Pieris japonica ‘Valley Fire’

lily-of-the-valley shrub

  • © Richard W. Hartlage / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Flaming red new growth crowns this upright evergreen shrub in early spring. Pieris 'Valley Fire' is a selection from the North Willamette Research and Extension Center, near Aurora, Oregon. This remarkable plant shows excellent disease resistance and hardiness along with one of the brightest shrubs for new growth. Short strings of pearly white flowers open just before the flush of red leaves and herald the beginning of spring. Its slow-to-moderate growth and refined habit make it an excellent choice for the urban landscape. Pieris flowers are a favorite and important food source for our native pollinator, the mason bee. Play off the delicate, evergreen foliage of lily-of-the-valley shrub with coarser plants, such as rhododendrons, or other bolder, variegated plants. Ferns, hostas and epimediums also thrive in the company of this beautiful shrub. This Pieris cultivar stood out at an extensive trial at North Willamette Research and Extension Center, Oregon.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 8

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to open shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: gold, white, variegated

Great Color Partners: red, dark green, chartreuse

Culture Notes
Japanese andromeda is easy to grow in rich well-drained or sandy soil. This selection will also tolerate clay soil if the drainage is adequate. It prefers a site with full sun to light or open shade for the best flowering and growth. Occasional watering during dry weather will keep it looking its best and if planted in sandy soil regular watering may be necessary. Faded flowers can be snapped off or lightly sheared off. This should be done as soon as the flowers have faded. Avoid locations in hot spots.