Kerria (Jew’s Mallow)
Common name: Jew’s mallow
Few early spring-flowering shrubs can equal the display produced by‘Pleniflora’ (AGM) which comes into all its glory just as the forsythia is beginning to fade.
iaponica was introduced to our gardens from its native China in 1804, and it soon became very popular. Today, Kerria is commonly seen in gardens everywhere. The most popular is the yellow, double-flowered Kerria iaponica ‘Pleniflora’ (AGM). Growing up to 2m (6ft), it covers itself with blooms in late winter and early spring. The larger-flowered ‘Golden Guinea’ (AGM) is another splendid shrub with single, bright golden-yellow blooms. Look also for ‘Picta’, listed for many years as ‘Variegata’, with silver variegated foliage and single yellow .
This variety grows to 1.5m (5ft) and has a more spreading habit.
Soil type Any good humus-rich, well-drained.
Planting Kerrias are happy in sun or light shade; the latter is recommended to stop flowers bleaching. Autumn and spring are suitable times to plant.
Pruning After flowering has finished, cut the stems back to strong new growth lower down. A few of the oldest branches can be cut back to ground level, which will encourage new growth.
Propagation Kerrias often produce rooted suckers, which can be carefully detached to provide new plants. Alternatively, take semi-ripe cuttings with a heel in mid to late summer.
Pests and diseases Generally trouble free.