Photinia (Red Tip)

Photinias are large shrubs that were once used for tall hedging here in the south. The most common photinia is the appropriately named “red tip”, which is easily recognized each spring as it sends out its first flush of bright red new leaves. As with many popular plant species, it has been widely planted and over used. With the rampant spread of a fungal leaf spot, many red tip hedges have died or are dying out.

Red Tip Photinia (Photinia x fraseri)

Leaves: Evergreen leaves are oval in shape and 2¾ to 4 inches long. New growth is bright red. The color lasts two to four weeks before maturing to green.

Flowers/Fruit: Small white clusters of flowers with an unpleasant smell appear in mid-spring and are followed by red, berrylike fruits.

Size & Growth Rate: A red tip grows 10 to 15 feet tall and 5 to 8 feet wide, although it can get larger with age. It is a moderate to fast growing plant.

Culture: While it is an extremely tough and vigorous plant that will grow in almost any soil, (except extremely wet ones), red tip photinia prefers a rich, well-drained soil. It prefers full sun to partial shade. Good air circulation is a must.

Landscape Use: Red tips were commonly used to create tall hedges and were often planted too close together to allow for adequate air circulation, which made them more susceptible to leaf spot. Red tip photinia is highly susceptible to Entomosporium leaf spot, and as such its use for hedging is not recommended.

Entomosporium leaf spot on photinia
James Blake, ©2007 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Diseases: Entomosporium leaf spot, which is caused by the fungus Entomosporium maculatum, is a severe problem on red tips. Early symptoms consist of small, circular, red spots on both the upper and lower surfaces of new leaves. On heavily diseased leaves, the spots unite to form larger, maroon blotches. Mature leaves develop dark brown or gray spots surrounded by reddish purple rings. Eventually, the leaves will fall off. Repeated leaf drop over several years along with other problems often results in plant death.

The fungus is most active during fall and spring months when weather is cool and rainy. Fungal spores are spread over short distances, so healthy plants can often remain healthy as long as they are in an isolated situation (far from other red tips).

Cultural Control:

  • Prune red tips in the winter when they are dormant. Pruning during the growing season will encourage new growth, which is highly susceptible to attack by the fungus. Mature leaves are more resistant to leaf spot.
  • Rake up and discard fallen leaves, and remove infected plant material. Apply fresh mulch around plants to cover any leaves that were missed. These practices reduce the amount of fungus present in the spring, resulting in less infection.
  • Provide excellent air circulation. This often means thinning out a few plants in a hedge.
  • Avoid wetting the leaves when watering. Splashing water spreads the fungus.
  • Avoid summer fertilization that will promote new growth late in the season.

Chemical Control: Apply a recommended fungicide at the first sign of disease or when new growth starts, and repeat application every 7 to 14 days. Be sure to follow the directions on the label. However, the use of fungicides for management of Entomosporium leaf spot is most effective when initiated early at new leaf emergence, and continued regularly until leaves become mature in early June. Then, applications should be made when conditions favor disease development (immediately following rainy periods). Fungicides do not be applied during hot, dry periods.

Fungicides labeled for Entomosporium leaf spot control contain one of the three active ingredients:

Chlorothalonil:

  • GardenTech Daconil Fungicide
  • Tiger Brand Daconil
  • Bonide Fung-onil Concentrate
  • Hi-Yield Vegetable, Flower, Fruit, & Ornamental Fungicide
  • Ortho Max Garden Disease Control
  • Ferti-lome Broad Spectrum Landscape & Garden Fungicide
  • Southern Ag Liquid Ornamental & Vegetable Fungicide

Propiconazole:

  • Banner Maxx Fungicide
  • Bonide Infuse Fungicide
  • Ferti-Lome Liquid Systemic Fungicide II
  • Monterey Fungi-Fighter Fungicide
  • Martin’s Systemic Fungicide RTS

Myclobutanil:

  • Spectracide Immunox Multi-Purpose Fungicide

This disease is very difficult to control once plants are severely infected. If you do not want to spray your plants every one to two weeks, it may be best to replace them with another plant species (see Red Tip Substitutes below).

Japanese Photinia (Photinia glabra)

Leaves: Evergreen leaves are long and oval in shape and 1½ to 3½ inches long. New growth is bronzy-red.

Flowers/Fruit: Small white clusters of flowers with an unpleasant smell appear in mid to late spring and are followed by red, berrylike fruits that later turn black. Flowers are smaller and appear later than those of red tip photinia.

Size & Growth Rate: Japanese photinia grows 10 to 12 feet tall and wide and is a moderate to fast growing plant.

Culture: See Red Tip Photinia.

Landscape Use: See Red Tip Photinia.

Diseases: Japanese photinia is highly susceptible to Entomosporium leaf spot, and as such its use for hedging is not recommended.

Chinese Photinia (Photinia serrulata)

Leaves: Evergreen leaves are oblong in shape with serrated edges and grow 4 to 8 inches long. New growth is light green to bronze colored.

Flowers/Fruit: White clusters of flowers 4 to 7 inches across have an unpleasant smell and last about two weeks. Flowers appear in early spring, before those of either red tip or Japanese photinias and are followed by bright red, berrylike fruits.

Size & Growth Rate: Chinese photinia is larger than red tip or Japanese photinia, growing 20 to 30 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. It may grow even larger with age. Chinese photinia is a moderate to fast growing plant.

Culture: See Red Tip Photinia.

Landscape Use: Chinese photinias are easily trained into small trees if lower limbs are removed.

