I have recently received a Mountain Fire Peoria plant. It states it needs part shade, but the only area I have to plant it is a mostly sunny area. My question is, will it take sunnier locations?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Susan in Missouri: Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that produces white pendulous flowers in the early spring. The flowers are sweet but the orangeish-red color on the new growth of this plant is stunning. So, ideally this shrub should be planted in part shade but it will tolerate full sun. Even better is if the space you have for it is sunny in the morning or late evening but shaded during the hottest part of the day. The key to keeping this plant happy is sufficient moisture. It really prefers to grow in a soil that is moist but well-drained and slightly acidic. Mulching will help keep the moisture in so after you get it in the ground, add a thin layer of mulch, no more than 3 inches thick. As with any new addition to the garden, watering is essential, especially this time of the year in preventing the roots from drying. It also promotes root establishment, which is important for the long-term health of the plant. If Mother Nature does not provide rain, give your Pieris a good soaking 2-3 times per week until the temperatures cool off.