Red Tip Photinia: Everything About The Photinia Shrub

Photinia red robin in a park

Escaped from the big parks and public gardens, the photinia shrub has become a plant of green spaces of communities a little bit hackneyed. This is a pity, because its aesthetic qualities are worth much more!

Use it sparingly to restore its reputation.

In this article, I have gathered for you all the information about the photinia bush, its main characteristics, and what you need to know to plant and grow it.

Characteristics of the photinia tree

Scientific namePhotinia x fraseri
Rusticity-15°C (-59°F)
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:7 to 8

Photinia serrulata, an evergreen shrub from 5 to 7 m high, has been planted for a long time in public gardens to constitute a mass of cheap vegetation. Crossing with P. glabra resulted in a natural hybrid in the form of P. x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, more interesting.

This plant of 10-20 ft in height and 5-10 ft wide has leaves that are evergreen leaves, glossy, of a leathery green sometimes drawing on bronze.

Its main interest lies in its numerous spring shoots, of a scarlet blood red, illuminated by the light against the light. Its big white inflorescences are not very decorative.

Close up view of a photinia bush

How to grow a photinia shrub

The photinia is long to start, or more exactly to grow, and you should not hesitate to prune it short at 30 cm from the ground, to give it more substance, especially if you use it as a hedge plant.

It appreciates normal garden soil and supports very well the calcareous one and exposure to full sun. It has no known pests or diseases.

For a hedge or a screen of vegetation, prune as often as possible between March and September, even in a square, without worrying about the unattractive flowering.

In isolation, prune in summer and at the end of autumn to have two waves of red shoots, by removing 30 to 40 cm of the branches of the year.

How to grow a photinia in a pot

The culture in pot is possible over several years, in a big container, 80 cm in diameter for a plant of 1,75 to 2 m in height, that you will buy already formed.

Repot in somewhat heavy soil, and water regularly because the young stems quickly give up in case of lack of water.

Prune lightly, removing 5-7 inches of all the shoots, to maintain the general shape of the plant.

Where to plant a photinia shrub

Red tip photinia shrubs forming a hedge

You can plant the photinia in a hedge, in a massif, in background of vegetation and in pot, but it is in isolated, in the wide, that you will give him the highlight which he deserves.

Its foliage and its presence are a good counterpart to all other medium-sized flowering shrubs, between 1 and 1.50 m. Play up the contrast by planting a forsythia in close proximity.

If you only have a few plants to buy, opt for large plants of 1.75 to 2m, already well-structured and full. The budget is very reasonable and you will save time.

Our selection

Only the variety Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ is commonly available in the trade. As for the variety P. x fraseri

“Robusta Compacta’, similar to the first one but with a denser and more regular branching, is worth looking for.


It’s a simple yet incredibly fulfilling way to add some vivid hues and intricate patterns to your garden. With a touch of attentive care, you’ll be left with an absolute stunner of a plant that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who catches a glimpse of it. So, without further ado, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting – your garden is just waiting to burst with life thanks to a photinia plant!

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