London (change)
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16/03/2013 at 18:35

I have a Red Robin shrub in my garden and I am constantly having to clean up the lawn because of fallen leaves. It doesn't seem to be deciduous as it generally retains its leaves through the winter. However single leaves fall constantly on the garden and I am usually tidying up every week sometimes more.  A lot of the leaves that fall have some kind of black spot on them.  Are they falling because its the natural thing to do at this time of year or because they have some kind of disease and if so how can I put it right?  I would be grateful for any help with this problem as I don't know whether to cut it down or give it a bit longer.

16/03/2013 at 19:21 shed their leaves throughout the year. They are messy shrubs. Mine died when I tried to cut it back hard,and.......delightedly....I ad to remove it and plant something better. Photinias try to grow into trees I think. I loved then hated this shrub
16/03/2013 at 20:50
Please don't give up on these lovely shrubs. Yes, it is in their nature to drop leaves but if you keep them well-watered and well-fed they will be far less likely to succumb to black spots. I've got seven. I'm always nipping bits off and lovely new red leaves show within days sometimes.
16/03/2013 at 21:05
I have two varieties that are nice.....a dwarf form with smaller leaves and less inclined to drop leaves and a variegated variety called Pink Lady. With both of these I have pruned them from small and this keeps them bushy and controlled.
18/03/2013 at 18:41

Thank you to all for answering my problem - I have to admit it's driving me crazy having to mop up every few days - it makes the lawn look so untidy!

I may give it one more chance and prune it when the weather gets a little better and if I still have the same problem then I think I may have to remove it and plant something else in its place as I do need something to give me a little provacy from the road.

Any suggestions on something which will bush out and be low maintenance? - preferably not deciduous?

18/03/2013 at 19:09

Just bought one from Morrisons - £2 - called Little Red Robin which grows to 1m.  Is this classed as a dwarf form Verdun?  Was hoping it wouldn't need much pruning!

18/03/2013 at 19:58
CazW, yes that's dwarf red robin. It's a nice one.
Dorinda, how about choisya....nice evergreen scented foliage and highly scented spring flowers?
18/03/2013 at 20:23

Thanks Verdun   - thought for a minute I'd made a mistake there

20/03/2013 at 17:04

Thanks Verdun If I can get a Choisya which grows to 6ft it will be just the thing - I do have one of these in my back garden but it is barely 3ft

24/03/2013 at 17:52

Try Choisya  Aztec Pearl..bit bigger.

24/03/2013 at 18:10
Dorinda, do you have the yellow one? Sundance? This is smaller and slower growing.
Hiya wood green wonder boy, Aztec pearl isn't such a prolific flowerer for me and t's not so lush looking or have the bay foliage smell. My standard choisyas are 10 feet and 7 feet respectively so they do grow fairly big.
24/03/2013 at 19:44

Hi Verdun, my Pearl is 6ft. wide by 5ft tall and a good flowerer. It's in the middle of a bed so I don't often bury my nose in it. Just think it is a bit more sphisticated than the ternata common floosie. I have the yellow choiysia in a pot and it seems very susceptible to frost you find it tender? I have it in the greenhouse in this bad weather and quite frankly is almost more trouble than it has been worth so far, if that is not too hard hearted.

24/03/2013 at 20:02
Evening wood green wonderboy, I keep forgetting its a bit milder down here when I offer my ideas.
Sundance, the yellow one, grows well down here. It's a funny thing but I have, over the years, realised plants need to acclimatise to certain areas before they begin to grow well. Often my,own cuttings make better shrubs than the parent bought elsewhere and the yellow choisya is an example of this. My original plant bought from my local GC ...but produced "up country" .....struggled to grow. Cuttings I took from it produced far stronger plants.
However, I do think if a plant is more trouble than it's worth then its better to grow something else. Nothing worse in the garden than a sickly looking plant
24/03/2013 at 23:22

I have 3, Choisya ternata which is big and bushy, Choisya ternata Sundance which has golden leaves and is smaller and should grow to about 2.5 metres but it hasn't yet after 8 years, and Choisya Aztec Pearl which has narrower leaves and seems less vigourous than the other two. It's about 4 years old and under 3 foot tall. Last winter it went down to -17° in Feb. and they were all OK apart from a few brown leaves.

04/04/2013 at 20:55


04/04/2013 at 21:51

Cut it back as much as you want to to keep it tidy, you don't have to cut it far if it's how you want, just snip bits off if they grow unevenly. If it's healthy in the pot you could leave it there, remembering to feed and water it.

You don't need to write in capital letters, in computer speak that is shouting. If the print is too small for you it's because there is a problem with the site at the moment. Press Control  and + or Control and - to reduce.

04/04/2013 at 22:20
Busy lizzie
I too didn't realise capitals meant shouting.
Learning every day
Billgreenlaw, check it's not pot bound. If it is tease roots out
22/05/2013 at 13:28

Berkley, can I ask you what you feed your Red Robins, as mine have the black spots that Dirunda Mcilwraith mentioned. I would also love to prune and propegate thefew red robins that I have (to eventually make a hedge) but am afraid of not doing it right after letting them grow nice and big for a few years now. Please help a one is really big and needs pruning before it comes in the window. 


22/05/2013 at 13:47

You can prune Photinias really hard.  There was a thread recently about this...check it out.

Cuttings are easy enough I think. Only ever did one lot few years back and they rooted over the summer.  Use your prunings for could just insert them in a shady  part of your garden although this is best done in autumn 

24/05/2013 at 17:51

I cut my Red Robin back hard in the autumn.  In the Spring it's thrown out so much new growth I'm sure it is bigger than before I pruned it.  My neighbours don't like it because it blocks out light from their garden, but I do try to keep it trimmed low, However I turn my back on it for five minutes and its re-grown 2 feet.  And yes, I'm forever picking up the leaves that take forever to break down if I leave them on the ground.  The leaves are a great hiding place for slugs if left on the ground.

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