Pieris Forest Flame (Pieris japonica Forest Flame) takes its name from its fiery red new foliage that eventually turns pink, cream and, finally, green. It provides a lovely hedge, or you can grow it as a specimen planting. Forest Flame blooms from February to April. Related to azaleas, Forest Flame grows to 2.1 m (7 feet) in height with a 2.1 m (7 foot) spread and grows best in the very coldest parts of England and Scotland.
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Things you need
- Pruning shears
- Insecticidal soap or horticultural oil
Grow the Forest Flame in an area that provides afternoon shade. Although this Pieris will live in the shade, it will not provide the same flower display as it does when grown with morning sun.
Keep the soil moist at all times. Keep an eye on the plant during hot weather, as it may need more frequent irrigation.
Fertilise the Forest Flame in January and June with a fertiliser listed for use on acid-loving plants. Those formulated for use on azaleas and rhododendron are ideal. Sprinkle the fertiliser on the soil, at the rate suggested on the package, 5 cm (2 inches) from the base of the plant. Spread it out 20 cm (8 inches) and water to soak the fertiliser to the plant's roots.
Remove spent flowers by snipping the stem into the foliage.
Check the Forest Flame periodically for discoloured, stippled or silvery foliage. This may be a sign of lacebugs. These insects reside on the underside of the Forest Flame's leaves and can be managed by spraying them directly with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil in the spring.
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