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Plant Profile

Photinia Red Robin is a popular shrub among New Zealand gardeners. With its bright red new growth, it adds a pop of color to any garden. It is a fast growing screening or hedging plant, with brilliant red foliage year round. Trims well into a dense hedge, or makes an attractive specimen shrub. Prefers full sun, and well-drained soil. Its lateral branching habit produces a dense bushy plant with minimal pruning required.

Photinia Red Robin is a species of the Photinia genus and is native to Asia - a cross between P. serrulata and P glabra that was bred in the renowned Fraser nursery in Alabama, USA, hence the Latin name "x fraseri". However the “Red Robin” cultivar was a selection that originated from Duncan & Davies Nursery in New Plymouth. It is a fast-growing shrub that can reach up to 3 meters in height and spread. The leaves are oval-shaped and glossy green, turning to bronze in autumn. It is known for its bright red new growth, which provides an attractive contrast against the mature green foliage.



Photinia Red Robin is an easy-care shrub that thrives in well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. It is tolerant of a range of soil types and prefers a neutral to slightly acidic soil pH.



Once established Photinia are very tolerant of dry conditions, however regular deep watering during the first 3 months after planting will help to establish a stronger and more vigorous plant. It is important to not over-water the shrub, as it can lead to root rot. During periods of drought, it is recommended to water the shrub deeply once a week.



Photinia Red Robin benefits from a balanced fertiliser applied in the spring and mid-summer. A standard NPK or organic fertiliser should do the job.


Birds and Bees

They are a great choice for gardeners looking to attract birds and bees to their garden. Its small white flowers provide nectar for bees and its berries provide food for birds.



Photinia is native to Asia and is typically found growing in forests. In New Zealand, it is best used as a hedge or specimen shrub in gardens. Being an exotic, with its bright foliage it doesn’t fit well into our more drab coloured natives.



Photinia Red Robin is hardy and can withstand cold temperatures. Shelter from harsh winds during the winter months can help, although if they are growing together as a dense hedge they will support themselves.



It responds well to pruning and should be pruned in late winter or early spring. This helps to maintain its shape and encourage new growth. To keep the growth tight it can be trimmed again during summer – this will prevent leggy stems. Electric hedge trimmers work well for this.



Photinia Red Robin can be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings taken in the summer. Cuttings should be taken from mature wood and rooted in a mixture of sand and peat moss.



Photinia Red Robin is susceptible to a range of diseases, including powdery mildew, leaf spot, and blight. Regular monitoring and proper care can help to prevent the development of these diseases. Use fungicides from your local garden centre, or contact us to discuss organic solutions.



It is also prone to a range of pests, including aphids, spider mites, and scale insects. However, these don’t typically do any permanent damage, but if they are noticed it is worthwhile treating the leaves.



For gardeners looking for similar plants to Photinia Red Robin, they are a bit unique however as suitable hedging alternatives consider: Prunus lusitanica, Pieris japonica, or Viburnum japonicum.


Plants to pair with

Photinia Red Robin pairs well with a range of other plants, including: Arthropodium, Rhododendron, and Azalea.



In conclusion, Photinia Red Robin is a popular and easy-care shrub that adds color and interest to any garden. With its bright red new growth and ability to attract birds and bees, it is a great choice for New Zealand gardeners.


Check out our YouTube review on this plant

Photinia Red Robin

SKU: 54654213
    • Mature size: 3m wide x 4.5m tall
    • Evergreen: Yes
    • Flower colour: White
    • Temperature: Hardy
    • Light: Full to semi-shade
    • Moisture: Well-drained
    • Soil: Medium


All prices exclude GST

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