The Gloss Medlar (Photinia) is native to Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. Of the more than 60 species, the species Photinia x fraseri (such as the cultivar ‘Red Robin’, both as a shrub and as a stem) and Photinia villosa var. laevis offered.
Photinia x fraseri is about 2.50 m high and 2.00 m wide. In May it blooms with clusters of white flowers. The shrub is evergreen and has large glossy green leaves, which emerge striking red in spring. Photinia villosa grows taller, 3 to 4 m and about 3 m wide. These shrubs are deciduous. They bloom inconspicuously creamy white in May. In the spring they emerge from pink to bronze green, and in the autumn they get a beautiful orange-red autumn color and red berries. Because the leaves turn red, the plant protects itself against sunburn, which could otherwise be a problem in the natural environment, which is often snow-covered for a long time.
CARE OF THE PHOTINIA X FRASERI ‘RED ROBIN’
Both P. x fraseri and P. villosa grow on all types of humus-rich soil. The soil should be well-draining and on the moist side. They like a position in the sun or partial shade, which must be somewhat sheltered. If they are fully exposed to the wind or otherwise unprotected, the shrubs can freeze considerably in severe winters.
Photinia x fraseri as a solitary shrub hardly needs pruning. Dead, damaged or crossing wood can be cut off early in the spring. Shooting branches can also be shortened. If it becomes too big or needs to be rejuvenated, it can be cut back considerably: it generally grows well on the old wood.
Photinia villosa var. laevis is better pruned in winter when it has lost its leaves. It can also be thinned out if necessary. This shrub can then also be cut back to the old wood.
Both varieties can also be planted as hedges. The main shoot can continue to grow to the desired height. The side shoots are then cut as a hedge, and each time shortened. In principle, cutting once in August is sufficient for the evergreen P. x fraseri. If the hedge is already too messy, you can also cut it once at the end of May or in June. P. villosa is cut for the first time in March or April, and then approximately every 6 weeks between April and September (somewhat dependent on site and weather conditions).
Fertilizing can be done in the spring with some compost. This maintains both the nutritional status and the humic content of the soil. Applying a mulch layer is of course also possible. This also reduces the evaporation of moisture from the soil.
DISEASES AND PESTS OF THE PHOTINIA (MEDLAR)
The gloss medlar does not suffer much from diseases or pests. Only Photinia davidiana is susceptible to fire blight.
11 PHOTINIA CULTIVARS (SPECIES)
- Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Tip Photinia’
- Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’
- Photinia × fraseri ‘Camilvy’
- Photinia × fraseri ‘Curly Fantasy’
- Photinia × fraseri ‘Super Hedger’
- Photinia × fraseri ‘Pink Marble’
- Photinia ‘Redstart’
- Photinia ‘Palette’
- Photinia davidiana ‘Fructu Luteo’
- Photinia davidiana ‘Prostrata’
PHOTINIA X FRASERI ‘RED ROBIN’ AS A HEDGE PLANT
Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ is an evergreen shrub, which is usually placed as a solitary plant because of its beautiful red-flaring leaves. It is also good to use as a hedge plant, especially on moist soils. It is then more or less comparable to cherry laurel. Especially suitable for somewhat wider hedges (1 to 2 m), with a height of up to approximately 2.5 m. The plants are not very sensitive to diseases or pests, but can freeze a bit in winter. Planting distance 2.5 pcs./m.
PHOTINIA X FRASERI ‘RED ROBIN’ AS A CONTAINER PLANT
Photinia (glossy medlar) likes a somewhat humous and moist soil. In this case, it is recommended to supplement the potting soil with humous soil where compost has been mixed in. The compost acts as a slow-acting fertilizer and increases the humus content in the soil. The top of the pot can be covered with a layer of leaf soil, or wood chips, to prevent rapid evaporation from the ground. In addition, some tub plant fertilizer can be given once a month, or some liquid plant food can be added to the irrigation water.