How to Grow Red Vein Enkianthus

Red vein enkianthus shrub with small bell-shaped white flowers with pink tips hanging on branches

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

If you have a location with acidic soil, consider planting Enkianthus campanulatus, the red vein enkianthus. In the springtime, this shrub is covered with a profusion of white flowers that feature pink veins. During the fall, the leaves change to hues of red. The Royal Horticultural Society awarded its Award of Garden Merit to the red vein enkianthus.

The elliptical leaves on this slow-to-moderate-growing shrub are 1-3 inches long and will change to showy shades of red, orange, and yellow in the fall. The bell-shaped flowers are typical for the Enkianthus genus and other plants in the Ericaceae family. They can be white with pink stripes or dark red. They're a cheery and colorful addition to your garden.

After pollination occurs and the blossoms fade away, small brown capsules will be formed. This shrub will be 6-8 feet tall, and 4-9 feet wide at maturity. Plant your Enkianthus campanulatus in the spring or fall.

Botanical Name Enkianthus campanulatus
Common Name Red vein enkianthus, red vein enkianthus, and furin-tsutsuji
Plant Type  Deciduous shrub
Mature Size 6-8 ft. tall, 4-9 ft. wide
Sun Exposure  Full sun, partial sun
Soil Type Acidic
Soil pH 6.0
Bloom Time Late spring, early summer
Flower Color Creamy yellow, orange, white, red
Hardiness Zones 5-7 (USDA)
Native Area Japan

Red Vein Enkianthus Care

The botanical name assigned to this shrub is Enkianthus campanulatus. It is part of the Ericaceae family. The genus name of Enkianthus is Greek in origin and combines two words. Enkyos means swollen or pregnant, and anthos means flower. The species name of campanulatus was given to note that the flowers are shaped like bells.

Not many pests bother the Enkianthus campanulatus plant. You may see spider mites on occasion, which can be removed by shooting water at the mites with your hose, or using a horticultural oil on days when the weather isn't too hot.

There are usually no problems with diseases on the red vein enkianthus.

Red vein enkianthus shrub with tall trunk and small white flowers

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Red vein enkianthus shrub branch with small bell-shaped white flowers with pink veins closeup

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Red vein enkianthus shrub with thin branches and small green leaves surrounding small white flowers

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Red vein enkianthus shrub branch with small white bell-shaped flowers with pink veins and tips closeup

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Light

Enkianthus campanulatus needs a planting site that offers full sun to partial shade.

Soil

This Enkianthus campanulatus shrub is ericaceous and will need a location that offers acidic soil. If the pH is close, you can work on making the soil acidic, though you will need to test each year and make sure that the levels are still low enough.

Water

This plant needs to be watered weekly to maintain a moist soil level.

Temperature and Humidity

Garden locations in USDA hardiness zones 5-7 are suitable for this Enkianthus species. Its native range is found in Japan.

Fertilizer

A fertilizer for acidic soils is just the thing for the red vein enkianthus.

Red Vein Enkianthus Varieties

  • 'Albiflorus': offers creamy white flowers with pink accents
  • 'Showy Lantern': features dark pink blossoms
  • 'Sikokianus': displays red blooms
  • 'Variegata': shows leaves with white variegation around the margins

Pruning

The red vein enkianthus naturally forms into a pleasant shape and the only pruning you should need to do is take care of any branches that have become dead, diseased, or damaged. Prune just after the plant has finished flowering so you do not affect the next year's blossom crop.

Propagating Red Vein Enkianthus

Propagation of red vein enkianthus can be made with softwood cuttings. With a clean, sharp, garden shear, cut off 4- to 6-inch lengths of enkianthus. Pinch leaves off the bottom of the cutting. Dip the cut-end in rooting hormone, tap off excess. Insert cuttings into containers filled with all-purpose potting medium, and water regularly. In six to eight weeks, your cuttings should have enough of a root system to be planted outdoors.

How to Grow Red Vein Enkianthus From Seed

It's super easy to grow red vein enkianthus from seeds, as they can be sowed right into the ground in late winter or early spring. But take note: When grown from seed, the foliage can vary from plant to plant.

Enkianthus campanulatus seeds are quite small, so bear this in mind when you're handling them.