I have a JAPONICA PIERIS that didn’t do well over the winter. Right now there is one live stalk with a few leaves at the top. I’ve put it in a plant pot and am checking on it daily and it’s still alive however I’m not too sure where to go from there.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

If you wish to try and revive this shrub, based on the state it is in, you may find it a challenging task.  The process would be first to prune out all of the dead wood, leaving a few branches that may still be alive (if they are still green  underneath the bark), in addition to the one branch that still has a few leaves. Avoid transplanting  out of the pot for now, since that would add further stress, but remove it from direct sunlight, and leave in dappled shade. Ensure that the soil is kept cool and moist, but do not keep it soaked.

Then if you see a slow recovery by the fall, once it becomes dormant in late October, you  should then transplant it to a proper site.

Proper growing conditions for the Pieris Japonica are as follows;

Japonese Pieris can be a bit picky about their environment and their soil condition they grow in .  This species requires a sheltered siting from the winter winds, and is sensitive to winter burn, especially if it is a newer planting and roots are not well established.

The soil should be slightly acidic PH , organically rich, moist and well drained (it will not tolerate damp feet).  Sun exposure ranges from part shade to full sun. For winter protection , it is very important to provide wind a barrier, also ensure that the shrub is hydrated before winter onset, and spray foliage with an anti-desiccant.  You may want to burlap for extra winter protection.

For more details on the Japonese Pieris, please refer to the following link;