The Photinia is a popular evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves, red leaves when young shoots and white flowers in flattened flowerheads.
The commonly used name of the Photinia is the “Christmas Berry”.
The best known variety of the photinia is Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ which is often planted for evergreen hedging or as a specimen shrub.
Photinias will often develop white flowers in early summer (April and May). Most varieties will grow up to 5m tall and 5m wide (approx.. 15ft).
They prefer a sunny or partially shaded area of the garden and will grow rapidly in these positions.
Photinia grows best moist but well-drained soil. Good fertile soil conditions in sunny or partially shaded and sheltered position is ideal. Young shoots can become scorched by cold winds and late frosts if grown in an exposed position.
Photinia is tolerant of most soil conditions but will appreciate improvements by incorporating compost or manure.
Photinias usually require minimal pruning, but benefits from the occasional trim in spring and summer to keep the shape of the plant under control.
You should avoid pruning in Autumn and Winter as any new growth would be vulnerable to frost.
Some varieties of photinia can grow upwards of 30cm (1ft) annually. Removing the tips several times throughout the Spring and Summer will encourage new bright young leaves.
Overgrown photinias can be pruned back hard in Spring (deciduous varieties should be pruned in Winter).
- Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’: Very popular evergreen shrub with glossy dark green leaves, the young growth is bright red. Small white flowers in mid and late spring. Max height and spread 5m (15ft)
- Photinia × fraseri ‘Little Red Robin’: Dwarf variety similar in colour to the popular ‘Red Robin’ with glossy dark green leaves which are bright-red when young. Small white flowers in flattened flowerheads, mid-late spring. Height & spread 60-90cm (2-3ft)
- Photinia davidiana ‘Palette’: Slower growing evergreen or semi-evergreen with glossy dark green leaves boldly splashed pink & creamy-white then flushed red in autumn. White flowers in flattened flowerheads, early to midsummer. Height to 3m (9ft)
- Photinia glabra ‘Parfait’: Rounded evergreen shrub with bronze young leaves margined pink then green flecked grey-green with a narrow creamy margin and white, early summer flowers in flattened flowerheads. Height approx. 2-3m (6-9ft)