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March Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Japanese Kerria

Kerria japonica 'Plena' or 'Pleniflora'
One of our most sought after plants for early Spring bloom is the Japanese Kerria, often referred to as the Japanese Thornless Rose. Vibrant golden yellow blooms are visible from a great distance. The long green stems of Kerria japonica 'Plena' are absolutely covered with bright yellow flowers that look like pompoms. We also grow a single blooming Kerria known as 'Shannon.' 


Kerria is an arching, shrub-like perennial that sends up many suckers forming a thicket of green stems that remain green even into the winter. Although leaves fall off after the first frost, the green twiggy mass is attractive.

Give Kerria plenty of room to grow, since it will be 5-7 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide at maturity. Kerria loves water, and it will grower larger and larger with ample water. 

Kerria japonica 'Shannon'
Kerria likes some shade, and will bloom quite well with no sun at all. However, regular water is needed for Kerria to grow well. We have a couple of plants in shade that receive no supplemental water, and they need to be moved. We seldom see a bloom on those. If water is available, Kerria 'Plena' will bloom profusely in early Spring and then sporadically throughout the Spring and Summer. 'Shannon' blooms only once, in Spring.

Kerria Japonica looks like a tropical plant but is quite easy to grow and is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9. That's amazing to me.

Kerria is very popular in Georgia and the Southeastern Unites States, but it is seldom found in nurseries, and we cannot keep it in stock.

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