By Shari Armstrong
The red tip photinia (Photinia x fraseri) is a popular shrub used as a fence row in the eastern half of North America. The oval leaves of photinia plants start out red, but turn into the dark ever green after a couple weeks to a month. During the spring, the photinia also has small white flowers that produce red fruits, that often last into the winter.
Care of Red Tip Photinia
It is important to provide the red tip photinia with a few basics to maintain a healthy plant and avoid photinia disease. Be sure to provide a well-drained soil, so that it isn’t too wet. Photinia plants also prefer full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade. It is also important to make sure it doesn’t grow to dense. Pruning photinia plants is crucial to the health of the plant. If there isn’t enough room for air to move around the leaves, it can develop photinia disease.
Diseases That Affect Photinia
A common photinia disease that affects red tip photinia is caused by a fungus attacking the leaves of the plant. The symptoms are red, purple or maroon circles on the leaves. It is important to avoid getting the leaves wet if there are signs, because it helps spread the mold to healthy leaves. The leaves will fall off, eventually leading to the death of the red tip photinia. It is important to either completely remove dead leaves or cover them with mulch to prevent the fungus from affecting the rest of the photinia plants.
Propogating Red Tip Photinia
You can promote a new healthy plant by pruning photinia and making cuttings from another healthy plant. There are three basic ways to create a new photinia plant, using pieces that are three segments, or nodes, long:
- Put cuttings into a mix of perlite and vermiculte in a ziplock bag, place in light.
- Put cuttings directly into potting soil, let them root under light
- Put cuttings in water, place on a window sill with plenty of light.
When you have new root growth, plant the new plants from the photinia pruning in pots till the roots are stronger. Then you are able to plant a new red tip photinia in an area where it has plenty of room and light to grow strong and healthy.