The oval leaves of red-Tipped 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. 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 too dense.
Details: Red-tipped Photinia is an upright broad-leaved evergreen shrub with lance-shaped leaves. Foliage emerges bright red or bronze, turning a leathery dark green. Small white flowers appear in mid- to late spring.
Selling Points: Great as a hedge, in a shrub border, or in mixed beds. Evergreen, Very easy to grow, Fast growing
Growing Zone: 6-9
Mature Height: 8-15′
Mature Width: 10-15′
Sunlight: Full sun to part shade
Water Requirements: Medium moisture
Does Not Ship To: CA, WA, OR, AZ
Winter hardy to USDA Zone 7 (Zone 6 with protection) where it is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates full shade, but with less flowering and more susceptibility to leaf spot disease. Somewhat drought tolerant once established. Propagate by cuttings. Avoid wet soils. Water root zones (avoid getting water on the leaves). Site plants in areas with good air circulation. Prune in winter to thin (better air circulation). Prune in spring after red growth begins to fade in order to encourage additional red new growth. Red-tipped photinia grown in USDA Zone 6 should be sited in protected areas such as the southern or western sides of buildings.
red-tipped Photinia is a large, hybrid (P. glabra and P. serrulata), evergreen shrub that typically grows to 10-15′ tall and as wide. It is often commonly called red tip or red top (particularly in the deep South where it has been frequently planted) in celebration of the bronze red to bright red new leaves that emerge at the twig tips each spring. This hybrid was originally discovered at Fraser Nursery in Birmingham, Alabama around 1940, and was subsequently introduced into commerce in 1955 as Photina x fraseri ‘Birmingham’ (‘Birmingham’ was later dropped). Leathery, elliptic to oval, dark green leaves (to 3-4″ long) with finely serrated margins are evergreen. New growth in spring emerges bronze- to copper-red in a showy display lasting about 2-3 weeks. Red leaves gradually change to glossy dark green. Additional pruning may encourage new flushes of red leaves in late spring and summer. Small, 5-petaled, white flowers (1/3″ across) of this rose family shrub bloom in late April in wide, corymbose panicles (to 5-6″ long). Flowers have a very unpleasant aroma, somewhat reminiscent of hawthorns. Flowers may be eliminated by spring pruning geared to stimulate new red leaf growth. Fruit is a red pome that persists throughout winter to spring.
Genus name comes from the Greek word photeinos meaning shining in reference to the shiny leaves of some species.
Hybrid name recognizes the Fraser Nursery in Birmingham, Alabama where the hybrid originated.