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I have a standard red Robin at the front of my house. It out out very little grown last year and the leaves look marbled with speckles and I was to give it a boost. Any ideas. I have had this in a pot for 5 years, I then planted into the ground about a year and a half ago, I loosened the roots and put plenty of compost in the hole when planting as its clay! I also dug sand,grit and compost into the bed to improve the heavy heavy clay. How can I give it a boost and pick it up. In the bed under this tree I planted bedding plants last year. This standard red robin is now about 4ft tall but the round head is probably only a sphere about 2ft across.
Hiya red dalia
You didn't mention fertiliser. In my experience....grown two and another for a friend.....they don't like cultivation around their roots.
If mine, I,would give it a generous solid feed, preferably organic, water it in and then mulch.
In addition I would lightly prune to buds.....waiting for them to become red shoots....all over the bush.
I apply a seaweed spray on any troubled or sickly looking a tonic it has few equals......and would do same to this photinia
I know Photinias are often grown as a hedge, suggesting they are tough plants, but they can be fussy and disease prone.
Last summer and since it has.been very wet and on clay it would not have enjoyed this. Feeding and better weather may well improve matters dramatically
I have some soil improver so may throw some if that at the base. Chicken pelly so ok???

I built up the eart about a foot so I could put bedding plants in without being down at the root ball level. It was the first bush I ever bought and I really don't want to loose it!

I have cineraria at the base as it overwintered and I'm unsure if I can take cuttings off this then oust. Or just trim back, then I can get to the soil more and turn the top with fertiliser.

Thanks for replying!
Oh my dad trimmed it back about 7 months after it was planted and he took it back hard to make a shape. So I would be cutting into old wood now if I took more!!
So you planted red robin and then added a foot or so of earth? That is not really good means you planted that much deeper.
Ideally I would lightly scrape some of that soil back.


Yes that's what my dad was advised to do especially as was windy at my front when it was planted. Just hoping it picks up and puts on
More growth this year. Will turn in some chicken pellets and water ASAP!

Photinia is prone to its own version of Rose Black Spot, and should be treated in the same way. Remove affected leaves ( it may look very bare for a while but will recover) and pick up any fallen leaves. Spray new growth with a fungicide like Systhane.

It spreads through a photinia by means of raindrops landing on an affected leaf and splashing onto other leaves. 

Will put in some fertiliser and see how we go. It was bought as a standard, not my idea but looked stunning when I bought it all those years ago. Thanks for tips

My photinia recently has lost lots of leaves - post sever winds and salt from sea spray. Some new leaves curly after a short time. Should i prune back to healthy shoots.?  New growth seem ok? Confused.. Had a beautiful bushy hedge.. Can i rescue it?

Now its sparce and needs something.. Help please.

Jess is in the Garden

I know this thread is a bit old now, but was interested by what Verdun was saying about photinias being fussy and disease-prone.

I have a still very young and small (1.5ft, plants last year) Pink Marble, which was literally massacred by a pest in Spring - most of the lovely, tender pink leaves were eaten in a matter of days, in spite of attempts on my part to protect it. I tried using garlic spray to deter pests, as I don't like using chemicals, and although this works brilliantly on aphids etc, I suspect pests like caterpillars etc don't mind it.

Has anyone had the same experience or know what could have eaten it so?

I never saw what it was doing the damage, but am determined not to let the little b****rs do the same thing again this year - it really decimated the poor plant...

Hiya Jess

I grow,this variety too.  

I wonder if vine weevils were the culprit.

I am determined to keep my Pink Marble compact so I pruned back quite hard in its first,year and since.  

Just re read,your post and now think caterpillars or snails were the nibblers.  Weevils tend to eat notches and dont "decimate" leaves like my experience anyway.  tiny snails in late summer can wreak havoc but caterpillars were a maor menace last year on a wide range of plants.

I would use nematodes Jess in the spring assuming snail damage

Jess is in the Garden

Hello Verdun

Yes, I'd initially thought vine weevils too 9we've been plagued the past 2 years and I've used nematodes), but as you said, the leaves were completely stripped bare, rather than having notches nibbled out of them.

Little swines.

I had slug pellets down for snails and used nematodes for slugs.

So by process of elimination, could it be caterpillars?

Wonder if there are nematodes for them garden will be awash with about 3 different kinds by Spring, at this rate!


Hello Jess, yes there are nematodes for caterpillars.  

Just be vigilant from,the start this year. Torchlight visits in the spring will confirm snails.   Better than pellets. 


Jess is in the Garden

You're right - just don't always have much time! But I try to use them only around a few more sensitive plants. Also have some resident frogs though, so would like to try eliminating all poisons, as I'm worried they could be harmed by pellets.

Nematodes for caterpillars it is then! Do you happen to know when they would be at their most active Verdun? It certainly looked like caterpillars could be the culprits, rather than snails, just because of the speed at which the leaf-stripping happened.

Spring would be best I think.  Most other nematodes are used when it's warmer.


Good luck jess 


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