When Can I Transplant a Pieris?

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
You may know pieris as lily of the valley.

Pieris (Pieris Japonica) is a four-season beauty in the home garden. Its lightly scented flowers hang in droopy clusters and may be red, white or pink. Pieris is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 10 feet high with the appearance of a tiered mound at maturity. There are different times of the year that you transplant pieris, depending on whether it is a seedling, potted plant, cutting or mature bush.


Plant seeds in a cold frame during spring or autumn (see Resources section). They transplant best during chilly and rainy weather. However, seedling foliage damages when winter temperatures dip below –4 degrees F. If you live in a climate with colder winter temperatures, then only transplant seedlings during spring or early summer. The shrub will not flower during the first year, as pieris buds form on the previous year's growth.

Potted Plants

While you can transplant potted plants during any season, the Green Zone Life website states that winter and spring are the best times. Untangle the root ball to encourage the roots to become established. Keep the roots watered, but with good drainage to prevent root rot.


There are different times that you can transplant cuttings. If you transplant in late spring or early summer, then use new greenwood as your cuttings. Once the summer heat has set in, choose more mature first-year growth. Transplant hardwood cuttings during the winter months.

Mature Bush

Transplant mature bushes during spring and autumn. Avoid the winter months, as the flower buds have already formed on the bush. If you do transplant during winter, the bush may only sparsely flower the following year. Pieris blossoms for two to three weeks during the summer, so do not disturb the root system during this time.

references & resources

Diane Perez

Diane Perez is a writer who contributes to various websites, specializing in gardening and business topics, and creates sales copy for private clients. Perez holds a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Miami.