Pieris japonica, also called lily of the valley, is a flowering shrub popular for ornamental landscaping. It is native to eastern Asia, and can be grown successfully in climate zones 5 through 8 with little care. The shrub is evergreen, providing lush colour throughout the year, and can grow up to 10 feet in height. Pieris japonica bears short-lived clusters of small white flowers in early spring or late winter. This early blooming time is considered advantageous in landscape design. New foliage and winter flower buds exhibit a pleasing reddish colour. Pieris japonica may be propagated from rooted cuttings or seed.
Cut a branch of fresh greenwood growth off an established pieris in the spring with pruning shears. Be sure to cut a branch with at least five nodes. Repeat for as many cuttings as desired.
Fill the nursery pots with a slightly acidic potting mix. Place the cuttings in the nursery pots, cut-side down.
Place a heated nursery pad on an indoor or greenhouse table away from direct sunlight. Set the pots on top of the nursery pad.
Keep the soil moist and allow the cutting to grow for one month or until 5 inches of new growth has formed.
Fill the nursery pots 2/3 full.
Place one pieris seed in each pot and cover it with 1/4 inch of soil.
Water the soil and keep it moist. Keep the pot indoors or in a greenhouse until the plant grows 5 inches.
Cultivate the soil in a partial-shade planting area by digging down 6 inches with the spade.
Amend the soil with a 4-inch layer of peat moss. Incorporate the peat moss into the soil with the spade.
Dig a 6-inch hole and remove the seedling or cutting from the nursery pot.
Insert the plant roots and surrounding potting soil into the ground, gently pat firm and water. Transplant additional plants 6 feet apart.