Photinia cultivation – Fotinia


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There Photinia commonly called Fotinia is a perennial shrub plant grown for ornamental purposes and for separating hedges.


Characteristics and generalities of the Photinia

There Fotinia It is an evergreen shrub of the Rosaceae family with a roundish appearance with erect and branched stems covered with brown bark and very decorative foliage which during the year undergoes a metamorphosis of color.

The leaves they are oval or lanceolate with shiny, leathery and glabrous leaves. The color of the leaves changes: from bright red in the vegetative restart, it changes to purple in the summer until it takes on the characteristic green color in the winter.

Read also: Hedge pruning techniques

THE flowers gathered in white scented corymbs, they sprout in early spring. The flowers are small with a corolla with 5 ovate petals, a yellow center with numerous stamens ending in yellow anthers.

THE fruits they are clusters of small red berries, round or oval, which appear in summer and persist on the branches even in the winter months.

THE seeds they are dark and small.


Cultivation of Photinia


Photinia loves sunny places but grows quite well even in dim light. It loves the heat, tolerates wind and smog well and withstands low temperatures down to -5 ° C.


Photinia is a plant that, while developing well in common garden soil, grows best in loose, soft, rich in organic matter and well drained soil.


Plants grown in the ground are satisfied with rainwater but during periods of prolonged drought it is advisable to supply water. Especially young plants and those recently planted should be watered regularly and frequently to facilitate acclimatization in the new home.



Before the vegetative restart it is advisable to fertilize the base of the plants with a slow-release granular fertilizer or a well-mature organic fertilizer. For fertilization we recommend manure during the winter and organic fertilizers in the summer, if you want to increase growth, you need to prefer those with a lot of nitrogen.
If the Photinia is in pot, however, a gradual release of nitrogen and potassium fertilizer is better, preferably before August.

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Fotinia: cultivation in pots

This splendid ornamental plant is grown in pots to liven up the balconies and terraces of your home.

The pot must be at least 30 cm wide and deep. A gravel bed is placed on the bottom of the pot to isolate the root of the plant from the draining water. Add a layer of universal soil and then place the plant in the center of the pot, filling all the spaces with the addition of more soil, leaving the collar free and after having compacted it well with your hands all around you water abundantly and finally move the pot to a sunny area. From March to September, watering will be done every time the soil in the pot is completely dry. In the growing season, the plant must be fertilized by spreading a slow release granular fertilizer at its feet or by administering liquid fertilizer diluted to the watering water. In winter the fertilizations are suspended


Repotting of Photinia

Repotting should be done when the roots of the Photinia come out of the drainage holes of the watering. A larger container than the previous and new fresh and always well-drained soil is used.


Multiplication of Photinia

It propagates by seed and by cutting.


Sowing should be done by stratifying the seeds on a specific compost kept moist until the sprouts appear. It is not practiced as it takes a long time and because in new specimens they have different characteristics due to the mixture of the genetic patrimony.

Multiplication by cuttings

In summer, take semi-woody cuttings from healthy and vigorous branches using well-sharpened and disinfected shears; remove the leaves and root each cutting in a pot with universal soil mixed with abundant sand or peat and sand; water regularly and place the pots in the shade until the roots take root.

The new seedlings, before being planted in the ground, must be transferred as they become stronger in larger pots and grown in them for at least 2-3 years before transplanting to permanent residence.


Photinia plant

Planting in the ground is carried out in spring or autumn in deep holes about twice as wide as the ground bread of the plant, 70-90 centimeters apart.

At the bottom of each hole place a layer of drainage material (gravel) and cover it up to the first third of the hole with a mixture of soil mixed with sand. Arrange the shrub in the center of the hole. Fill with potting soil, leaving the collar free at ground level. Provide water and finally put a layer of straw on the ground around each shrub to hinder weed growth and keep moisture on the soil.


Pruning of the Photinia

In well-developed plants, after flowering (June – August), prune the longer stems to favor the basal thickening and aeration of the innermost parts. At the end of the new winter, dry branches damaged by the cold are drastically cut. Pruning will stimulate the Photinia to produce new red colored vegetation.

photinia flowers

Parasites and diseases of Photinia

Photinia fears root rot caused by water stagnation in the soil or in the saucer. It suffers from attacks by aphids that colonize the budding leaves and flowers.

It is also affected by the oziorrinco, a beetle that damages the plant both in the adult and larva stage. The adults cause deep erosions to the leaves which turn yellow due to the reduced photosynthesis while the larvae cause damage to the collar and roots, up to compromising the vitality of the younger plants.

Another enemy of Photinia is Pythium, a fungus that attacks the leaves, forming showy red then brown spots on the laminae. Leaves infected with the fungus turn yellow and then fall off.

Cures and treatments

The foliage of the Photinia infected with Pythium should be treated with the Bordeaux mixture, as soon as the first spots appear, then once a month until the end of August. Fallen leaves must be collected and burned.


Variety of Fotinia

There are varieties of Photinia that differ in size and color of the leaves, many are hybrid species.

Photinia x Fraseri Red Robin

A variety native to New Zealand. It forms a shrub about 3 meters high with leaves that keep the purple color even at the moment of maximum ripeness. It is suitable for growing in pots and is resistant to cold.

Photinia Pink Marble

A spectacular variant of Photinia Red Robin. It is about 2 meters high and has young red leaves which, as they mature, take on a bright green color edged with a creamy white. This Photinia is suitable for growing in pots, as a hedge plant. It has no particular cultivation needs, it resists up to -20 ° C.

Photinia Birmingham

A compact and very rustic shrub variety with branched stems covered with rounded, leathery leaves tending to copper. In spring it produces large inflorescences composed of small 5-petalled flowers. It is frost resistant and can withstand even a temperature of -5 ° C.

Photinia Robusta

A hardy variety very popular for making low hedges. It forms a compact and dense shrub and has smaller bright red leaves. It grows quickly and is resistant to cold.

Photinia Nana

It is an evergreen shrub species, compact with an erect posture. The branches are covered with branches of medium-sized and bright green leaves. It blooms during the spring producing white colored flowers. It is mainly cultivated in pots but is also suitable for creating small hedges and borders in sunny or partial shade areas. It does not tolerate too cold climates, in fact it is considered an indoor plant.

Photinia Villosa

Photinia villosa or better Pourthiaea villosa, is a deciduous shrub native to China, Japan and Korea. Also known as Christmas berry and Eastern Photinia, this plant in full vegetative vigor, about 10 years old, forms a tall shrub more than 3 meters wide. It has red and orange elliptical leaves in the fall. It produces clusters of pinkish white flowers. It is suitable for cultivation in large gardens and public parks.

Photinia serratifolia

Photinia serrulata also known as Chinese Photinia is an evergreen shrub native to China. It has branches about 12 meters high with lanceolate leaves, 20 cm long and 8 wide, dark green on red branches. In spring it produces cream-colored flowers followed by berries that ripen in autumn and resist even in winter.

Photinia Davidiana

Photinia Davidiana is a perennial shrub plant native to China and Japan that takes on a rounded shape and can reach 3-4 meters in height. It has long lanceolate leaves and in the spring it produces corymbs of small fragrant flowers first white followed by clusters of round reddish berries. It is cultivated for ornamental purposes for the construction of hedges in sunny areas even if it grows quite well even in dim light and in places sheltered from cold winter winds.

Photinia Beauverdiana

An expanded deciduous tree with long, oval, toothed leaves that turn dark green to red in autumn. In late spring it produces clusters of small white flowers followed by red oval berries.




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