How and when to prune photinia red robin


Photinia is a genus of around 40-60 species of small trees and large shrubs, among them is the Photinia Red Robin, all of them belong to the family Rosaceae. They grow in temperate regions of Asia, from the Himalayas to Japan and south of India and Thailand, and can now be found in many parts of the world. Its foliage is undergoing metamorphosis during the year, changing color: red in spring, violet in summer and green in winter. This last detail makes it a species much sought after by gardeners. In this article, and how could it be otherwise, we will talk about the pruning of the Photinia Red Robin, how and when to do it, what tools to use, etc. In addition, we will take a moment to highlight the most important care needed to keep this shrub healthy and strong.


If you read to the end you will learn the best techniques for proper pruning, the right time to trim and the tools to do it. The article has no waste, I assure you. 😉

Note: Please note that the advice given here is general, this blog is consulted from many countries in the world, with totally different characteristics, what not all tips will be adapted in the same way in all cases. Once you finish reading the article it will be necessary to analyze all the information and apply what you have learned in the best way. If you have any questions, remember that you can contact us to make your inquiries.

1. How to care Photinia Red Robin


Let’s start by analyzing the care that is necessary to carry out in this bush, because although the pruning of the photinia red robin is the main theme of the post, it does not stop being a maintenance technique.

  • Soil: The photinia is not too demanding with the soil in which it is planted, although it should be noted that it prefers them drained, fertile and rich in nutrients. It is recommended to occasionally supply some mineral organic fertilizer to make the shrub grow better and more vigorously.
  • Temperature: does not withstand very high temperatures or very cold, although it is able to withstand some frost, so it is usual to see it at different latitudes in the world. The ideal temperature range for a good development is between 10º and at most 18ºC.
Photinia Red Robin
Photinia Red Robin – Image source
  • Irrigation: In general it can be said that photinia does not need large amounts of water, and all its need varies depending on the time of year, type of soil and where it is planted (in pot or on the ground). If it is summer and if it is planted on the ground, it will bathe with watering every two or three days. On the contrary, if it is in a pot, the risks should be more repeated. For obvious reasons in winter your need for water is even lower.
  • Diseases: Undoubtedly one of the most common diseases in Photinia is the appearance of rust. This is a fungus that appears in the form of reddish spots on the leaves that gradually spread throughout the plant. If you let it go, over time the spots turn grayish with a reddish halo. If you do not treat it at the right time it will cause lack of vigor, ending with the loss of its leaves and death. Go to an expert to recommend the appropriate fungicide fungicide.
  • Pruning: as every shrub can not miss an appropriate pruning for its good health and beauty, in what follows of the article we will see thoroughly all about this point.

2. Tools needed to prune or trim a Photinia Red Robin


There are several tools that you will need to perform your pruning or trimming of a Photinia Red Robin. Each of them is appropriate for different cases depending on age, time of year, type of pruning, etc.

  • Hand Pruning Shears: Stems up to half inch in diameter can be pruned with hand shears.
  • Lopping Shears: It is suitable to use on stems between half inch and 2 inches in diameter.
  • Hedge Shears: Manual and power shears are available for trimming hedges. Manual shears have long, flat blades with relatively short handles and are good for small jobs. Electric shears are a good choice for larger hedges.

Keep in mind that you must disinfect all the tools before trimming your Photinia. This will help prevent disease transmission, you will have to do it before you start pruning and every time you change plants.

2.1 Needed care of pruning tools

If you want to extend the useful life of your pruning tools there are some basic care.

  • Use the right tool for a job and avoid twisting or straining it.
  • Clean and oil tools regularly by wiping an oily cloth on blades and other surfaces.
  • Keep cutting edges sharp by regularly using an oilstone.
  • Wooden handles should be varnished or regularly treated with linseed oil to keep them from cracking or splintering.

