Pieris japonica, also called lily-of-the-valley bush or Japanses pieris, is an ornamental evergreen flowering shrub that is native to eastern Asia. It will thrive in USDA zones 4 to 8. The shrub produces pink or white bell-shaped blossoms in late winter to early spring. The blooms resemble lily of the valley and hang from long stems. The shrub is deer resistant and makes a nice woodland-themed accent in the landscape.
Choose a planting site in partial shade that has well-draining soil.
Till the site to twice the diameter of the root ball or planting container and equally as deep. If you do not have a tiller, use a shovel to break up the soil and a garden fork to loosen the soil.
Add a 3-inch layer of compost on top of the tilled soil. Go over the area again with the tiller or garden fork to thoroughly mix the compost into the soil.
Dig the amended dirt from the site to create a planting hole that is twice the diameter of the plant's root ball or planting container and equally as deep.
Remove the container or burlap that houses the shrub.
Place the shrub into the planting hole. The top of the root ball should be at ground level. Add more soil, if needed, to bring the root ball up to this level. Backfill the hole with soil. Gently pack the soil around the base of the shrub using your foot or the back end of a hoe.
Add more soil to the area, if needed, after the water has drained to bring the planting site up to ground level.
Spread a 2-to-3-inch layer of pine needles or mulch over the planting site.
Water regularly, as this plant requires moist but not soggy soil.
Fertilize the shrub each spring with a rhododendron-type fertilizer. Follow the dosage instructions on the manufacturer's label.