How to Feed Japonica Shrubs


Pieris japonica is a species of ornamental evergreen flowering shrub that belongs to the heath family of plants. Spring flowers in white give way to late-summer berries that remain on the shrub with bronze-colored foliage as a decorative accent well into winter. It is a slow-growing shrub that performs best in partial shade, moist soil and nutrient-rich acidic soil. Depending on the soil pH and your preference for organic or synthetic fertilizer, there are several product options.

Step 1

Fertilize the pieris japonica with an organic granular fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants such as Holly-tone with a 4-3-4 formulation. Apply twice per year according to the dosing recommendation on the package.

Step 2

Feed your pieris japonica with a synthetic fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants if your garden soil is neutral to alkaline in pH. Look for a formula that is designed for azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias with a formulation like 30-10-10.

Step 3

Apply a balanced synthetic fertilizer formula if the soil around your pieris japonica is already sufficiently acidic. More chemical-induced acidity will serve little benefit. Any commercial 10-10-10 slow-release formulation or the like will work. Sprinkle over the soil or mulch as recommended and water in well. Repeat application once per year and twice at the most.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic Holly-tone fertilizer 4-3-4
  • Synthetic acid-rich fertilizer 30-10-10
  • Balanced complete fertilizer 10-10-10


  • Ohio State University
  • Virginia Tech
  • USDA Plant Database Profile
Keywords: pieris japonica shrubs, feed fertilizer, apply frequency

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An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.