Garden

Photinia x fraseri


GeneralitŠ°


The Photinia x fraseri is a shrub, or small tree, evergreen, which can reach 3-4 meters in height; it is a hybrid, the plants used for hybridization are P. glabra, originally from Japan, and P. serrulata, originally from China.
It is a roundish, leafy shrub, with thin, well-branched stems; the leaves are oval or lanceolate, bright red when they sprout, then become dark green; also during the autumn and winter some leaves can take on an orange color. At the beginning of spring it produces numerous small white flowers, gathered in corymbs, delicately scented.
In summer on the plants it is possible to see some small reddish berries.
There are numerous cultivars, with particularly bright colored leaves; the most cultivated is certainly the Photinia x "Red Robin" fraseri. These shrubs are widely used in hedges, but they are certainly also suitable as single specimens or in a mixed border.
After flowering it is advisable to prune the longer branches, so as to keep the shrub dense and well branched also in the lower part; It is also possible to let the plant develop freely, or as a tree, so as to obtain a small tree with rounded crown.









































Family and genderFam Rosacee.The genus counts from 40 to 60 species
Type of plantEvergreen or deciduous bushes and trees
ExposureSun or partial shade
RusticDepending on the variety
GroundNeutral
colorsWhite flowers, red berries and leaves from green to red
CultureModerately easy
Floweringsummer
HeightFrom 2 to 10 meters
PropagationTip cutting, seed


Description



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 color and the foliage, if left to grow spontaneously, takes on a rounded shape.
They have lance-shaped, alternate leaves, which in adulthood are a beautiful dark green. At birth and before the fall, they take on a reddish color. In winter they can turn orange.
This gives the plant a very decorative appearance, contributing to the vivacity of the garden, and has made it one of the most used for the construction of hedges. Usually it reaches 4-5 meters in height, but if it has grown as a tree it can even reach 10 meters (depending on the species). It must be emphasized that in spring it has bunches of cream-white flowers that in autumn turn into pleasant bunches of small red berries.

Exposure




Photinia x fraseri should be planted in a sunny, or even partially shaded, place; the photinias do not fear the cold, nor the sultry heat of July and August. they are very suitable for street furniture, since they are not damaged by dust or pollution.

Planting


The best time for planting is definitely autumn. This will help the rooting of the plant and give it the chance to start growing optimally already from the first vegetative season.
Surely this is the best choice, whether the specimens are in pots or bare-rooted.
If they are in a container, we can put them in the ground even in spring and summer, but make sure that the irrigation in the first few months is constant.
Planting with bare root: in this case it may be a good idea to carry out lifting beforehand: you must fill a container with water, soil and seasoned manure so that a mixture with the consistency of the batter is created. At that point the roots of the plants are immersed and they are left to rest for a few hours (even all night).
This procedure favors the rehydration of the roots and gives them the possibility of having immediate access to the nutrients, at least in the first phase of the rooting.
The hole must then be deep and at least 50 cm wide, place a draining layer of gravel on the bottom and then a bit of mature manure. A layer of earth is interposed 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 running off during the first waterings.
Planting of plants in containers: first of all you have to extract the plant from the pot and check that the roots on the bottom are free. If they were not and instead had formed a tangled lattice it is advisable to intervene by removing a layer with a cutter or by opening the ground bread in 4.
In this case you have to dig a large and deep hole at least twice the container. On the bottom is inserted the draining layer, then the bottom fertilizer, a layer of soil and finally the earthen bread of our plant. The collar should be a few centimeters below the ground level. At that point we can cover well and press hard. Proceed immediately with a good irrigation that, at least for the first time, will have to be repeated constantly.

Watering


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

Ground



They can also develop in the common garden soil, preferring loose and soft soils, rich in organic matter. Water stagnation is not feasible, therefore it is good to cultivate the photinias in very well drained soil, or add to the earth of the river sand garden, in order to improve the flow of water. Photinias are less demanding plants and adapt to almost all types of soil. It seems that they grow better in a slightly alkaline soil, but it is difficult for them to give problems from this point of view.

Multiplication


They propagate by taking cuttings of wood seeds during the summer; the small twigs will be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, which must be kept moist until rooting is complete. Young plants are grown in a container for 2-3 years before planting it in the ground.

Pests and diseases


Often the aphids nestle on the young leaves or on the floral corymbs. Excessive watering or poorly permeable soil can promote the onset of root rot.

Irrigations



There photinia It is a plant that needs some adjustments only at the time of implantation. In that case (also depending on the climate and rainfall) it is best to irrigate at least twice a week.
Within a month, however, we can begin to thin out the operations once or twice a month.
Once fully established it will be necessary to intervene only in the case of a long period of drought or if we live in particularly arid and hot areas. However, special attention must be paid to water stagnation. So, even in the rooting phase, we try not to overdo it and wait for the ground to be really dry before intervening again. From this point of view it is very important to prepare the drainage layer at the time of planting.

