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Photinia Red Robin

Photinia x fraserii Red Robin

Photinia Red Robin Hedging

Photinia Red Robin Hedging

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.

How to Plant Photinia Red Robin Shrub?

The best time to plant out is in March to April and September to October as long as the ground is not frozen. Remove the hesian sacking from the rootball or take out of the pot, gently tap to remove the excess soil from the roots. Appoximately dig a hole twice the width of the rootball and the same depth. Sprinkle evenly in a handful of Fish, Blood and Bone Fertiliser and place the plant into the hole. Fill in with soil around the rootball and compact the soil down gently but firmly with your foot. Water well after to settle the surrounding ground.

Growing Photinia Red Robin as a Hedge

To grow the Red Robin as a hedgerow, the individual plants should be planted about 75cm (2ft 6in)apart and when grown against a wall or a fence then the plants should be at least 60cm / 2ft from the wall or fence. If they are planted too close they will probably suffer from the lack of moisture to the roots and will need watering occasionally.

Where to Plant Photinia Red Robin Shrub?

You can plant Photinia Red Robin shrubs in almost any garden situation. It prefers full sun and it is also very happy in the shade without losing its foliage colour. It makes an ideal centerpiece as a standalone shrub in the centre of the lawn or it is naturally at home giving months of foliage colour towards the back of a border. Being evergreen it is more commonly it is used as a row of hedging with its compact habit, which provides density, with its striking young red leaves it looks far better all year round than the other methods of hedging.

What soil type is best for the ‘Red Robin’?

Photinia x fraserii ‘Red Robin’ is not suited in the poorest quality of soils. It prefers and preforms better in organic, fertile and well drained soils, it requires a lot of nutrition if it is pruned regularly.

Care of the Photinia Red Robin

This is one of those all endearing garden plants that offers so much for so little, an established Photinia Red Robin will look after itself. A young plant will need fertilising twice a year with Fish, Blood and Bone Fertiliser once in spring and again in the autumn. This will help it to establish a good root system. Just evenly sprinkle a handful around the base of the tree, it will work itself in. Keep the area around the base of the plant free from weeds and grass. The Photinia Red Robin will shred its leaves from time to time and they will need sweeping up.

Photinia Red Robin and Leaf Spot

The main cause of concern for the Photinia Red Robin is Leaf Spot on the foliage. It seems to be of no consequence, but if left untreated, Leaf Spot can eventually lead to either the severe weakening of the shrub and eventually resulting in death.

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.

Powdery Mildew

Photinia Red Robin is suseptable to Powdery Mildew, fungus Podosphaera pannosa, this fungus is a common problem on apple and pear trees. The first signs are a white to buff-colouring on the leaves, this progresses to the leaves and shoots turn nearly white and may become twisted.

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.

Propagation of Photinia Red Robin

This is best carried out with semi-ripe cuttings in late summer. Feel down the stem and using some secateurs make a cutting below the first leaf stem. Then 1. trip evenly just below the first stem. 2. Remove all the leaf stems leaving the top group of stems at 3. Cut the leaves evenly in half at 3.

The next step is from the bottom centre of the main stem (from where you made cut 1.), cut away from the first at a 60 degree angle. Fill an appropiate sized pot with fertiliser mix or grow bag and make a hole with a pencil two to three inches deep. Dip your cutting in Honey, giving it an ample covering and put it in the hole you have made, make sure you do not knock off the Honey. Press the soil around the stem firmly and water. In 3 weeks you can give your stem a gentle lift, you will be able to feel if the cutting has sucessfully taken roots or the cutting will just pop out

Pruning the Photinia Red Robin

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 Plant – How to prune

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.

When to Prune a Photinia Red Robin Plant

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.

Red Robin Hedge Pruning

If grown as a hedge plant, then prune as required - either with electric hedge shears or any normal pruning aid. But wait until growth starts in the spring. Any pruning carried out in winter will not start to re-grow until spring, so you could end up with a semi-bare hedge that does not deserve the name Red Robin.

Photinia Red Robin responds well to regular cutting back and hard pruning is not a problem! Lack of regular pruning can persuade the Red Robin to flower. Flowering Red Robin are quite attractive if seen in masses. This shrub is not seen in flower too often, mainly because of the regular pruning that it gets. However, if you have space, then lay off the pruning for a whole year and you will probably be rewarded by a good show of flower trusses atop the branches.

Photinia Red Robin Hedging

Photinia Red Robin Hedging

Photinia Red Robin Single Tree

Photinia Red Robin Single Tree

Photinia Red Robin Flower

Photinia Red Robin in Flower

Photinia Red Robin Close Up

Photinia Red Robin Close Up



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