Photinia x phrasers – Photinia x phrasers – Garden plants – Photinia x phrasers – Shrubs

The Photinia x fraseri is an evergreen shrub, or small tree, which can reach 3-4 metres of height; it is a hybrid, the plants used for the hybridization are the P. glabra, native to Japan, and the P. serrulata, native to China.

It is a round, leafy shrub with thin, well branched stems; the leaves are oval or lanceolate, bright red when they germinate, then turn dark green; even during the autumn and winter some leaves can take on an orange colour.

At the beginning of spring, it produces numerous small white flowers, grouped in delicately scented corymbs.

In summer on the plants you can see some small reddish berries.

There are numerous cultivars, with leaves of particularly bright colours; the most cultivated is surely the Photinia x fraseri “Red Robin”. These shrubs are widely used in hedges, but they are also suitable as individual specimens or in a mixed border.

After flowering it is advisable to prune the branches longer, so as to keep the shrub dense and well branched even in the lower part; it is also possible to develop the plant freely, or as a sapling, so as to obtain a small tree with a rounded crown.

Family and gender

The genus counts from 40 to 60 species.

Type of plant

Bushes and evergreen or deciduous trees

Exposure

Sun or half shade

Rustic

Depending on the variety

Land

Neutral

Colours

White flowers, red berries and leaves from green to red

Cultivation

Medium easy

Flowering

summer

Height

From 2 to 10 meters

Propagation

Tip cutting, seed

photinia

Description

fotinia These are evergreen or deciduous bushes or trees originating in southern Asia, particularly China and Japan. The trunk is thin and regular. The bark is brown in colour and the canopy, if left to grow spontaneously, takes on a roundish shape.

They have lanceolate leaves, alternate, which in adulthood are a beautiful dark green. At birth and before falling, however, take on a reddish color. In winter they can turn to orange.

This gives the plant a very decorative appearance, contributing to the liveliness of the garden, and has made it one of the most used for the construction of hedges. It usually reaches 4-5 metres in height, but if it has grown as a tree it can reach as much as 10 metres (depending on the species). It should be noted that in spring it has bunches of creamy white flowers that in autumn turn into pleasant bunches of small red berries.

  • fotinia I would like to know if it is normal a considerable loss of red leaves in the middle-lower part of my photinias. I would like to add that I have just been buried in the ground and that I am in March…
  • fotinia This name indicates a garden hybrid, of Australian and New Zealand origin, whose botanical name is PhotiniaXfraseri; it develops like an evergreen shrub, vigorous and with a thick foliage; it is a shrub with a very good colour and a…

  • Fotinia fhotigna the leaves have become yellowish…
  • Fotinia I wanted to know, the boundaries of the ditches for the planting of hedges is 1.5 from the center of the ditch. how much do you advise me to stay for growth?? because of the fact that it also expands to the outside … and to what extent do you need to be able to …

Exposure

photinia fraseri red robinPhotinia x fraseri should be planted in a sunny, or even semi-shady, place; the photiniae do not fear the cold, and not even the sultry heat of July and August. are very suitable for street furniture, as they are not damaged by dust or pollution.

Planting

The best time for planting is definitely autumn. This will help the plant’s rooting and give it the chance to start growing optimally from the first growing season.

Surely this is the best choice, whether the specimens are in pots or bare-root.

If they are in a container, we can put them in the ground also in spring and summer, ensuring however that the irrigation in the first months are constant.

Bare root planting In this case, it may be a good idea to fill a container with water, soil and seasoned manure so that a mixture of the consistency of the batter is created for frying. At that point, the roots of the plants are immersed and left to rest for a few hours (even all night).

This procedure favours the rehydration of the roots and gives them the possibility to have immediate access to the nutrients, at least in the first phase of rooting.

Then, we shall have to make the hole, deep and at least 50 cm broad, put on the bottom a draining layer based on gravel and then a little ripe manure. A layer of soil is placed between them and the plant is inserted. Cover the hole with the soil and press well with your feet creating a small depression at the base of the plant. This will help to prevent the water from flowing away during the first irrigations.

