs  to the Pieris genus. The shrub grows slowly and has pink or white drooping flower clusters. Native to Taiwan, Japan and eastern China, the ornamental plant is popular for its glossy leaves. Known scientifically as Pieris japonica, it belongs to the Ericaceae family.

The evergreen plant has broad leaves and appeals visually all-year round. It starts to bud in early spring, revealing bronze or bright-colored leaves for an appealing look. Clusters of pendulous, dainty flowers with fragrance and resembles bells appear afterwards. The evergreen shrub buds even in winter, explaining why its popular among gardeners.

Andromeda Plant Description

The plant matures in one to two decades, attaining a height of up to 13 feet. It also spreads its vegetation upon maturity to 8 feet wide. However, dwarf Andromeda varieties grow up to 3 feet in height, making them ideal for homeowners without much space in their gardens.

Glossy Andromeda Leaves

New Growth of Glossy Andromeda Leaves

The broad leaves range in color from bronze during growth to bright red upon maturity. However, the plant is poisonous. Pieris japonica flowers range in colors from red to pink to white.

Japanese Andromeda Varieties/Cultivars

Andromeda cultivars include the Himalayan pieris (Pieris formosa) and the Mountain pieris (Pieris floribunda). Pieris formosa is native to North Myanmar, the eastern Himalaya and Yunnan whereas Pieris floribunda is believed to have its origins in North America. The latter is differentiated from other species in terms of its upright flower clusters.

Cultivation of Andromeda Plant

Andromeda is propagated from cuttings. In early summer, the cuttings are obtained from softwood whereas in late summer, they are sourced from semi-hardwood. It can also be grown from seeds, germinating in 60 days just like the Azaleas. The ornamental plant does well in USDA hardiness zone 4 to 8. It has partly sunny and partly shade light requirements for growth.

The plant thrives in well-drained, slightly acidic soils with a pH of 5 to 6 and has average water requirements. The flowering season begins from late winter to early spring. Andromeda requires light organic fertilizer application during the flowering season.

Pruning is done after the flowering season. The plant is prone to pests and diseases such as nematodes, lace bugs, spider mites, and leaf spot and phytophthora root rot, respectively.

Uses of Pieris Japonica

Andromeda resists deer and makes a perfect backdrop for smaller plants and flowers in gardens.

Check out our range of affordable gardening supplies and tools, including planters and raised beds to help you grow Andromeda plants in your patio or garden.