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Red Tip Photinia

Photinia x fraseri 'Red Tip'

Red Tip Photinia


Red Tip Photinia has long been a traditional hedge in the American south. Its young bright red foliage gives it its distinctive characteristic. As it matures it passes through shades of reddish-copper eventually maturing to a rich dark green. The shrub typically grows 10 to 12 feet tall and may reach 15 feet in some cases. Small white flowers (5 to 7 inches) appear in spring arranged in flat-domed clusters. They have an odor of hawthorne, which some people find objectionable. They are handsome and contrast nicely with the new bronzy-red young leaves (as the flowers open, the leaves turn green).

Use and Management

Extremely tough and vigorous, red tip grows in almost any adequately drained soil. It is not salt tolerant, but withstands intense heat. It needs some winter weather, and does not thrive in tropical conditions. It may be pruned to shape and control size anytime in spring or summer.

Red tip Photinia is used to create tall hedges. Dense growth allows these to serve as effective barriers that are beautiful and functional. Red tip hedges can be left unpruned for the “natural” look. They retain foliage to the ground and never become leggy. Red tip also tolerates shearing and can be trained into large formal hedges as well. Planted in a mix shrub border, the red tip adds considerable interest with its contrasting red, bronze and green foliage. By pruning lower branches, individual shrubs can be trained into small trees.

Additional Characteristics

  • Soil Moisture: Moist, well-drained
  • Soil Types/Tolerance: Sand; loam; clay
  • Uses: Border; mass planting; hedge, above-ground planter
  • Additional Features: None
  • Special Resistance: None


  • Available in 1, 3, 5, 10 or 15 gal containers.
  • Also in B&B and sold according to height
  • Suggested plant spacing are:
  • Plant 18’, 24” to 36” OC
  • Bed Preparation:
  • Spread 3” of bed mix in ground cover beds
  • Till 6” deep, rake beds to drain away from structure
  • Plant
  • Topdress with 2” of double ground (fine) hardwood mulch.
  • Hand water in after planting
  • Set sprinkler controller to water beds:
  • Once every two days for two weeks in spring and early fall.
  • Once a day for two weeks when temperatures reach 98+ degrees.
  • Have Owner monitor moisture and report over or under watering immediately.
  • After two weeks reassess the watering needs, and set at twice a week thereafter.

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