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Adorbs! Looking for a small evergreen for a shady spot? Cavatine Andromeda will give you lustrous green foliage all year-round on a compact, slow-growing framework. This useful Accent brings cheerful winter greenery to north- or east-facing foundation beds, entryway gardens, patio plantings, and containers. But that’s not all it provides. At the first hint of spring, it covers itself in precious little white bell-shaped flowers. The blooms give off a light, sweet fragrance and attract early-foraging pollinators. What a lovely way to kick off the spring season!
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
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Japanese Pieris is often called Andromeda, although few who use that name realize the rather gruesome story behind it. According to Greek myth, Andromeda was a beautiful princess who was chained to a rock as an offering to a sea monster. The “chains” of flowers on this plant represent her own chains. (We’re happy to report that Perseus rescued the fair maiden before any harm was done.) Pieris is native to Japan, Taiwan, and eastern China. Cavatine Andromeda originated in the Netherlands. It has become a popular selection not only for its petite size and fabulous flowers, but also for its excellent cold-hardiness.
Andromeda is in the same family as Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Blueberries. This family of plants in general likes moist but well-drained, acid soils with lots of organic matter, and Cavatine Andromeda is no exception. Many of these plants also like afternoon shade in hot climates, and it is in a bit of shade where this Andromeda shines its brightest. If Azaleas and Rhododendrons do well in your area, then Cavatine may be a natural to invite into your landscape.
How to Grow
Not a plant for regions with extremes of heat and cold, Andromeda prefers the more moderate temperatures of its Japanese homeland and does best where those conditions can be replicated. Plant Cavatine Andromeda in acidic, moisture-retentive but not boggy soil in a site protected from both intense afternoon sunlight and strong winds. Heavy clay soils that retain too much water invite a deadly root rot disease. On the other hand, drought can take its toll as well. Applying an organic mulch and providing a steady supply of water will help give Cavatine what it needs to thrive.
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