Name: Pieris japonica ‘Dorothy Wycoff’ aka Dorothy Wycoff Andromeda
Type of Plant: A shrub for shade and part shade that flowers in early spring. Native to Japan and Eastern China, hardy in USD Zones 5 to 8.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: I love Pieris japonica as long as it’s planted in the right location. This is a great plant for shade and part shade, but since most varieties grow 6 feet tall and wide (or larger) it’s not a shrub to plant in a foundation bed where you have to try in vein to control its size.
That said, I love the fragrant flowers in March and early April. I love ‘Dorothy Wycoff’ because this variety has pink flowers and dark green foliage. I like the fact that the deer don’t eat it and the branches with buds can be picked for use in arrangements and bouquets in December.
A Word to the Wise: Don’t plant this shrub in full sun. When Pieris are placed in sunny locations they are stressed, and this leads to a greater infestation of Andromeda lacebug, an insect this shrub is prone to.
If you see the leaves getting yellow with tiny, tiny dots, that’s a sign that you’ve got lacebug. Spray under the leaves with horticultural oil every month from spring (late April) through the summer.