Planting of plant in container First of all, remove the plant from the pot and check that the roots on the bottom are free. If they are not and have instead formed a entangled network, it is advisable to remove a layer with a knife or by opening the earthen bread in 4.

In this case, it is necessary to dig a hole at least twice as wide and deep as the container. On the bottom we insert the draining layer, then the bottom fertilization, a layer of soil and finally the earthen bread of our plant. It is advisable for the collar to be a few centimetres below ground level. At that point we can cover well and press with force. Proceed immediately with a good irrigation that, at least for the first time, will have to be repeated constantly.

Watering

The young specimens water sporadically from March to October; the plants planted for years can be satisfied with the rains, although it is good to water in case of prolonged drought. At the end of winter, bury mature organic fertilizer or slow release granular fertilizer at the foot of the plant.

Land

terreno per fotinia They can develop also in the common garden earth, preferring the loose and soft soils, rich in organic matter. Fear of water stagnation is therefore good to cultivate the photinias in very well drained soil, or add to the land of the river sand garden, so as to improve the outflow of water. Photiniae are undemanding plants and are suitable for almost all types of soil. They seem to grow better in a slightly alkaline soil, but it is difficult for them to cause problems in this respect.

Multiplication

They propagate by taking some semi-woody cuttings during the summer; the small branches will be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, which is to be kept humid till the rooting is completed. The young plants are cultivated in a container for 2-3 years before planting it in the ground.

Pests and diseases

Aphids often nest on young leaves or floral corymbs. Excessive watering or poorly permeable soil can lead to root rot.

Irrigations

irrigazione fotinia The photinia is a plant that needs to be treated only at the time of planting. In that case (also depending on the climate and rainfall) it is better to water at least twice a week.

In the space of a month, however, we can already begin to thin out the interventions to one-two times a month.

Once fully rooted it will be necessary to intervene only in the case of a long period of drought or if we live in particularly dry and hot areas. However, special attention must be paid to water stagnation. So, even in the rooting phase, let us not exaggerate and wait for the soil to be really dry before intervening again. From this point of view, it is very important to prepare the draining layer at the time of planting.

Fertilization

Also in this respect they are not very demanding plants. Apart from the background fertilisation at the time of planting, we will only have to intervene once at the end of the winter. The ideal is to give a granular slow release fertilizer that is good for green plants or however balanced in the macro elements.

Exposure

Again, we can say that it is a plant that is not very demanding. In general it loves the full sun. Only where the summer temperatures become very high is it advisable to have a more shady exposure. In general, however, we can say that the only thing to avoid absolutely is a too shady position that could encourage the emergence of problems such as cochineal or metcalpha.

Pruning

There is absolutely no better time for pruning photinias. It is necessary to intervene when there is a need.

Pruning can have several purposes: to keep the plant young, to give it the desired shape, to keep it tidy and to encourage the growth of beautiful bronze leaves and flowers.

During the first years pruning must be frequent and quite severe (even if it means losing the decorative spring leaves…). It is necessary to intervene often, shortening by at least 1/3 (but also by ½) both in height and laterally. This will allow the plant to throw new branches from below (otherwise it will remain bare and you will see much more wood at the base, which is not pleasant) and also to obtain in general specimens thicker and full of branches and leaves.

By acting in this way, we will soon have a very compact hedge full of vegetation.

Then it will be sufficient to intervene to maintain the chosen shape and height. If you decide instead to grow the specimen as a tree, our interventions will be thinned out. The plant will take its natural form. It will be necessary to intervene only if we see branches that grow crooked or in an unpleasant direction, to give a little more light inside the canopy or to contain its growth a little.

Pests and adversity

Parassiti e avversità fotinia As we have said, they are really resistant plants and they are rarely attacked by insects or by cryptogams. However, they may be victims of aphids. In that case you have to intervene with a contact insecticide or (if the problem is serious) with a systemic product (away from the flowering period). Another problem that could occur (especially if our plants are in a poorly sunny position) is an infestation of cochineals.

