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Pieris floribunda (Mountain Andromeda)

Mountain Fetterbush, Mountain Andromeda, Fetterbush, Fetter Bush

Pieris floribunda, Mountain Fetterbush, Mountain Andromeda, Fetterbush, Fetter Bush, White Flowers,

Pieris floribunda, commonly known as Mountain Pieris or Mountain Andromeda, is a dense, bushy, evergreen shrub that provides desirable winter interest, abundant spring blooms, and delightful foliage that holds its color across the seasons.

Pieris floribunda: An In-depth Look

Mountain Andromeda is known for its upright, dense, and bushy habit. It displays white, bell-shaped flowers and glossy, dark green leaves, making it a visually appealing plant in various garden settings.

Native: This species is native to the eastern United States, primarily the southern Appalachian Mountains in the States of Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and West Virginia.

Plant Type and Habit: Pieris floribunda is an evergreen shrub with an upright growth habit. It tends to have a more uniform and less sprawling shape compared to other Pieris species.

Size: Typically, it grows to about 4-6 feet in height (120-180 cm) and spreads up to 3-4 feet (90-120 cm). Its moderate size makes it suitable for a variety of garden spaces.

Flowers: Conspicuous flower buds form in the fall and are held erect through the winter, turning progressively greenish-white. In the spring, they open to urn-shaped, creamy white flowers. These fragrant flowers are borne on panicles and add significant ornamental appeal in the spring. After blooming, it produces small, inconspicuous seed capsules.

Bloom Time: The flowering season is in early spring, offering a welcome display of blooms when many other plants are just beginning to emerge.

Foliage: The leaves are evergreen, glossy, and dark green. They are lance-shaped and add year-round visual interest.

Bark: The bark is smooth and adds to the overall aesthetic of the shrub.

Uses: Ideal for mixed borders, foundation plantings, hedges, and woodland gardens. Its size and attractive foliage make it a versatile choice in landscape design.

Hardiness: Hardy in USDA zones 5-8, it can withstand a range of temperatures and conditions. Cold-hardy, it resents high temperatures and humidity.

Wildlife: The flowers attract pollinators such as bees and and bumblebees.

Toxicity: Like other Pieris species, it contains compounds that can be toxic if ingested, particularly to humans, dogs, cats, or horses. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling.

Deer and Rabbit: It has some resistance to deer and rabbits, though it’s not completely immune.

Drought: It has moderate drought tolerance but prefers consistent moisture for optimal growth and flowering.

Invasiveness: Pieris floribunda is not considered invasive and typically remains contained within its planting area.

Benefits: In addition to its ornamental appeal, it offers ecological benefits by attracting pollinators. It is also a low-maintenance shrub suitable for many garden designs.

Mountain Andromeda Growing Tips

Light: Prefers partial shade but can tolerate full sun in cooler climates. Protect from harsh afternoon sun to prevent leaf scorch.

Soil: Thrives in acidic, well-drained soil. Amend with organic matter to maintain acidity and improve soil structure.

Water: Requires consistent moisture. Water regularly, especially during dry spells, but avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root rot.

Fertilizer: Use an acid-forming fertilizer in early spring. Avoid over-fertilizing, which can harm the plant and reduce flowering.

Pruning: Minimal pruning is required. The ideal time to prune Pieris floribunda is in late winter or early spring, just before new growth begins. Avoid pruning after it has started to leaf out in spring, as this can limit its flowering potential for the next year.

Propagation: Propagate by seed, cuttings (difficult) or rooting.

Pests and Diseases: No serious pest or disease issues. Unlike Japanese Pieris varieties, it is resistant to lace bugs. Stem rot disease may occur in poorly drained soils.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 5 - 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ericaceae
Genus Pieris
Common names Andromeda
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4' - 6'
(120cm - 180cm)
Spread 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spacing 36" - 48"
(90cm - 120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Vermont, Southeast, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Bees, Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Pieris japonica ‘Valley Valentine’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica Interstella® (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Flaming Silver’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Katsura’ (Japanese Andromeda)

Recommended Companion Plants

Silene virginica (Fire Pink)
Kalmia buxifolia (Sand Myrtle)
Rhododendron vaseyi (Pink-Shell Azalea)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

45 Terrific Shrubs for Stunning Container Gardens
Small Evergreen Shrubs for Year-Round Appeal
Add a Splash of Color: Perfect Flowering Shrubs for Small Gardens
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 5 - 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ericaceae
Genus Pieris
Common names Andromeda
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4' - 6'
(120cm - 180cm)
Spread 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spacing 36" - 48"
(90cm - 120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Vermont, Southeast, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Bees, Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Pieris (Andromeda)
Not sure which Pieris (Andromeda) to pick?
Compare Now

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