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Pieris japonica ‘Bonfire’ (Japanese Andromeda)

Japanese Andromeda 'Bonfire', Japanese Pieris 'Bonfire, Fetterbush 'Bonfire', Lily-of-the-Valley Shrub 'Bonfire', Andromeda japonica 'Bonfire'

AGM Award
Pieris japonica 'Bonfire', Japanese Andromeda 'Bonfire', 'Bonfire', Japanese Pieris, evergreen shrub

Pieris japonica ‘Bonfire’ (Japanese Andromeda) is a distinctive and attractive evergreen shrub, widely appreciated for its ornamental features.

Pieris japonica ‘Bonfire’: An In-depth Look

‘Bonfire’ is known for its fiery red new growth, which resembles a bonfire, and its elegant white flowers. It presents a striking visual interest throughout the year.

Native: This cultivar is derived from Pieris japonica, native to eastern China, Taiwan, and Japan.

Plant Type and Habit: It is an evergreen shrub with a compact, bushy growth habit. This variety is particularly known for its vibrant foliage and showy flowers.

Size: ‘Bonfire’ typically reaches about 3 feet in height and spread (90 cm), making it a medium-sized shrub suitable for various landscape uses.

Flowers: This cultivar produces clusters of pendulous, urn-shaped, pale pink to white flowers that are both fragrant and visually appealing. After flowering, it may produce small, seed-like fruits, but they are not ornamentally significant.

Bloom Time: The blooming period is in early spring, providing a welcome display of flowers after the winter months.

Foliage: The new foliage emerges a bright red, adding a burst of color in the spring. It then transitions to a dark, glossy green as it matures.

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

Award: Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Uses: Ideal for mixed borders, foundation plantings, woodland gardens, and as an accent plant. Its evergreen nature and striking foliage make it versatile in landscape design.

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

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

Toxicity: Pieris japonica 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: Moderate drought tolerance, but prefers consistent moisture for optimal growth.

Invasiveness: This cultivar is not considered invasive and typically stays within its planting area.

Benefits: Besides its aesthetic appeal, ‘Bonfire’ provides habitat and food for pollinators. It’s also a relatively low-maintenance shrub that adds structure and color to gardens.

Japanese Pieris Growing Tips

Light: Prefers partial shade but can tolerate full sun in cooler climates. Too much sun can scorch the leaves, especially in hotter areas.

Soil: Thrives in acidic, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Amend soil with organic matter to increase acidity if necessary.

Water: Regular watering is essential, especially during dry periods. Pieris japonica prefers consistently moist soil but not waterlogged.

Fertilizer: Use an acid-forming fertilizer before bloom time in late winter or just after flowering in early spring. Avoid over-fertilizing, as it can harm the plant.

Pruning: Minimal pruning is required. The ideal time to prune Pieris japonica 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 softwood cuttings in early summer or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer.

Pests and Diseases: Watch for lace bugs, spider mites, scale insects, nematodes, leaf spot, dieback, and root rot. Maintain good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 6 - 8
Climate Zones 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ericaceae
Genus Pieris
Common names Japanese Pieris, Japanese Andromeda
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid)
Winter
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Plant of Merit
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Small Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Pieris japonica ‘Purity’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Valley Rose’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Valley Valentine’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica Interstella® (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Flaming Silver’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’ (Japanese Andromeda)

Recommended Companion Plants

Azalea and Rhododendron
Hosta (Plantain Lily)
Athyrium (Lady Fern)

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 6 - 8
Climate Zones 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ericaceae
Genus Pieris
Common names Japanese Pieris, Japanese Andromeda
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid)
Winter
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Plant of Merit
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Small Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Pieris (Andromeda)
Not sure which Pieris (Andromeda) to pick?
Compare Now

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