In that case, it is advisable to intervene with a systemic insecticide and with the use of a mineral oil. Cryptogams rarely affect photinia.

Recently, however, a disease called “photinia leaf spotting” caused by Entomosporium maculatum has spread, especially in the spring months. It occurs with greyish spots with reddish borders first in the lower part and then on the new leaves.

Usually it is present in nurseries where there are many plants. At a domestic level it can be easily controlled by removing during the winter the leaves fallen to the ground (which cause the spread of the disease) and promoting the aeration of the canopies. Prevention can also be done with copper or other fungicides.

Use in the garden

Photiniae are used and now very common plants for the purpose of creating ornamental hedges. In this sense they are very pleasant because they bring colour and blooms to the garden.

However, they can also be used as ornamental trees, perhaps as isolated specimens. They have a very graceful shape and can be appreciated for their leaves, flowers and berries.

Toxicity

Photinia leaves contain a precursor to hydrocyanic acid (more or less concentrated depending on the species). Therefore, great care must be taken in the presence of pets and children.

Leafless photinia what to do

If you have a fothy hedge that is in poor condition with obvious signs of decay such as uneven leaves on the canopy, partially bare branches and unlit colors, maybe it’s time to take strong action on your plants.

In these cases there are in fact some simple interventions that if carried out at the time and with the right methods can give excellent results and resume in a few months your plant. Pruning is certainly one of the most important and strategic interventions in these cases.

Cutting the branches by energetically shortening their length can in fact stimulate the plant to emit new fresh jets. In addition to pruning, fertilization is another intervention that must be carried out to reinvigorate adorned and perishable photinia plants. In these cases, organic fertilizer (pelleted or floured) or mineral fertilizer to be distributed to the foot of the plant should be used to restore the necessary vigour and the right stimuli for growth.

Variety

photinia davidiana Photinia x phrasers (the most common in our gardens) has oblong leaves, 15 cm long and 6 cm wide, shiny at the top. It has grey-brown bark. The flowers are white and grouped in clusters of 12 cm. The fruits are round red and 12 cm in diameter. It is a hybrid between P. glabra and serratifolia. The leaves are evergreen and reach a height of 6 metres. Evergreen.

A well-known cultivar is the red robin. It was obtained in New Zealand and the new leaves are much more intense red than those of the other varieties.

Photinia Villosa It has elliptical leaves, eight centimetres long and 4 wide, red and orange in autumn. The bark is grey-brown. The flowers are pinkish-white. It is native to China and Japan. Deciduous.

Photinia serratifolia lanceolate leaves, 20 cm long and 8 cm wide, dark green on red branches. It has cream-coloured flowers and 6 mm wide berries that resist even in winter. Evergreen.

Photinia Davidiana It has 12 cm long lance-shaped leaves and smooth brown bark. The flowers are single in corymbs up to 8 cm wide. The fruits are round, bright red and about 7 mm wide. It comes from Vietnam and is evergreen.

Photinia Beauverdiana: it has elliptical or lance-shaped leaves, 12 cm long and 5 cm wide, very toothed. It blooms in late spring with white flowers and oval fruits, first green and then red. It comes from China. Deciduous variety.

Photinia x phrasers: How to recover perishing photinias

fotinia deperente If you have a fothy hedge that is in poor condition with obvious signs of decay such as uneven leaves on the canopy, partially bare branches and unlit colors, maybe it’s time to take strong action on your plants.

In these cases there are in fact some simple interventions that if carried out at the time and with the right methods can give excellent results and resume in a few months your plant. Pruning is certainly one of the most important and strategic interventions in these cases. Cutting the branches by shortening their length vigorously can in fact stimulate the plant to emit new fresh shoots.

In addition to pruning, another intervention that must be carried out to reinvigorate adorned and perishing photinia plants is fertilization. In these cases, organic fertilizer (pelleted or floured) or mineral fertilizer to be distributed to the foot of the plant should be used to restore the necessary vigour and the right stimuli for growth.

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