Diseases: Chinese photinia shows resistance to Entomosporium leaf spot, but may be affected by fire blight and powdery mildew if grown in a shady location.

Selecting Screening Plants

With a severe fungal infection, red tip photinias may warrant replacing. When looking at plants as red-tip replacements, choose plants for a particular site based upon both cultural conditions and aesthetic considerations. Remember that it is best to have diversity in the landscape. The use of several different well-adapted species, whose cultural requirements match the site conditions, results in healthier plants.

Some factors to consider when choosing alternative screening plants include:

  • Site conditions: soil moisture and type, drainage, sun exposure, and wind exposure.
  • Near the coast: salt spray and saline soil.
  • Height requirements, both desirable and limits from structures such as power lines.
  • Width available for growth.
  • Year round screening necessity.
  • Density of screening desired.

Red Tip Substitutes

Camellias (Camellia spp.) are seldom thought of as screening plants. Although they are relatively slow-growing shrubs, they mature to dense evergreens and are very useful for screens in partial or dappled shade. Their height is variable depending on the cultivar, but many grow 6 to 15 feet tall or more. For more information, please see HGIC 1062, Camellia.

Chinese fringe-flower (Loropetalum chinense) is a fast growing evergreen that quickly reaches 6 to 10 feet tall. White-flowered cultivars can eventually reach up to 15 feet tall. Purpleleaf Chinese fringe-flower (Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum) varieties are often smaller, but ‘Zhuzhou Fuchsia’ grows 8 to 10 feet tall with hot pink flowers in spring. The burgundy leaves help make it a good color substitute for red tips. Both types grow well in sun or part shade and are adaptable to pruning. For more information, please see HGIC 1085, Loropetalum.

Most tea olives make excellent, dense evergreen screens or hedges in sun or medium shade. Holly tea olive (Osmanthus heterophyllus) grows 8 to 10 feet tall or more, and is more narrow than the other species mentioned here. Fortune’s tea olive (O. x fortunei) matures at 15 to 20 feet tall. Fragrant tea olive (O. fragrans) can reach as much as 20 to 30 feet tall near the coast, but will be smaller in the upstate. All of the tea olives have exceptionally fragrant, small, white flowers in fall. Fragrant tea olive also has yellow and orange-flowered cultivars.

For more information, please see HGIC 1083, Tea Olive.

Carolina cherry laurel (Prunus caroliniana) is a fast-growing, upright evergreen that can reach 20 to 30 feet tall when grown as a tree. ‘Bright ‘N Tight’ (sometimes sold as “Compacta”) is more compact, with smaller leaves and tighter growth. It grows to a more manageable 10 to 20 feet tall, is best in sun or part shade, and tolerates heavy pruning. For more information, please see HGIC 1069, Laurel.

Japanese ternstroemia (Ternstroemia gymnanthera) is sometimes called “cleyera”. It is an excellent substitute for red tip since it resembles it with red new growth in spring and has similar leaf texture. It grows slowly to 8 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide in shade or part shade.

Many viburnums (Viburnum spp.) make excellent evergreen screens. There are numerous species and varieties with a wide range of sizes. Viburnums are available for virtually any situation, and they will add to the landscape with flowers and berries. For more information, please see HGIC 1075, Viburnum.

Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) is excellent for difficult sites with its tolerance of sand, wind, salt, and poor soil. This broadleaf evergreen shrub or tree grows quickly to 15 to 20 feet high and wide, and is tolerant of pruning. It requires full sun. For more information, please see HGIC 1076, Wax Myrtle.

Plum yew (Podocarpus macrophyllus), Florida anise (Illicium floridanum), taller varieties of yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) and many other plants can be considered when looking for appropriate red tip photinia alternatives.

Mixed Screens

It is important not to search for only one plant species as a substitute for photinia. The widespread planting of a single plant species could possibly lead to a repeat of the problems that have affected red tips, American elm, and other plants.

Planting a mixed screen, where multiple species of plants are grouped together in small clusters is the best solution. Groups of three or five plants of a single species can be planted in a single row where space is limited or in an alternate layered (staggered, two-row) planting where more space is available.

Mixed species screens help to prevent the spread of pest problems from one plant to the next. The advantage to planting several rows of staggered plants is better air circulation around the plants. This reduces the humidity level around plants thereby reducing the incidence of disease problems while still achieving a full screen.

In a mixed screen, even if one species develops problems that are so severe it has to be removed and replaced, the entire planting does not have to be sacrificed. Mixed screens can also be far more interesting and rewarding throughout the seasons, offering the chance to turn a basic screen planting into a beautiful part of the landscape.

Ask the Gardener: How much can red tips hedge be pruned? | Raleigh News & Observer

red-tip photinia (Photinia x fraseri) can handle heavy pruning. Courtesy of JC Raulston Arboretum

Q: I have a photinia (red tips) hedge that has grown so high that it is no longer bushy. If I cut them back to, say, 6 to 8 feet high (or lower) will they bush out again?

Rachel Castle, Hillsborough

A: Red tip photinia (Photinia x fraseri) is very tolerant of pruning and can be cut back fairly severely without harming the plant, but there is a significant catch. Red tip is a pretty easy plant when allowed to grow without much pruning but when it is cut back, the tender new growth is exceptionally susceptible to a fungal leaf spot disease that can defoliate your entire hedge. Fungal sprays can be used to control the disease, but fungicides can be quite toxic and are best avoided when possible. This fungal disease is why the once-ubiquitous red tip is no longer so commonly grown. I’d recommend removing the photinia and replacing it with something else.

