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Scarlet O’Hara Pieris

Pieris japonica 'Scarlett O'Hara'

Scarlet O’Hara Pieris

Pieris japonica 'Scarlett O'Hara'


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.

About Me


The ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris is an upright, more slender form of Pieris, growing 6 to 10 feet tall, but only about 5 feet wide. It has attractive leathery, evergreen leaves of a dark green, that are red-bronze when new in the spring. Flower buds form in fall and are visible through winter, opening in spring to a cascade of long hanging stems carrying hundreds of white bell-shaped flowers. A superb shrub for planting behind azaleas and rhododendrons, in woodland gardens or in more formal settings, including shadier areas around your home.

  • Smothered in a cascade of beautiful white flowers
  • Bold spring leaves of bright red-bronze
  • Attractive glossy, evergreen foliage
  • Tall and slender for smaller spaces in your garden
  • Grows best in acid soil conditions

Plant the ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris in full sun in cooler zones, or with afternoon shade in warmer areas. It also grows in dappled shade beneath trees. The soil should be acidic, moist and rich, but well-drained. Avoid hot, dry spots and also wet, boggy places. Normally free of serious pests or diseases, and not eaten by deer, it is easy to grow and rarely even needs pruning. Mulch regularly to preserve moisture and cool the soil.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-8
Mature Width 4-6
Mature Height 6-10
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 5-8

If you live anywhere in the east, southeast or northwest, chances are that your soil is acidic. There are other areas too, and one of the first things you want to know about your soil is its acid/alkaline balance – it’s pH. When gardeners find they have acid soil, they usually begin by growing azaleas and rhododendrons, and blue hydrangeas, but that is only a beginning. There is a whole range of beautiful shrubs that thrive in acid soils, and among the most beautiful are the Pieris, or lily-of-the-valley bush. Larger varieties of that charming shrub – like the ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris – are perfect background evergreens for your beds of smaller shrubs. Saying ‘background’ suggests a less-than-magnificent plant, but nothing could be further from the truth. This wonderful medium-sized bush has handsome glossy foliage year round, but that is only the beginning. The new leaves in spring are red-bronze, like the glowing embers of a fire, and the charming flowers that appear before them are a cascade of white bells, hanging in clusters from the ends of every branch. There are other varieties of Pieris, but like its namesake, the ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris is a beauty that has no rivals.

Growing the ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris

Size and Appearance

The ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris is an upright mounding shrub growing to 6 or 8 feet tall in 10 years or so. At that stage it will only be 4 or 5 feet wide, with a slender form and branches to the ground. Older plants will become a few feet taller and wider, and may begin to expose some of the attractive reddish-brown stems at their base. This narrower form is perfect when you don’t have a lot of space, or for filling a corner, or you can plant a group of three of you want to fill a larger area. The oval leaves are leathery and glossy, with a smooth surface and a rich green color. They are 2 or 3 inches long, and stay attractive all year round. New growth develops as tufts of leaves that sprout from below the fading flowers. The new leaves are extra-glossy, and a beautiful red-bronze, creating a rich and satisfying effect.

The first sign of the flowers is seen in late fall, when tiny green fingers cluster at the ends of the branches. These develop slowly over winter into strands about 6 inches long, studded with buds. Between March and May, depending on your growing zone, the flowers open. They are small hanging upside-down urns, white, sometimes with red speckles, approaching ½ an inch across. They have a soft honey fragrance. The flowers can often develop into clusters of brown seed pods of no particular ornamental value.

Using the ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris in Your Garden

As background shrubs in your beds, the ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris is unequaled for its beauty and charm. It looks just as good in a woodland setting as in shrub beds, and it even fits well into the more formal planting of evergreens that many people grow around their house. In warmer zones it can also be grown in outdoor planters, and this is a great solution if you don’t have the necessary acidic soil – when planting in pots use a potting soil for acid-loving plants.


The ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris will grow from zone 5 in sheltered spots and through all warmer zones, including zone 9 in the northwest, but not in the southeast, where zone 8 is about the limit.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

In cooler zones your ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris will be happy in full sun, if the soil isn’t dry, but in warmer zones afternoon shade is best. It will also grow well in the dappled shade of woodlands, or against a north-facing wall. The soil should be acidic, with a pH value of no more than 6.5, and preferably lower. The ideal soil is rich and moist, but well-drained – avoid dry areas and wet, soggy places too. This plant is not drought resistant.

Maintenance and Pruning

Very little care is needed to grow the ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris to perfection. Water younger plants regularly, especially in summer, and use lime-free organic mulch to help keep the soil moist and cool. Pests or diseases are rare, and usually only a problem when the growing conditions are poor. You might want to remove any small, twiggy branches that are weak or die while this plant is developing, but no regular pruning is needed. If you do need to trim, only do this at the time when the flowers are fading, and never trim the new leaf clusters, or flowers won’t develop. On young plants removing the spent flowers, without cutting any leaves off, will help them grow more vigorously.

History and Origin of the ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris

The ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris is a variety of Pieris japonica, a shrub native to the woodlands of Japan. Because of the form of the flowers, it is often called lily-of-the-valley bush, or andromeda (an earlier botanical name for it). Although cases of poisoning are rare, all parts of this plant are toxic to humans and animals, similar to rhododendrons, so don’t grow it where horses or cattle could eat it. It is also poisonous to dogs and cats, although they only very rarely eat it.

We don’t know much about the origin of the variety called ‘Scarlett O’Hara’, but it is reported as being created in New Zealand, sometime before 1980.

Buying the ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris at the Tree Center

Pieris are a lovely group of plants that are always admired when they are seen, but not always planted. Bring another element to your garden of acid-loving plants with the lovely ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Pieris, and order now, because our supply of these plants is not large, and it is never widely available.

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Scarlet O’Hara Pieris

Pieris japonica 'Scarlett O'Hara'