Photinia fraseri

Along with eleagnus ebbingei, our garden is bordered by a few big Photinia fraseri “Red Robin” bushes. Apparently it is one of the most widely planted evergreen hedge shrubs in European gardens. Despite its elegant looks and soft glossy leaves, this shrub is totally drought and heat resistant and an absolute recommendation for dry gardens.

Its oval leaves are dark green but new shoots appear crimson red in March, followed by large white inflorescences with tiny white flowers in April.

Photinia fraseri grows dense and upright to 3-5 meters height and/or 2-5m width (depending on the variety). It can even grow into a medium-sized tree if pruned accordingly.

It is frost resistant up to -5 or -23 degrees – depending on the source. Unfortunately everyone writes something different about its frost resistance. But seeing as these have been here for quite some time I feel safe in thinking they should resist at least up to -10 degrees, if not more.

Photinia fraseri grows in full sun or moderate shade and likes a well-drained soil as well as a location where it is somewhat sheltered from cold winds. As an easy, vigorous, and fast-growing shrub it tolerates repeated trims as needed. The more it is trimmed, the more new red shoots will show. A trim in spring will limit flowering though.

I cut mine in May, after the new leaves have turned green and the flowers are faded, to keep the shrubs in shape. And maybe again just before winter. Other than that I do absolutely nothing for this plant and it thrives wonderfully.


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