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Canna lilies that will not bloom

Q: I have some beautiful canna lilies in a bed with junipers and black-eyed Susans. While I enjoy the cannas’ burgundy foliage, the plants rarely bloom. What can I do to encourage more?

Dottie Hudyma, Rocky Mount

A: The three reasons canna lilies will stop flowering is typically because they are in too much shade, they have become overcrowded or they need fertilizer. If your plants are growing with junipers and black-eyed Susans, you likely have plenty of sun. I would dig your plants now and divide the thick rhizomes and replant the youngest and healthiest portions. In spring, after growth starts, fertilize your plants with a general purpose fertilizer. Your plants should flower well by summer.

Can you delay a Christmas cactus’ blooming?

Q: What do you need to do to get a Christmas cactus to bloom at Thanksgiving? It started to bloom around two weeks before Thanksgiving and will not have any blooms left by the holiday.

Adele Kaplan, Raleigh

A: I’m sorry I didn’t get you an answer before the holiday but hopefully this will help you for next year. Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus are two different but very similar plants. The former flowers in the late fall and the latter a month later. You can tell the difference by flowering time and the margins of the flattened leaf-like stems. A Thanksgiving cactus will have jagged, pointed margins, while the Christmas cactus will have rounded edges. Cool weather and longer nights will instigate flowering for both. If you keep a plant where it stays too warm or if it gets light all night, the plant will often not bloom at all. Putting a plant outdoors or by a cool window where the temperature drops to around 50 degrees (but not below about 40 if outside) and ensuring a long, uninterrupted dark period will get it in bloom. To delay flowering, keep your plant warm and provide some night-lighting until you are ready for it to begin setting flower buds.

Mark Weathington is the director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at N.C. State University in Raleigh. Info: jcra.ncsu.edu. Please send your gardening questions, and the city where you garden, to: [email protected]

Plant Spotlight

Common name: Poet’s Laurel

Botanical name: Danae racemosa

Family: Asparagus (Asparagaceae)

Category: Evergreen sub-shrub

Primary uses: Shade gardens

Dimensions: 24 to 36 inches tall by 36 to 40 inches wide.

Culture: Partial to full shade. Prefers a moist, well-drained. organic, woodland soil. Once established, it will tolerate considerable drought. It has very few pests. Old stems can be cut back to the ground in late winter if they have suffered any cold damage. It is extremely slow to grow into a sizable plant from seed, but mature plants can be divided in spring or fall.

Bloom time: Spring

Color: Greenish-yellow, not showy

Hardiness: Zero degrees (USDA hardiness zone 7)

General attributes: Poet’s laurel is highly prized by florists for its glossy evergreen leaves (technically modified stems), which hold their color for a very long time when cut. In the landscape it is a valuable addition to the shade garden where the gracefully arching branches and bright orange-red fruits add color and elegance.

Ask a question, win a book

We’re trying to encourage readers to send in their gardening questions. So if you send a gardening question for the monthly Ask the Gardener column by Dec. 31, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a gardening book.

These titles are up for grabs: “Saving Vegetable Seeds,” by Fern Marshall Bradley; “Fairy Gardening,” by Julie Bawden-Davis and Beverly Turner; “Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening,” by Peter Burke; and “Veranda: The Romance of Flowers,” by Clinton Smith.

The deadline to submit your question and be entered to win a book is noon Dec. 31. Please send your gardening question, including the city where you garden, to: [email protected]

Photinia stand out with their scarlet and red-colored leaves.

Photinia facts to know

Name – Photinia x fraseri
Family – Rosaceae
Height – 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 m)

Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary
Foliage – evergreen

Flowering – spring

Planting, pruning and caring for them are steps that help enhance blooming and growth of your Photinia.

Planting Photinia

Photinia love sun, are hardy (down to 5°F (-15°C)) but also need a lot of water, especially in summer when it is hot and dry.

  • Photinia love sunny or very lightly shaded places.
  • They adapt to most types of soil, except for chalky soil which they don’t like.

Planting in fall

It is the best season to plant. Photinia are best planted in fall to promote root development.

The best time is November; however, you can plant as early as September and as late as December as long as freezing days are avoided.

Avoid planting during the rest of winter.

Planting in spring and summer

Photinia can be planted in spring and even in summer if purchased in pots.

In that case, water regularly because the shrubs’ needs are higher when not in fall and winter.

  • Avoid planting during heat waves.
  • Mulch the base of your Photinia to keep the soil moist as long as possible.
  • Follow our advice on planting shrubs to ensure proper development

Multiplying Photinia

It is possible to propagate your own Photinia through cuttings in summer.

  • Collect stems that are 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long.
  • Remove lower pairs of leaves, keeping only the topmost one or two pairs.
  • It is possible to dip the cuttings in powdered rooting agents.
  • Plant cuttings in special cutting soil mix.
  • Put the Photinia cuttings near light, but not in direct sunlight.
  • Keep substrate a little moist.
  • Ensure that the cuttings can’t freeze in winter.
  • Transplant to a slightly larger pot in the following spring.

The most famous variety is Photinia ‘Red Robin’.

Pruning and caring for Photinia

Photinia are easy shrubs to care for, especially when well settled in.

Pruning Photinia is recommended twice a year.

Once is after spring blooming and then again after fall growth so that the shrub can be balanced or its size reduced.

It is also possible to prune ‘Red Robin’ Photinia at the end of winter. Pruning at this particular time will spur the growing of red leaves, but it may impair blooming.

