Growing Kerria japonica

Latin Name Pronunciation: kare'-ee-ah

Kerria japonica, native to Eastern Asia and the only species in the genus Kerria, belongs to the Rosaceae (Rose) family. This easily grown, adaptable shrub displays showy, bright yellow flowers for two to three weeks in spring on slender stems that remain green in winter. Its fine foliage and upright, arching habit are attractive in shady borders and especially effective massed as a low, informal hedge.

Light: Kerria japonica prefers partial shade but can tolerate sunny locations if the ground is kept evenly moist. Avoid afternoon sun.

Fertilizer/Soil: Plants perform best in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. One light application of an organic fertilizer such as seaweed extract or fish emulsion can be given in early spring. Where soil is too rich, growth can be excessive with fewer blossoms.

Watering: Prefers moist, well-drained soil.

Pruning: Remove dead branches at any time. To rejuvenate an overgrown shrub, cut stems to around 12in high after flowering.