Mountain Fire Pieris
Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire'
Mountain Fire Pieris
Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire'
How are the heights measured?
All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.
What is a gallon container?
Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.
How does the delivery process work?
All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!
Why are some states excluded from shipping?
The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.
The Mountain Fire Pieris, or Lily-of-the-valley bush, is a medium-sized evergreen shrub growing to 6 or 8 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide. It has attractive glossy foliage and a bushy, rounded form. In early spring it carries beautiful pure white flowers in hanging bunches, and these are followed by bright red new leaves, which hold their brilliance for weeks, before turning rich green. Grow it among background or foundation evergreens, or in woodland areas. If you don’t have suitable soil, grow it in a large planter, pot or half-barrel, where it will thrive for years.
- Brilliant red new leaves are vibrant and beautiful
- Long sprays of hanging white bell-shaped flowers
- Large evergreen bush to 6 or 8 feet tall
- Valuable anywhere in the garden
- Grow in large planters if your garden soil is unsuitable
Grow the Mountain Fire Pieris in full sun in cooler zones, and with afternoon shade in warmer ones. The soil should be rich, moist and well-drained, and acidic, with a pH value below 6.5. Water regularly in summer, as it is not very drought resistant, but good drainage is also needed. Mulch with rich, lime-free organic material to conserve moisture and keep the roots cool. Pests and diseases are rare, and deer normally leave it alone. Removing spent flowers is helpful but not essential, and this plant needs very little maintenance if grown in a suitable place.
- Plant Hardiness Zones 5-8
- Mature Width 4-6
- Mature Height 6-8
- Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
We all love rounded evergreen shrubs with dark green glossy foliage, and they are excellent choices for foundation planting around your home, or in the background of garden beds. But why settle just for green leaves? With a little more thought you can enjoy lovely evergreens, with the bonus of spectacular spring color and flowers too. It may take a little longer to establish itself, but the Mountain Fire Pieris will become a larger shrub, 6 or even 8 feet tall and wide, with a dense, rounded form, that rivals any evergreen for structure and form. Plus, it has gorgeous trusses of hanging white flowers in spring, that look like lily-of-the-valley, and spectacular bright red spring shoots that slowly mature to dark green, making a colorful display through spring and early summer. It is also a perfect woodland plant, and an excellent backdrop to azaleas and rhododendrons.
Growing the Mountain Fire Pieris
Size and Appearance
The Mountain Fire Pieris is a rounded evergreen shrub, growing in time to be between 6 and 8 feet tall, and between 4 and 6 feet wide. It is well-furnished with dense foliage, becoming more open at the base with age, and revealing attractive dark reddish-brown to gray roughly-textured bark. The leaves are long ovals, between 2 and 4 inches long. They are glossy and dark green, with a very finely serrated margin. The leaves cluster at the ends of the stems, and new leaves, which appear as the flowers are fading, are brilliant red, creating a wonderful effect that is like a spectacular red-flowering shrub from a distance. It takes several weeks for the new growth to turn slowly green, passing through many shades of pink and coppery tones to get there. The rich green leaves remain attractive all winter.
In fall you will see the beginning of the following year’s blossoms, as small greenish finger-like clusters at the ends of every branch. These slowly expand during the winter, and in early spring, generally in March or April, the flowers will begin to open. They are abundant, and they are carried on 6-inch flower spikes that hang in clusters all over the bush They look a lot like the flowers of lily-of-the-valley, with a faint fragrance. A plant in bloom, at first in graceful white, and then as the new shoots emerge, glowing pink and red, is a gorgeous sight in any garden.
Using the Mountain Fire Pieris in Your Garden
With its dense and substantial form, this plant is the perfect shrub for background planting, in beds, woodland areas or around your home. Mix it with other evergreens, including rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias for a charming and colorful garden for months and months. Use it as a foundation plant, behind smaller shrubs, or beneath trees. If you don’t have suitable soil for this beautiful plant, then grow it in a large planter or tub. Its fibrous root system means it will grow in planters for years, and you can control its needs easily.
This shrub is hardy from zone 5 to zone 8, and thrives in areas with cool winters and mild, damp summers. It is not so successful in places with hot, dry summers.
Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions
In cooler zones plant in a sunny location, shaded in spring from the morning sun. This will protect the blooms from potential damage by any late frosts during the flowering season. In warmer zones plant with some afternoon shade, or in light partial shade, such as the dappled light beneath deciduous trees. The soil should be rich and moist, but well-drained, and this plant is not drought-resistant. The soil should also be acidic, with a pH no higher than 6.5. It is easy to test your soil for this. If your neighbors are growing rhododendrons or azaleas, you will be able to grow the Mountain Fire Pieris easily. If you don’t have suitable soil, grow the Mountain Fire Pieris in a large planter or tub, using potting soil blended for acid-loving plants. Make sure the planter has a drainage hole, and water when the surface of the soil becomes dry.
Maintenance and Pruning
No specific care is needed for the Mountain Fire Pieris, and it is easy to grow in the right soil and conditions. It normally has no pests or diseases of importance, unless the soil is wet and poorly drained. Deer usually leave it alone. It is helpful to remove the spend flowers, but otherwise no pruning is needed or desirable. If you do want to prune, do this immediately after flowering, so that there is time for new stems to develop fully, and bloom the following year. Removing a few of the longest stems each year on an older bush, to keep it compact, is better than waiting a long time and then pruning it hard.
History and Origin of the Mountain Fire Pieris
The Japanese Pieris, Pieris japonica, was once called Andromeda, and it is sometimes also called the lily-of-the-valley bush. It was introduced into Europe and America in the second-half of the 19th century, along with many other well-known garden shrubs that came to us from Asia. The variety ‘Mountain Fire’ is renowned for its brilliant new spring growth, and it is a reliable, classic form dating from the 1960s. It was discovered in British Columbia, Canada and released to the nursery trade in 1976.
Buying the Mountain Fire Pieris at The Tree Center
The Mountain Fire Pieris is a well-established favorite with gardeners who know their stuff. It received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society of the UK in 1993, which is a solid recommendation. We know you will love its months of color, but our stock is limited, so order now, because we won’t be able to keep such a popular and highly-regarded plant in stock for very long at all.