Photinia can be shaped freely. They are sometimes seen shaped as cones, balls, or columns…

  • First, thin older branches to stimulate growth of new shoots, and clear the center so that light can reach it.
  • The more you prune it, the faster it grows.
  • Frequent and drastic pruning will favor growth and make red leaves appear.
  • Read also: how to prune shrubs

Note: Photinia will keep growing if not pruned. It can reach heights of up to 20 feet (6 meters). In this respect, it’s similar to cherry laurel.

To grow a magnificent ‘Red Robin’ Photinia

Adding all-purpose fertilizer in spring will boost growth and make the leafage magnificent.

Diseases, pests, and problems with Photinia

Although Photinia is very resilient and won’t often get diseased, sometimes the following may occur.

Photinia not blooming

If you have a photinia not bearing flowers, there are usually two reasons to this. Sometimes both are at cause.

  • Pruning was performed at the end of winter, before the blooming – in this case, flower buds have been cut off. Try to prune and trim your photinia after the blooming in spring. If you need to prune a second time to keep the shrub small and tidy, do it in fall before winter .
  • Exposure and lack of sunlight – a photinia shrub that is mostly covered in shade won’t bear many flowers, sometimes to the point of not bearing any at all. If shaded by a tree, try thinning the branches of the tree out to ensure light reaches the photinia shrub.

Black spots on photinia leaves

  • Photinia is one of the shrubs that may be hit with black spot disease.
  • Read more on photinia black spot disease

Photinia leaves curling and blistering

  • In rare instances, your Photinia may have contracted leaf curl.
  • Treat leaf curl on Photinia just as you would treat peach leaf curl.

Learn more about Photinia

Photinia are shrubs that were hybridized by man and are the result of crossing two different species.

Developed in New Zealand, they were introduced to the West around 25 years ago.

They are often used as ornamental shrubs, in beds and in hedges, but can also be planted as standalones.

Their main feature is that they are consistently two-colored: deep red for young leaves that slowly turn green as they mature.

They make your hedges and shrub beds stand out with that touch of color.

Abundant leaves quickly make the shrub opaque, which makes it one of the most commonly planted evergreen shrubs in hedges.

This magnificent shrub fits perfectly into any hedge and combines very will with many other species.

Smart tip about Photinia

Photinia flowers are a great source of nectar and pollen for bees, plant one as a standalone to attract beneficial insects to your garden! Be careful to only prune your photinia after it flowers, in Spring.

Read also on shrubs

  • Setting up a flowered hedge
  • Setting up an evergreen hedge
  • What if your hedge helped protect the environment?
  • The best time to trim hedges
  • Information and advice on pruning shrubs

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Blooming photinia by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work
Cuttings from Photinia by Leonora Enking ☆ under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Photinia covered in massive blooms by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work
Shaded photinia hedge by Michael Coghlan ☆ under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Properly exposed photinia by Julia Casado ★ under license

Red Tipped Photinia is a popular shrub, often used for creating a hedge or a fence row. The hedge made of Red Tipped Photinia catches everyone’s eye cause it looks colorful and vivid with its gorgeous red and green leaves. Read this info to learn how to grow and care for your Red Tipped Photinia.

What Is A Red Tipped Photinia?

The Photinia genus consists of about 40-60 species of small trees and shrubs. Red Tipped Photinia is one of the most popular hybrids, scientifically known as Photinia x fraseri. It is a selection of P. glabra and P. serratifolia, named after the Fraser Nursery in Birmingham where it was originally discovered somewhere around 1940.

The most famous cultivar Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ has even gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

The most recognizable characteristic of this evergreen shrub is its foliage. The foliage is mainly glossy green, but young leaves have bright red color. This excellent color contrast makes this plant highly appreciated among gardeners.

Young leaves are dark red or even bronze. As they mature, red color begins to fade until eventually becomes green or dark green.

Red Tipped Photinia Hedge (in background)
The interesting thing is that you can prolong this beautiful color contrast. Just trim the ends regularly and the plant will produce new, red leaves throughout the year, making an incredible display.

Red Tipped Photinia will do best in full sun or partial shade, planted in a well-drained soil. Once the root system has become established the plant can survive ordinary periods of drought. It can withstand the temperatures to -17.7 °C (0 °F). Red Tipped Photinia is propagated by cuttings because it’s a hybrid.

While Red Tipped Photinia has so many great characteristics such as showy colors, fast growth rate and easy maintenance, there’s something unpleasant about this plant.

This shrub blooms in late April, producing small panicles of white flowers, but in some people’s opinion, these flowers have an unpleasant aroma. That’s why they are often eliminated by early spring pruning.

Red Tipped Photinia, so as every member of the Photinia genus, produces a small apple-shaped fruit called pome.

Can Red Tipped Photinia Be Used for a Hedge?

Red Tipped Photinia is a very showy shrub with a great growth habit, so it’s perfect for creating hedges, shrub borders, fence rows and mixed beds. Its growth habit is one of its best features besides the beautiful colors.

Actually, the most common way to use Red Tipped Photinia is for a hedge, especially in the eastern half of North America.

As previously said, if you want to have year-round interest, you will have to trim and prune it to maintain the color contrast. Pruning is also needed to maintain the desired shape and turn your shrub into a hedge. Read on to learn how to prune and trim you Red Tipped Photinia.

