Pieris shrubs fall into the easy to prune category because they do not need any pruning unless damaged or a mistake was made when planting.
This is a great plant for those who don’t have much time for gardening, as it requires little attention once planted and given ample sunlight exposure.
The only thing that may be required from you is deadheading flowers before they seed and start looking untidy.
Flowering generally happens from March through April every year, with some variance depending on your location and weather patterns. If left alone, these plants can continue flowering until May.
The drooping clusters of tight bell flowers resemble the Lily of the valley, and as such are given their common name. These Pieris plants have a wide range of adaptability but tend to be more susceptible during flowering as they flower during winter. Despite this, they’re considered a hardy plant.
When to Prune Pieris Shrubs
It is important to maintain a Pieris by cutting off all the stems of faded flowers with secateurs. If you do not want your Pieris to seed, it should be trimmed in summer or autumn before August ends.
This plant should not be pruned after August, as this can cause new shoots to grow which will be damaged over winter.
In frost prone areas that suffer from late frosts, new Pieris shoots can become blackened to the point it spoils their appearance. If this happens, remove these dead branches by cutting them back into supporting limbs and another flush of colourful flowers will soon start to grow.
Hard Pruning and Remedial Pruning of Pieris
Pieris can be cut back to shape, or even hard pruned to rejuvenate the entire shrub. This is best carried out in early to mid-spring, but I have been successful cutting them back during late winter if they are growing too large for their space.
I always lose flowers from that point onward because of this procedure; however, these losses will mean more colourful new shoots come up over time which will look great.
It’s worth it because Pieris respond so well when you give them a hard pruning by trimming off any long stems. New growth is encouraged and as part of this, the plant will improve its shape.