Fertilizing


In this respect too, they are less demanding plants. Apart from the basic fertilization of the time of planting we will have to intervene only once at the end of winter. The ideal is to administer a slow release granular fertilizer that is suitable for green plants or however balanced in macroelements.

Exposure


Also in this case we can say that it is an undemanding plant. Generally, he loves the full sun. Only where the summer temperatures are very high is a more shaded display advisable. In general, however, we can say that the only thing to absolutely avoid is a too shady position that could favor the onset of problems such as cochineal or metcalfa.

Pruning


There is absolutely no better time for pruning photines. We need to intervene when there is a need.
Pruning can have several purposes: keeping the plant young, giving it the desired shape, keeping it tidy and favoring the growth of beautiful bronze leaves and flowers.
During the first few years pruning will have to be frequent and quite severe (even at the cost of losing the decorative spring leaves ...). It is often necessary to intervene by shortening at least 1/3 (but also Š…) 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 very pleasant) and also to obtain in general more dense specimens full of branches and leaves.
Acting in this manner soon we will have a very compact hedge full of vegetation.
Later it will be sufficient to intervene to maintain the chosen shape and height. If we decide instead to grow the specimen as a tree, our interventions will be reduced. The plant will take its natural form. It will be the case to intervene only if we will see branches that grow crooked or in a not pleasant direction, to give a little more light inside the foliage or to contain a little its growth.

Pests and adversities



As we have said, they are really resistant plants and are rarely attacked by insects or cryptogams. It may happen that they are victims of aphids. In that case it is necessary to intervene with a contact insecticide or (if the problem is serious) with a systemic product (far from the flowering period). Another problem that could occur (especially if our plants are in a sunny position) is an infestation of scale insects. In that case it is good to intervene with a systemic insecticide and with the use of a mineral oil. Cryptogams rarely affect photinia.
Lately, however, a disease called "leaf spot on the photinia" caused by the Entomosporium maculatum has spread, especially in the spring months. It appears with greyish spots with reddish borders, first in the lower part and then on the new leaves.
It is generally present in nurseries where there are many plants. At the domestic level it is easily controlled by removing during the winter the fallen leaves on the ground (which cause the spread of the disease) and favoring the aeration of the foliage. Prevention can also be done with copper or other fungicides.

Use in the garden


The photinias are used and now widespread plants in order to create ornamental hedges. In this sense they are very pleasant because they bring color and blooms in 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 leaves, flowers and berries.

Toxicity


The leaves of photinia contain a precursor of hydrocyanic acid (more or less concentrated depending on the species). Care must therefore be taken with pets and children.

Fotinia without leaves what to do


If you have a photinia hedge that appears in poor condition with obvious signs of deterioration such as inhomogeneous leaves on the foliage, partially bare branches and poorly lit colors, perhaps the time has come to intervene forcefully on your plants.
In these cases, in fact, there are some simple interventions that if carried out at the time and with the right methods can give excellent results and make your plant resume within a few months. 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 absolutely to be carried out to reinvigorate fotinia addugiate and perishable plants is fertilization. In these cases organic fertilizer (pelleted or flour) or mineral fertilizer to be distributed at the foot of the plant should be used to give it the necessary vigor and the right stimuli for growth.

Variety



Photinia x fraseri (the most common in our gardens) it has oblong leaves, 15 cm long and 6 wide, shiny in the upper part. It has brown gray bark. The flowers are white and gathered in bunches 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 6 meters in height. Evergreen.
A very well known cultivar is red robin. It was obtained in New Zealand and the new leaves are a much more intense red than those of other varieties.
Photinia Villosa: it has elliptical leaves, eight centimeters long and 4 wide, red and orange in autumn. The bark is gray-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-colored 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 elliptic or lanceolate leaves, 12 cm long and 5 wide, very toothed. It blooms in late spring with white flowers and oval fruits, first green and then red. Comes from China. Deciduous variety.

Photinia x fraseri: How to recover decaying photos



If you have a photinia hedge that appears in poor condition with obvious signs of deterioration such as inhomogeneous leaves on the foliage, partially bare branches and poorly lit colors, perhaps the time has come to intervene forcefully on your plants.
In these cases, in fact, there are some simple interventions that if carried out at the time and with the right methods can give excellent results and make your plant resume within a few months. 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 absolutely to be carried out to reinvigorate fotinia addugiate and perishable plants is fertilization. In these cases organic fertilizer (pelleted or flour) or mineral fertilizer to be distributed at the foot of the plant should be used to give it the necessary vigor and the right stimuli for growth.
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