Kerria Japonica - Keep or remove?

zaphod42April 24, 2010

Hello! I perused another, earlier post, from someone regarding their Kerria Japoonica. Seems to be a troublesome plant. I'm having a different issue though. I put one in four years ago in a spot that should have been perfect. I think its a 'Golden Guinea.' Its a good size now. I put in a larger nursery sized piece to start. Anyway, good growth; nice green branches, but it doesn't bloom. I get five or so wimpy little flowers every year and that's it. I'm debating whether to pull it out and stick it somewhere out of the way where it doesn't matter whether it blooms or not. Thoughts? Any ideas as to why I'm not getting flowers?


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Dan Staley

Not nearly enuf info to tell why shrub not blooming. Lack of information aside, my phrase for several plants - Kerria one of them - is: they are great in other people's yard.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 1:21PM
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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

Agree with Dan. There can be a number of different reasons. The first guess, not knowing all the conditions, might be that you are pruning off the bloom buds by pruning the plant too late in the season. Kerria blooms on year-old wood. The best time to prune it back is right after flowering so that it has time to set new buds. But, it could also be one or more other conditions...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 1:43PM
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I actually haven't pruned yet. Was planning on doing it this year for the first time. Was told to let plant establish for a few years before starting to prune.

Might it need more acidic soil? I have to Miracid adjacent boxwoods twice a year. I don't add anything to the Kerria. Or could the acid from the boxwoods be bothering it?

It's on the southwest side of my house. In the summer it gets partial shade from an elm to the west.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 11:20AM
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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

I have seen double kerria bloom successfully in hot afternoon sun in zone 7A, part shade (morning sun) here in zone 6A right now in clay soil; also sandy soil and sandy loam but don't know about pH. I know that the soils were higher pH in all of my observations. Soil test sounds likely - maybe extremely high pH or low in phosphorus or micronutrients? Do a soil test with your extension service and ask them the same questions. Please re-post after doing so, would love to learn about this.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 8:14PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

I know I am late to the party, but zaphod42, you shouldn't be adding Miracid to your boxwoods; contrary to popular belief, they like alkaline soil. People are too focused on things like nutrients and acidity when often things like light and water make a much bigger difference.

But, the real reason I am here is to learn about Kerria and particularly how much light they need. Can they get by on 2-3 hours of morning sun only?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 11:17AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

why not.. old neighbor grew them in near total shade .... mind you rather bright shade ... and they did OK ....

its all about having enough sun to bloom profusely ... and who knows as to your specific spot ...

i would suggest you experiment ...

but i do know.. full blistering sun.. in sand .. in MI .... with no water.. wont kill them.. but they wont look pretty.. lol ....


    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:10PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

I feel like every plant in my garden is an experiment of some sort so what's another one, right?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:33PM
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