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.
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.
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 in a slightly larger pot in the following spring.
The most famous variety is the ‘Red Robin’.
Pruning and caring for Photinia
Photinia are easy shrubs to care for, especially when well settled in.
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.
To grow a magnificent ‘Red Robin’ Photinia
Adding all-purpose fertilizer in spring will boost growth and make the leafage magnificent.
Learn more about Photinia
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.
Read also on shrubs:
- Setting up a flowered hedge.
- Setting up an evergreen hedge.
- What if your hedge protected the environment?
- The best time to trim hedges.
- Information and advice on pruning shrubs.