Photinia x fraseri Hedge

How to Prune Red Tipped Photinia

Red Tipped Photinia is a fast grower so it needs to be pruned on a regular basis if you want to control its size and achieve an attractive shape. Depending on the species and cultivar, Red Tipped Photinia can grow up to 8-18 feet tall and spread 10 to 15 feet wide. It grows at least 2 feet every year.

Regular pruning and trimming will make your shrub well-shaped and tidy, but there’s another very important reason for regular pruning. Good air circulation between leaves of Red Tipped Photinia is highly important cause it prevents fungal diseases.

So, the first step is removing all dead and broken branches, twigs and leaves, and afterward removing the branches from the middle of the shrub. This is the best way to increase air circulation, lower the humidity and increase airflow and light around the shrub.

The second step is trimming old branches to encourage the growth of new reddish leaves. It’s important to trim it before the fall, cause new leaves need some time to become strong enough to survive upcoming winter and low temperatures.

Red Tipped Photinia tolerates a severe pruning. So don’t be afraid to cut out one-half to one-third of the stems every year. The shrub will actually benefit from such hard pruning so cut it back to about 6 inches above the ground.

Common Diseases and Problems for Red Tipped Photinia

If you’ve noticed purple or red circles and spots on Red Tipped Photinia leaves, the plant may have a disease caused by fungi.

Fungal diseases are most common diseases of the Photinia genus caused by the fungus Entomosporium mespili. Leaves infected by this fungus will eventually fall off and if you don’t maintain the leaves dried and if you don’t eliminate infected leaves, the fungal infection may start spreading and the plant will probably die. Not immediately, not even during the first season, but in the next few years.

So, if these circles on leaves occur, make sure you don’t get leaves wet when you’re watering the plant. Moisture creates perfect conditions for the spreading of fungi, as we said before. Fungal disease is another reason why regular pruning is a must – removing the branches and leaves will provide the shrub with fresh, dry air. Good air circulation is essential for a healthy and attractive Red Tip Photinia and it will reduce the conditions in which the fungus thrives.

Also, with a few basics, you can prevent fungal diseases on your Red Tipped Photinia.

When planting Red Tipped Photinia, make sure it doesn’t go too dense, cause the lack of air between leaves can cause the common Photinia disease. When creating a hedge, place shrubs further apart. This will provide a good air circulation and in the as of fungal disease it will protect uninfected shrubs because the spores of fungi don’t travel too far.

Other common diseases are root rot (caused by overwatering), while the new growth is quite vulnerable and susceptible to scales and aphids too.

Red Tip Photinia

Red Tip Photinia (Photinia X fraseri) is an incredibly popular large living fence. It produces leaves that are bright red at first then turn deep green after several weeks. This hardworking evergreen screening shrub offers really pretty features and an easy going character.

It features a white flower display in early spring, followed by striking red new spring growth for a big splash of color. Even in summer, the foliage delivers dense screening. Red Tip Photinia’s usefulness and beauty have made it one of the most popular screening plants offered.

Spring begins with a dynamic display of flower clusters that cover the entire plant. Next, brilliant red foliage emerges. This display of red is stunning and lasts for weeks into the late spring and early summer.

Gradually the red foliage gives way to a deep rich green leaf but never quite loses the red tint entirely. Another mid-summer display can be had with a light pruning, which will result in repeat of the showy red foliage.

These ornamental features are what has propelled the Red Tip Photinia to the top of the list of screen plants in the southern and western United States.

Use this to naturally augment the height of your fence and gain a beautiful sense of privacy. While you can prune Red Tip Photinia, many people choose to allow it to reach its full height and width. Plan for the mature size to keep life simple, easy and breezy.

Gain additional privacy without losing space in your back yard. The evergreen foliage will provide year-round privacy in a typical suburban backyard.

Order enough to complete your entire project today. We regularly go out of stock on this best-seller, so please don’t miss your chance to order direct from our expert growing facilities. Order yours today!

How to Use Red Tip Photinia in the Landscape

Red Tip Photinia is extremely versatile, which makes it such a valuable landscape plant. Use them as either large shrubs or small trees. They make a great short or tall, dense hedge, a formal or informal accent tree or is great for borders or to naturalize in your garden.

Maintain it as a low border plant at less than 3 feet or allow it to grow naturally into a tall screening plant.

You can keep Red Tip Photinias in large patio containers. Try rounded topiary treatments or remove the lowest branches all the way back to establish a multi-stemmed small tree. Young Photinias can be trained back to a central leader as a single-trunked tree.

However you use them, plan to give Red Tip Photinia full sun for healthy plants. Commercial landscapers frequently use them along highway medians and in parking strips because they can handle the challenges of adverse city climate conditions. Tough, pretty plants? No wonder people love them.

Prune in the winter to add to the spring red foliage display – or leave alone and enjoy the clouds of small white flowers in spring. The choice is yours!

#ProPlantTips for Care

Tough, vigorous Red Tip Photinia is also known as Fraser’s Photinia or Red Top Photinia. Beloved throughout Zones 7 – 9, this is a plant that grows well in almost any well-drained soil.

This plant is extremely durable and vigorous. When cutting back hard in the late winter, the blooms are eliminated. However, hard winter pruning just adds to the intensity and the duration of the brilliant red spring foliage display.

Although the Photinia can tolerate some partial shade, the best results are achieved in full sun with good drainage. Once established, this plant is quite drought tolerant.

It does require good air circulation, so plant it at least 7 feet away from fences or buildings. This will give you enough room to access the fence even after the plants reach their mature size.

In areas that have high humidity and excessive moist conditions, plan to spray an organic fungicide at first sign of leaf spot or leaf drop.

