Photinia Red Robin is an evergreen shrub/tree incleasingly popular, not just as a standalone shrub but it is taking over from the Leylandii as a popular hedgerow. As an evergreen shrub, it does standout with its striking bright red young foliage which is its main feature.
There have been some confusion over its family name, it may be found or listed as "Stranvaesia Red Robin". Photinias are members of the "Rosaceae Family" of trees and shrubs, having the typical small flowers each being made up of 5 typical single rose flowers, but much more smaller.
Photinia Red Robin is hardy and can with stand the most severe winters, and any die back as a result of cold drying winds is soon replaced by a stunning mass of new foliage with the brightest of red leaves.
It has a compact habit, with a not too dense foliage canopy. It is kept within bounds by pruning as and when required for size retention and new foliage flushes of colour. Left to grow, it can eventually reach 3 meters in height and spread. It can also be kept well below that size by selective pruning.
Leaf spot is a fungal disease which can increase over several years if not treated. The brown spots, will gradually grow to cover the entire leaf which will turn dark purple or black.
Firstly remove all the affected leaves and certainly do not allow them to accumulate on the ground below the hedge or shrub. If you can not burn them, please dispose of them appropiately as they are Fungal.
If the fungal returns the Red Robin can be treated with fungicide sprays which are most effective between spring and autumn.
Treatment of powdery mildew can either be chemical or organic. It does respond well to organic treatment firstly prune out the affected leaves and any affected small branches, burn all the pruned foliage or dispose of them properly as they effect others. There are two proven organic sprays which work in the treatment of powdery mildew. The first is a mixture of milk and water, mix a solution of one part milk to nine parts water and spray it on the plants in the morning of a warm and dry day. Apply the spray and follow up by a second treatment 2 weeks later. The second method is very diluted solution of bicarbonate of soda and water, one level tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to four and a half litres / 8 pints of water. One application should be enouth to irradicate the problem.
The Photinia Red Robin Tree or shrub, is one of the most spectacular evergreens for foliage effect. We prune most shrubs to keep their shape and to restrict their growth and to keep them tidy. Regular Pruning of the Photinia Red Robin throughout the year encourages the spectacular new red foliage. Prune after the foliage has faded to a dull bronze.
Photinia is quite quick growing once established, it will grow around 30 cm, a foot, a year and the new foliage will grow around 15 cm, 6 inches, and may need regular pruning to stop it growing out of control.
Photinia Red Robin responds well to regular cut-backs with regular garden shears. You can safely prune up to 50% of the shrub mass, pruning upto 50% in the late summer months can result in the plant getting weak, susceptible to disease and fungi, and may die. Additionally it may result in the Photinia Red Robin not flowering the following season. The Photinia Red Robin will flower in the early summer and you may want to wait to prune until after flowering.
We recommend regular light pruning with shears to encourage more growth of the bright new foliage. After pruning fertilize at the base with a light srinkle of Fish, Blood and Bone Fertiliser or general fertilizer.
All evergreens should are ideally pruned during the growing season Photinia Red Robin is not an exception. The best time for the first pruning session is just as the first flush of red Robin foliage starts to turn green. This is normally around 6 weeks into the growth season. This will then encourage the red Robin bush to sprout new stems – ablaze with colourful foliage. Prune after the foliage has faded to a dull bronze.