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Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’ (Japanese Andromeda)

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

Pieris japonica 'Little Heath', Japanese Andromeda 'Little Heath', Japanese Pieris 'Little Heath', evergreen shrub

Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’ is a dwarf variety of the popular Japanese Pieris, admired for its compact size and decorative foliage.

Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’: An In-depth Look

‘Little Heath’ is a compact, slow-growing evergreen shrub with attractive variegated leaves and delicate flowers. It is a smaller cultivar, making it an excellent choice for limited spaces.

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 dense, bushy growth habit. This variety is known for its rounded shape and tidy appearance.

Size: ‘Little Heath’ typically grows to about 2-3 feet in height and width (60-90 cm), making it one of the smaller varieties of Pieris japonica.

Flowers: This cultivar produces clusters of small, bell-shaped, white flowers, which add a delicate ornamental touch in the spring. It may produce small, inconspicuous seed capsules after flowering, but these are not a major feature.

Bloom Time: The blooming period is in early spring, offering a beautiful floral display that contrasts nicely with the foliage.

Foliage: The leaves are small, glossy, and variegated, with a green center and creamy white edges. The variegation adds visual interest throughout the year.

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

Uses: Ideal for small gardens, rockeries, container planting, and as a specimen in mixed borders. Its compact size makes it versatile for various landscape designs.

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 ornamental value, ‘Little Heath’ offers ecological benefits by attracting pollinators. It’s a low-maintenance, space-saving shrub suitable for many garden designs.

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
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Small Gardens
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
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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 ‘Mountain Fire’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Katsura’ (Japanese Andromeda)
Pieris japonica ‘Carnaval’ (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
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Small Gardens
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, 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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