Feed with a Dr. Earth Life Organic and Natural All-Purpose Fertilizer in the fall to ensure a dramatic display of red new growth begins in spring.

For a fast-growing privacy shrub that offers spring flowers and a splash of vibrant red color, you need the Red Tip Photinia. Order yours today!

Photinia x fraseri

  • Whole Plant Traits: Plant Type: Shrub Habit/Form: Oval Growth Rate: Rapid Texture: Medium
  • Cultural Conditions: Light: Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day) Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours) Soil pH: Alkaline (>8.0) Soil Drainage: Good Drainage Occasionally Dry Very Dry Usda Plant Hardiness Zone: 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit: Fruit Color: Red/Burgundy Display/Harvest Time: Fall Fruit Type: Pome Fruit Length: < 1 inch Fruit Width: < 1 inch Fruit Description: Fruits are globose berry-like pomes that are red and less than an inch in size.
  • Flowers: Flower Color: White Flower Inflorescence: Cyme Flower Bloom Time: Spring Flower Size: 3-6 inches Flower Description: Flowers are white, foetid, and less than an inch in size. Inflorescence is a terminal cyme that is 5-6″ across.
  • Bark: Surface/Attachment: Smooth
  • Stem: Stem Color: Brown/Copper Green Stem Is Aromatic: No Stem Description: Stems are stout and greenish brown in color.
  • Landscape: Landscape Location: Recreational Play Area Landscape Theme: Children’s Garden

Red Robin Bush Stock Photos and Images

(500) Narrow your search: Black & white | Page 1 of 5

  • Red Robin, shrub in spring with red leaves
  • Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ evergreen bush with bright red leaves
  • A macro shot of some red robin bush flower buds.
  • Idaho, Wildlife, Bird, Song Birds, Robin eating serviceberry.
  • A macro shot of the new leaves of a red robin bush.
  • Frosted Red Robin Shrub
  • A macro shot of some blossom from a red robin bush.
  • Leaves from a Red Robin shrub (Photinia x fraseri) against blue sky in Spring.
  • A macro shot of blossom from a red robin bush.
  • Red Robin, shrub in spring with red leaves
  • A macro shot of the white blossom of a red robin bush.
  • Leaves from a Red Robin shrub (Photinia x fraseri) against blue sky in Spring.
  • A macro shot of some white blossom from a red robin bush.
  • Young flower buds and emerging foliage closeup of a Red Robin shrub (Photinia x fraseri) in Winter in West Sussex, UK. Portrait macro close up.
  • Young red leaves of Photonia ‘Red Robin’ in spring, an ornamental garden foliage plant
  • Young flower buds and emerging foliage close up of a Red Robin shrub (Photinia x fraseri) in Winter in West Sussex, England, UK. Portrait macro.
  • A macro shot of some red robin bush blossom.
  • Photinia Fraseri ‘Red Robin’ at a nursery
  • A macro shot of some red robin bush blossom.
  • Red Robin, Red Tip Photinia, Red-Tipped Photinia, Fraser’s Photinia, Christmas berry, Rotlaubige Glanzmispel, Photinia x fraseri
  • A macro shot of the flower buds of a red robin bush.
  • Red Crested Robin, Perth, Western Australia
  • Red Robin, Red Tip Photinia, Red-Tipped Photinia, Fraser’s Photinia, Christmas berry, Rotlaubige Glanzmispel, Photinia x fraseri
  • A macro shot of the flower buds of a red robin bush.
  • Robin perched in a holly bush holding a berry in his beak.
  • Red Robin, Red Tip Photinia, Red-Tipped Photinia, Fraser’s Photinia, Christmas berry, Rotlaubige Glanzmispel, Photinia x fraseri
  • A macro shot of the flower buds of a red robin bush.
  • Red robin
  • A macro shot of some new growth on red robin bush.
  • Red Robin, Red Tip Photinia, Red-Tipped Photinia, Fraser’s Photinia, Christmas berry, Rotlaubige Glanzmispel, Photinia x fraseri
  • A macro shot of the white blossom of a red robin bush.
  • Robin in traditional winter scene with holly and seasonal red berries, The Cotswolds, UK
  • Red Robin, Red Tip Photinia, Red-Tipped Photinia, Fraser’s Photinia, Christmas berry, Rotlaubige Glanzmispel, Photinia x fraseri
  • A macro shot of the white blossom of a red robin bush.
  • Robin in traditional winter scene with holly and seasonal red berries, The Cotswolds, UK
  • A macro shot of the white blossom of a red robin bush.
  • Red Robin, Red Tip Photinia, Red-Tipped Photinia, Fraser’s Photinia, Christmas berry, Rotlaubige Glanzmispel, Photinia x fraseri
  • A macro shot of the new leaves forming on a red robin bush.
  • Spring garden flower bed and bush
  • red robin evergreen shrub bush also known as photina x frasei kent uk 2014
  • Fraser photinia (Photinia x fraseri ‘Little Red Robin’, Photinia x fraseri Little Red Robin, Photinia fraseri), cultivar Little Red Robin
  • Robin perched in a holly bush holding a berry in his beak.
  • red robin evergreen shrub bush also known as photina x frasei kent uk 2014
  • Fraser photinia (Photinia x fraseri ‘Little Red Robin’, Photinia x fraseri Little Red Robin, Photinia fraseri), cultivar Little Red Robin
  • Scarlet Robin
  • Photinia fraseri Red Robin
  • Fraser photinia (Photinia x fraseri ‘Little Red Robin’, Photinia x fraseri Little Red Robin, Photinia fraseri), branch with fresh shootings of cultivar Little Red Robin
  • Scarlet Robin
  • Photinia fraseri Red Robin
  • Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ against white blossom on a hawthorn tree
  • Scarlet Robin
  • Photinia fraseri Red Robin
  • A European Robin chirping in holly bush with red berries
  • Scarlet Robin
  • Photinia fraseri Red Robin
  • latticed heath moth Latin chiasma clathrata from the geometridae or geomtrid family feeding on a photinia frasari red robin flower family rosaceae
  • Scarlet Robin
  • Photinia fraseri Red Robin
  • latticed heath moth Latin chiasma clathrata from the geometridae or geomtrid family of moths feeding on a photinia frasari red robin flower in Italy
  • Scarlet Robin
  • Photinia fraseri with flowers isolated on white
  • ROBIN (Erithacus rubecula) PERCHING IN RED CURRANT BUSH SWALLOWING RED CURRANT
  • Scarlet Robin
  • red robin
  • Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ evergreen bush with bright red leaves
  • Scarlet Robin
  • Close-up of flower on Red Robin ‘Photina x fraseri’ standard tree
  • European robin (Erithacus rubecula) perched on a branch in a hawthorn tree with red berries
  • Scarlet Robin
  • Fraser photinia (Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Photinia x fraseri Red Robin, Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Photinia fraseri Red Robin), blooming, cultivar Red Robin
  • Robin perches by snowy slope and seasonal berries during winter in The Cotswolds, UK
  • Leaves from a Photinia Red Robin bush suitable for backgrounds
  • Fraser photinia (Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Photinia x fraseri Red Robin, Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Photinia fraseri Red Robin), blooming, cultivar Red Robin
  • Robin redbreast
  • Robin in hedgerow
  • Fraser photinia (Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Photinia x fraseri Red Robin, Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Photinia fraseri Red Robin), blooming, cultivar Red Robin
  • Robin bird on tree
  • Robin sitting on a Hawthorn bush, Hertfordshire.
  • Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ Hedge
  • Christmas berry ‘Red Robin’ Photinia × fraseri flowering. Panicle of small white flowers on evergreen shrub in the family Rosaceae
  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ Bright red new spring foliage
  • Red Admiral butterfly close up Latin atalanta vanessa feeding on the edge of photinia red robin flower or bush also called photinia frasari in Italy
  • Photinia Red Robin in flower
  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ Bright red new spring foliage
  • Juvenile Robin in Berry Bush
  • European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) adult perched in bush
  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ Bright red new spring foliage
  • a robin bird sitting on the nest in a bush
  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ Bright red new spring foliage
  • Flowering Photinia x fraserii ‘Red Robin’ street tree, Tufnell Park, London NW5
  • Robin and holly bush by snowy hillside in The Cotswolds, UK
  • European robin in holly bush with red berries
  • Robin in corkscrew hazelnut
  • Robin puffed up against the cold perches by holly bush next to snowy hillside in The Cotswolds, UK
  • Robin, Erithacus rubecula, single adult perched in bush with clear sky background, Lancashire, UK
  • Robin in traditional winter scene with holly and seasonal red berries, The Cotswolds, UK
  • The European robin in the forest
  • Robin perches at holly bush branch by a snowy hillside in The Cotswolds, UK
  • Male Himalayan Bluetail (Tarsiger rufilatus) also know as Orange-flanked Bush-robin – Doi Lang, Thailand
  • The European robin in the forest

