Pieris japonica ‘Variegata’

variegated lily-of-the-valley shrub

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Elegant, creamy-white-edged foliage tops the list of charming traits for this shrub. Its flower buds decorate the plant until late winter, when short cascades of small, ivory-white urn-shaped flowers appear. These are a favorite of mason bees, an important native pollenizer. Variegated lily-of-the-valley shrub is easy to grow, and its slow, refined habit of growth makes it ideal for a small garden. Use it to brighten up a shady location. This is the best variegated cultivar of Pieris japonica as it is resistant to sun damage and is the most cold hardy. Play off the delicate, evergreen foliage of variegated lily-of-the-valley shrub against coarser plants, such as rhododendrons, or other bolder, variegated plants. Ferns, hostas and epimediums also thrive in shady locations and contrast well with the fine leaves of Pieris.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

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

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

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

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

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: purple, gold, burgundy

Great Color Partners: pink, chartreuse, cream

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.