Red Tip Photinia Care Guide

Last Updated January 28, 2021 By Bella Zinti

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Red tip photinia, also known as Fraser photinia, is a hybrid shrub with white flowers that is excellent for hedges and privacy screens. It is easy to grow and fairly low maintenance. Parent plants are native to Japan and China, the hybrid red tip photinia plants get their name from the striking bright red color of their young leaves. And as the plant matures, it turns to a dark evergreen color. During the springtime, red tip photinia will produce small white flowers and red fruits that will last into winter.

Botanical Name:

Common Name:


Mature Size:

Sun Requirement:

Planting Zones:


Photinia x fraseri

Red tip photinia, Fraser photinia

Evergreen shrub

12 to 18 ft tall and 8 to 12 ft wide

Full sun to part shade

7 to 9 (USDA)

No toxic to human or pet

Botanical Name: Photinia x fraseri

Common Name: Red tip photinia, Fraser photinia

Type: Evergreen shrub

Mature Size: 12 to 18 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide

Sun Requirement: Full sun to part shade

Planting Zones: 7 to 9 (USDA)

Toxicity: No toxic to human or pet

How To Grow Red Tip Photinia

Red Tip Photinia thrives in medium moisture and well-drained soil in full to part shade area. This red tip plant needs good air circulation to avoid fungal disease, so avoid sheltered locations. When planting red tip photinia to get a hedge, allow at least 6 feet between the plants because they have a quick growth rate, and it will spread 8 to 12 feet.

Light Requirement

Red tip photinia thrives in partial shade or full sun and loves morning sun condition. But it can tolerate full shade, and it will produce fewer flowers. When it is grown in hotter climates, this shrub does best in partial shade. And when it is grown in cooler climates, it prefers full sun.

Soil Requirement

This plant prefers well-drained soil that receives good air movement. Avoid too much moisture in the soil, as it can cause root rot.

Water Requirement

The red tip photinia plant should be water once a week at the base during a dry period, and it can tolerate a short period of drought. Avoid getting the plant leaves wet.

Temperature and Humidity

Red Tip Photinia should be grown in USDA zone 7 to 9, as long as it gets good airflow. It could survive in zone 6 if an ideal location and condition is given to the plant.

Red Tip Photinia Fertilizer requirement

No fertilization is required unless the soil is poor. Prior to using any fertilizer, perform a soil test. If fertilizer is needed, recommend using a slow-release organic fertilizer.

Pruning Red Tip Photinia

Pruning is crucial for these plants' health. Red Tip photinia should be pruned and thin out during the winter season by removing some stems throughout the plant and allowing better air circulation. During the growing season, continual pruning of the shoot tips will prompt continued growth of reddish leaves. But this will preempt flower production. This is usually not a problem since they do have an unpleasant scent.

If the red tip photinia plant is grown as a tree, choose a central leader, and remove any competing shoots until it is shaped into a tree.


There are three ways you can propagate red tips photinia through woody cutting.

  • Place your cuttings directly into potting soil while keeping the soil moist to help develop roots.
  • Put the cuttings into a perlite and vermiculite mix in a ziplock bag and place it in direct sun.
  • You can also put the cuttings in the water and place them on a sunny window sill.

Once your cutting is starting to develop roots or have new leaves, plant the new plants in a pot and allow it to develop strong roots. Once it's more established, you will be able to plant it in an area that gets plenty of light and air circulation.

Common Pest and disease

This evergreen shrub is susceptible to photinia fungus or known as photinia leaf spot. Like most plant fungus disease, photinia leaf spot thrives in a cool and moist condition. It will attack the plant's leaves, especially the young new leaves.

Entomosporium fungus particularly is a significant threat in the Deep South. If not controlled in time, it will overtake over and cause leaves to drop. In some cases, it will even lead to the death of the plant. The first signs of a photinia leaf spot are hard to spot. But in a matter of days, large purple or red spots on the plants' leaves would appear surrounding dying tissues. You can help affect plants by removing diseased foliage and keep the leaves dry.

Powdery mildew and fireblight can be a problem. It is especially common for many Rosaceae species. And too much water will develop rotting roots.

The common insect you may find on red tips photinia shrub includes mites, scale, caterpillars. When hard pruning is done, the new growth is more susceptible to scale and aphids. Keep a bottle of horticultural oil on hand.

Plant Varieties

P. x fraseri 'Red Robin'- The most common planted cultivar that grows 9 to 12 feet tall and wide. They are often used as a hedge because of their size. Not very susceptible to diseases or pests but can freeze during winter.

Photinia x fraseri ' little red robin'- Similar to 'red robin' but smaller. Grows 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. Dense and compacted. More hardy and low maintenance, making it a great shrub in any small space.

Photinia x fraseri' Pink Marble': These plants offer a beautiful rose and red color with new growth that turns green with pink edges and splashes as it matures. This plant grows 7 to 14 feet tall and 6-10 feet wide.

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About the author

Bella has a Bachelors degree in interior design, is a master gardener. She designs nourishing outdoor & indoor spaces guided by the practice of Feng Shui.