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Photinia fraseri Red Robin

Product Details

Small Half Standard specimens have a 90-100cm clear stem and 80-90cm crown. Large mushroom shape are supplied 2-2.5m in 150L

Photinia Red Robin is an attractive, mop headed version of the well known garden shrub.

This evergreen tree has deep green leaves which emerge a bright red colour, before hardening off in the sunshine to green. This bright red flush occurs in the spring and often once again in the autumn and can be encouraged to be striking by a routine prune to encourage new growth development. The creamy white flowers appear in spring and are an unusual annual occurrence for an evergreen tree, it contrasts magnificently with the emerging red leaves.

Photinia Red Robin is well known as a garden shrub that was bred in New Zealand, winning the Award of Garden Merit in 2002. At Barcham we choose to grow this species as a true tree with a clear stem and over time it develops a rounded, mop head type crown.

This small evergreen beauty is the perfect tree of choice for stilted hedging and offers much more in the way of ornamental delight to those who plant them than the utilitarian Tree Privets. To form a good and immediate impact upon planting, Medium sized trees should be planted at 1.2m + centres, the further apart they thus become the longer it will take for a full screen to develop.

The Half Standard specimens are perfect for boundary definition or low stilted hedging.

Regular pruning of a stilted screen is necessary in ensuring density is maintained and when pruning Photinia Red Robin it is worth remembering that they need a little more tender loving care than the Tree Privet and thus it is best to prune using shears, rather than with something as harsh as a hedge trimmer.

Mature Height: 3-7m

Photinia Care Guide: How to Grow Photinia ‘Red Robin’

Photinia Care

Photinia ‘Red Robin’ grows best in full sun in a sheltered position, though it will tolerate a little light shade. Young shoots can be damaged by cold, drying winds and frosts if planted in an exposed part of the garden.

It needs good air circulation to avoid disease, so while it will grow well near a wall or fence, it should not be planted tightly in a corner formed by two solid walls or fences.

