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Green Magpie

I have a well established Photinia Red Robin, which had lovely red shoots that are now maturing and turning green. I know that if I prune it back this will encourage new red shoots, but I can't remember when to do this. Is now a good time?


Yes.  Round here it's often grown as a hedge so gets pruned/trimmed regularly over the summer and produces new red shoots every time.

If you're doing yours with secateurs, prune back each stem to just above a leaf node to keep it looking good.

Green Magpie

Thanks for that. Now all I need is for the rain to hold off long enough, and I'll be out there with the secateurs.

I bought a red robin but then had three weeks of heavy rain before I could get to plant it.  It's now looking very sad.  Is there any chance it might recover, can anybody tell me?  It actually looks dead..............

Hi there - difficult to say whether your "red robin" will survive - perhaps, plant it anyway with well rotted compost in a sunny site and wait to see what happens during the next few months.

We have several of these and grow them in hedging, specimen shrub, small shrub and small tree !! Which it is depends on whether it's me or my husband doing the pruning !!!! I grow one as a small shrub and prune different shoots to a leaf node throughout spring, summer and early autumn to maintain the red leaves. A friend advises to prune after a full moon as apparently the plants can tolerate the loss of limb/leaf better at this time of the month. The next full moon is 3rd July so I'll be busy then !!!!  



Did you water it?  Rain isn't enough for plants in pots.

Or maybe over water it and drown it?

I think the rain drowned it - I didn't have any way of sheltering it.  I bought two plants - the robin and a buddleia and they both had to sit outside in the rain for ages before I could plant them.  And now they both look dead.  All I can do is wait and hope..........

This is probably too late for you now as your Photinia will be alive and kicking or gone to garden heaven.  Someone planted a Photinia in open space near my old home.  It looked like it had died and I really didn't think it would survive.  6 months later and it looks lovely.  Sprang back to life.

Can the cuttings be grown. If so what is the best method.

Hi. My Red Robin of approx 15 years has matured into more of a tree than a bush now and is taking over my not so big garden.

I have prunned it over the years but not being a knowledgable gardener I obviously haven't done it enough. If I give it a good prune it will be left with no leaves.....will this kill it. I prunned my orange blossom once and killed that so don't want to do it again. 

Hi Wilesy 100 I had the same problem last year and decided to take a chance & cut back hard to about 2foot high. It has regrown to a much more manageable size with new shoots red as they should be. Give it a go

Thanks Helga....I would be gutted to lose it. I will give it a go today 

Mine has gone mad this year so will need a good prune. Whenever im given flowers i use a few bits of red robin to bulk them out and then the flowers stay in place.


I have a lolipop Red Robin from last year, trimed it early spring to wake it, and it's gone mad this year, they also like acidic soil if your suffering with brown leaves and curling. For those in pots ericaceous compost suits them the best.


I've moved this up to put with older Red Robin answers


When is the best time to prune red robin tree?


bean02 From what I understand from advice I was given I think anytime from Spring into Autumn. Mine had a really good pruning in Spring, and then was fed and watered well. I shall be pruning again later this month or early September. It recovered well the last time and new growth soon appeared.

I hedge trimmed mine back quite hard last year.  It went mad in Spring, with red leaves all over it.  Best it looked for a couple of years.  I've just hedge trimmed it back again this year, but not as hard.  I suspect I'll be trimming it again before end of September.  It just won't rest.

They can be very hard pruned and it will regrow.  It may take about 3/4 weeks to respond, but it will.  They seem pretty difficult to kill.

i have a red robin in a very large pot but i've noticed that the leaves at the end of the branches are starting to curl but don't fall off.

can any one tell me what would cause this

Hiya have friend's in very high places!

Well, could be a number of things.  Look at those leaves.  Is there some webbing?  Is there a little caterpillar there?  Varieties of the tortrix moth make their homes in leaves and "stitch" the leaves in a sort of cocoon.  Check that first.

That would be my first suspicion