Carry out the previous care on a regular basis and you will be saving good money on tools. 🙂

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3. Why you should prune your Photinia Red Robin


Initially, the pruning of the Photinia Red Robin is carried out to guarantee that it grows as healthy and vigorous as possible, free of structural weakness and with the lowest risk of being infected by any type of disease.

Another reason why we may need to prune this plant is when we seek to vary its shape. This type of bushes adapt perfectly to prunings oriented to obtain striking shapes for your garden.

Pruning is also the maintenance technique of excellence to increase ornamental features such as flowers, foliage, colored stems, etc. improving their quantity and / or quality.

Finally we may need to rejuvenate the bushes, when they are weak or sick. In this case we will have to act with energy suppressing the diseased parts and lowering the shrub to its main branches to achieve a new and vigorous vegetation.

4. When to prune Photinia Red Robin


As we all know, the Photinia Red Robin is a shrub which is cultivated mainly by its bright red leaves. This attribute can be improved if strong pruning is carried out before growth begins. Therefore, we can assure you that the right time to prune the Photinia Red Robin is in late winter / early spring.

On the other hand, and continuing with the search to favor the development of its reddish leaves, it can be recommended to perform light pruning during the entire development season (spring-summer).

Finally, it should be noted that as with any plant, cleaning pruning can be carried out at any time of the year, as long as large quantities of green branches do not have to be eliminated.

5. Pruning Photinia Red Robin – How to prune


As we will see below, pruning the Photinia Red Robin is not a very complicated task, keep in mind that this bush supports the pruning perfectly, so you should not fear when cutting.

To develop the need for pruning of this shrub it will be enough to mention three types of pruning, each one has well-defined objectives and seasons.

5.1 First spring pruning

Sorry to be so reiterative with these two aspects, but it is important that you always be clear about the characteristics of your plant and what you are looking for. So to carry out this first pruning in spring, keep in mind these two things:

  • The Photinia Red Robin is a shrub that supports strong pruning very well.
  • The biggest attraction of this shrub is its colorful red leaves in the new shoots.

Taking into account these two aspects, and looking for the Photinia to develop vigorously from the beginning of spring, we will perform a strong pruning of all its branches (not flush with the bush, you must leave at least 20 cm of stem on the ground ).

Pruning can be carried out in early spring and late winter, always after the last frosts, otherwise you could cause the death of new bortures with the cold.

5.2 Pruning between spring – autumn

The reddish color of the leaves occurs for a time in the new shoots. Therefore we will lose the amount of red leaves as the buds are developed. To keep a good amount of red leaves you can accord to prune the Photinia Red Robin.

Pruning Photinia Red Robin
Pruning Photinia Red Robin

Recurrent pruning can be carried out, eliminating new shoots when they begin to lose their color. This will boost the generation of new shoots, filling your Photinia with reddish leaves. This pruning should be carried out during the entire development season, that is, from spring to autumn.

5.3 Photinia cleaning pruning

This cleaning pruning does not change anything to the pruning that should be done to any tree or shrub. When pruning the Pohtinia with a cleaning pruning you should make sure to eliminate all the dry, damaged and / or diseased branches.

Both damaged and dried branches should be trimmed mostly for aesthetic reasons. But it does not pass the same with diseased branches or leaves, these must be eliminated quickly to avoid a greater spread of the disease to the whole shrub. If you notice that pruning is not enough to stop the disease, consult an expert to recommend a pesticide, fungicide or the appropriate product.

The success of this pruning will depend almost exclusively on the good observation of the pruner. So you should take your time, do not rush or you can leave unwanted branches.

5. Pruning Photinia Red Robin video


As is the custom of this blog we like to close the articles with a video material (in this case Сортови семена GARDEN SHOP PRO channel), where you can review more graphically and some concepts seen up to here. 😉

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So here we are, I hope that everything was clear about how and when to prune Photinia Red Robin, and do not have any doubt at the moment that you should take your scissors and trim.

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