Ideally, the soil should be free draining but moisture retentive. Plenty of garden compost or well-rotted manure can be dug into a slightly heavier soil to ameliorate it sufficiently to allow a Photinia to grow. The shrub will not, however, do well in a very heavy clay soil or waterlogged conditions.

The best times to plant Photinia ‘Red Robin’ are spring and autumn, though container grown plants can be planted at any time of the year long so long as the soil is not frozen. Summer plantings will require a lot of watering over the first few months.

To plant a container-grown Photinia, dig a hole double the width of the container to the depth that allows the top surface of the compost to be level with the surrounding soil. Work a handful of blood, fish and bone into the base of the hole, loosening the soil at the same time.

Place the plant into the centre of the hole and back-fill around the plant. Firm the plant in gently but firmly to eliminate any air pockets without damaging the roots. Water well to settle the plant and the surrounding ground.

For a Photinia hedge, individual plants are generally planted at 75cm centres.

New shrubs should be watered whenever there are dry weather conditions during the first two growing seasons. A spring and autumn feed with blood, fish and bone over the same period will help produce a good root system, and keeping the area around the plant weed-free by mulching will also help with establishment. After two years they will rarely require much further attention other than normal pruning or cutting to maintain the desired stature and shape. Specimens grown in containers will require regular watering and feeding.

Light requirements

Photinia ‘Red Robin’ prefers a position in full sunlight but it will also grow quite successfully where there is light shade for part of the day.

Watering

Once established, the plant is fairly drought tolerant, but newly planted specimens and hedges will require regular watering over the first two years while they develop a healthy and extensive root system.

Soil conditions

Photinia ‘Red Robin’ grows well in most garden soil types so long as they are well drained. Some moisture retention is needed, and a deep loam is ideal. They are unlikely to survive in waterlogged or very heavy clay soil. While some species of Photinia respond badly to a chalky soil, Photinia ‘Red Robin’ will tolerate any normal acid, neutral or alkaline conditions.

Fertilisers

Established shrubs will not normally require feeding, but if they suffer from excessive and sudden leaf drop or are clearly not doing well, then a top dressing with blood, fish and bone may provide a boost.

After six to eight weeks in new compost, pot-grown Photinia ‘Red Robin’ will need feeding monthly from March to August with a balanced, slow release fertiliser with trace elements: specific formulations are now available from garden centres for shrubs, and these are ideal.

Re-potting

Photinia do well in containers, with some of the dwarf or smaller varieties such as ‘Little Red Robin’ being ideal. A single ‘Red Robin’ will grow quite happily in a container with a diameter of 50cm or more, though care must be taken to use a pot of suitable size, shape and weight to avoid a top-heavy shrub blowing over in the wind. Standard multi-purpose compost or a John Innes No 3 can be used. They must be well watered in, and then watered each time the top couple of centimetres of compost feels dry to the touch.

Looks good with

Photinias do not compete well with more vigorous shrubs and trees for water and nutrients, so if grown as specimens or hedges in or alongside shrub borders, careful choices of neighbours need to be made. Smaller, slow-growing shrubs are preferable. Evergreen, variegated varieties will provide relief during the summer when the Photinia ‘Red Robin’ is green and a startling contrast in the spring and autumn when the colours of the Photinia come into their own. Variegated Euonymus cultivars such as ‘Harlequin’, ‘Emerald ‘n Gold’ and Emerald Gaiety are suitable, or for a taller alternative, ‘Silver Queen’. The red and cream variegation of Hebe ‘Rhubarb and Custard’ picks up the red foliage colour of ‘Red Robin’ well.

Other shrubs that make good companions to ‘Red Robin’ on more acidic soils include Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’ and Pieris ‘Flaming Silver’. The variegated Japanese spurge, Pachysandra terminalis ‘Variegata’ can be planted around Photinia ‘Red Robin’ to create a complementary, 20cm tall mat of evergreen leaves with cream margins.

The form and colour of Photinia ‘Red Robin’ also provides an excellent backdrop for a herbaceous border with plants such as lupin, phlox, delphinium, hardy geranium and Rudbeckia, or to ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis, Stipa gigantea and Molinia caerulea.

Pruning

Photinia ‘Red Robin’ can grow up to 30cm in a year and it will achieve a height and spread of some 5m if left unchecked, so it will need pruning quite frequently to keep it in shape. Plants should not be pruned in their first three years.

Pruning also encourage new foliage growth with the bright red colour, though this will be at the expense of flowers unless the pruning is carried out no later than mid-June when the flowers are dying back. Pruning later than this means that the wood on which next year’s flowers will form is removed. Fresh red foliage can be produced by pruning at any time from spring through to autumn, so a decision can be made as to whether the red foliage or flowers are the more desirable feature. A further consideration is that pruning from August into the autumn will produce new growth that may be susceptible to damage by early frosts.

Regular maintenance pruning involves cutting stems back to just above a leaf or outward facing bud. Removing 15cm to 20cm of growth should be sufficient to keep the shrub at its existing size, and it will respond well to this sort of maintenance as long as it has reached around 1.5m high as a minimum. The best of the cut stems can be used in vases and flower arrangements.

Photinia ‘Red Robin’ hedges can be trimmed with shears or hedge clippers without worrying too much about the position of buds or leaves, as the fresh new growth will soon disguise any blemishes or stubby twigs.

A shrub that has got out of control can be given a drastic renovation pruning. In May, cut all of the stems down to 60cm above the ground and thin what is left by removing some stems to ground level to give an open centre to the plant. As new growth forms, retain the best stems and remove any others.

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