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Photinia hedge

Photinia hedge

Planting a photinia hedge has become very popular in recent years. These evergreen shrubs from Southeast Asia look decorative and they are easy to care for. For the modern garden, they are the first choice when it comes to planting a contemporary, compact and visually appealing evergreen hedge. The hedge planting classics for a hedge that is not too large are the varieties Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin' and Photinia x frasier 'Little Red Robin'. The brilliant pink shrub 'Red Robin' grows up to 2.5 metres high, the dwarf variety 'Little Red Robin' grows only 1.2 metres high and is also suitable for hedges in a smaller garden.

Because both of these varieties grow so compactly and never proliferate, these evergreen hedge plants compete well with the classic cherry laurel hedges, as well as with privet and yew trees. In contrast to the cherry laurel, photinia does not reseed itself or form any offshoots. For this reason, this type of hedges offers a viable alternative to the controversial cherry laurel for many gardens. They grow faster than yews and their leaves are completely evergreen, unlike the privet. For larger hedges, the scarlet Photinia villosa is suitable. This deciduous shrub grows up to five metres tall and wide in the garden. If you are looking for a stately and dense visual protection for your garden, then this is the option for you. The scarlet type also fits well in large mixed woody hedges. Its bronze-coloured new growth, the intense autumn colour of its leaves and the red berries make it an interesting hedge plant for any large garden.

   
 
Christmas Berry 'Little Red Robin'

Photinia fraseri 'Little Red Robin' is an evergreen ornamental shrub with white flowers...

From £14.90 *

Christmas Berry 'Red Robin'

Photinia fraseri 'Red Robin' is evergreen and has white flowers that appear in May and...

From £14.90 *

Oriental Photinia

Photinia villosa

£21.40 *

   
 
Glanzmispel-Hecke Lubera Dunkelrote Blätter der Photinia

Location

Evergreen shrubs Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin' and Photinia x fraseri 'Little Red Robin' need fertile, moist soil. However, these hedge plants do not tolerate waterlogging. If the soil is too lean or too wet, compost, gravel and sand must be added in advance. 'Red Robin' can basically thrive in full sun as well as in partial shade. However, full sun in the winter is problematic because the evergreen leaves can then dry out. That is why it is ideal if these plants are planted in a remote location, where they are protected from cold winds. Ideally, they should stand in the shelter of a wall or in the shelter of larger trees. Alternatively, those which grow in full sun can be protected from dehydrating winds and sun rays in the winter with a frost-resistant fleece. The deciduous Photinia villosa is much less delicate because it is fully frosted hardy and can tolerate sun and wind in the winter, without being damaged. If these plants suffer frost damage, the affected branches must then be cut back in the spring, then the shrubs will grow again. Alternatively, for hedges in an exposed location in full sun, privet, yew or cherry laurel are suitable as evergreen or semi-evergreen hedge plants.

How Many Plants Do You Need For a Hedge?

Basically with Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin' you can grow one bush per metre, but you can also plant two plants per metre if you want the hedge to be denser. The dwarf variety Photinia x fraseri 'Little Red Robin' grows less strongly; therefore two plants per metre are recommended. For the large, deciduous Photinia villosa, which can grow up to five metres high and wide, one plant can be planted every one to two metres in the garden, depending on how much patience you have and how quickly the hedge should grow together.

How to Plant

The ideal time to plant 'Red Robin' or 'Little Red Robin' in the garden is in the spring or early in autumn. Summer is not ideal for planting these hedges because these shrubs are less likely to grow in the heat. The freshly planted hedges must then be watered regularly. The hedge must be able to grow properly before the winter. To plant a hedge, proceed in such a way that first a string is stretched. Then dig a continuous planting trench, or dig planting holes at the appropriate intervals. These should be twice as large as the root balls. The root ball itself must be torn well before planting so that the roots can develop in all directions. Then place the hedge plants as deep into the hole as they grew in the pot, fill the hole with soil and some compost, press well and finally, water vigorously.

Cutting and Care

These hedges are beautiful in the spring when they display their red foliage. The small, white flowers should not be cut because these develop into beautiful, red berries in autumn. The berries last a long time and are still beautiful during the winter if they are not all eaten by the birds, as these are not poisonous to them. As a matter of course, you cut the hedges in the spring or right after flowering. You should just make sure that not all of the inflorescences are removed and that still some of the berry splendour remains. Being tolerant to pruning, you can also cut these shrubs back into the old wood in order to rejuvenate the plants. But then it takes a year or two for the photinias to look beautiful again. It is better to cut them a little bit every year.

In terms of care, these are easy to care for plants. They like it when they are mulched in the spring with compost or ideally with slightly acidic foliage compost. Regular composting should basically be enough food, but if the soil is quite lean, it can be fertilised during the growth phase, so that the glossy hedges grow better. However, from the summer onwards you should no longer fertilise because otherwise the new foliage cannot mature before the winter, and thus the plants are less frost hardy.

Pests and Diseases

These hedges generally thrive quite easily. However, the foliage can burn from the winter sun and from cold winds. The frost damage shows up as brown spots that look as if the hedge has a disease. The affected branches should be cut early in the spring, after which they will quickly revive. Frost damage can be prevented by protecting the hedges from the winter sun with fleece. However, these evergreen plants can also develop leaf diseases, in particular, apple scab and leaf blotch can cause problems. The apple scab expresses itself in the form of grey spots on the leaves. The leaf blotch appears with spots that are black to red in colour. In both leaf diseases, the infected shoots must be immediately cut away and destroyed, and then the affected hedge sprayed with copper sulphate-containing fungicide. In addition to these leaf diseases, pests can also occur on these hedges. Aphids and weevils occasionally appear; aphids are best washed off, splashed away with the garden hose, or else they expose ladybug larvae, which eat the lice. Black-eared weevils are a little less easy to fight. You can trap them with traps or fight them with biological nematodes.

Poisonous?

These plants are poisonous, especially the leaves and berries of Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin' and Photinia x fraseri 'Little Red Robin'. If you are planning an evergreen hedge with these shrub plants in the garden, then you must consider that the plants can be particularly dangerous for horses, especially if the varieties 'Red Robin' or 'Little Red Robin' are be planted. A photinia hedge should not be planted in a place where horses can reach and eat them. For humans, the evergreen leaves, stems, and red fruits of these plants are only mildly poisonous, but the consumption of leaves, stems, and red fruits can cause headache, vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness. When small children play in the garden, the hedge should be cut back so strongly after flowering that no red berries will form on the shrub. For small children, the red berries of these popular evergreen hedges can look tempting. Also, children should not eat the leaves of these plants. This also applies to other hedges such as privet and especially yews and cherry laurel. The leaves and berries of many popular shrub plants are poisonous, but especially those of yews, which also form good evergreen hedges.

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