How to Grow Photinia Little Red Robin - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Photinia little red robin is a stunning evergreen shrub that is perfect for adding color and interest to your garden. This eye-catching plant has glossy, dark green leaves that are highlighted with little red tips. In late spring and early summer, small white flowers appear that contrast beautifully against the foliage. When fall arrives, the leaves turn a deep, rich red color that is simply breathtaking.

How to Grow Photinia Little Red Robin - Plant Care & Tips

Also called

  • American cranberrybush
  • Aronia
  • Checkerberry
  • Chioggia
  • Cowberry

Good to Know

  • Photinia little red robin is a shrub that can grow up to 3 meters in height.
  • It has glossy, dark green leaves and clusters of small, white flowers.
  • The flowers are followed by small, red fruits which give the plant its common name.
  • Photinia little red robin is native to China and Taiwan.
  • It was introduced to Japan in the early 20th century and has since become naturalized there.
  • The plant is often used as an ornamental shrub in gardens and parks.
  • It is also used in bonsai cultivation.
  • Photinia little red robin is relatively easy to care for and is relatively disease and pest resistant.
  • It can be propagated from cuttings or seed.
  • Photinia little red robin can be susceptible to leaf spot and powdery mildew if grown in conditions that are too shady or too wet.

How to Grow

  1. For photinia little red robin, first step is to take the cutting of softwood in early summer.
  2. The cutting should be around 6 inches in length with at least two leaves attached to it.
  3. Take a pot and fill it with a well-draining potting mix.
  4. Plant the cutting in the pot at a depth of around 2 inches.
  5. Water the cutting well and place the pot in a warm, sunny location.
  6. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  7. In around 6 to 8 weeks, the cutting should develop roots and new growth.
  8. Once the new growth appears, you can transplant the cutting into a larger pot or into the ground.
  9. Water the plant regularly and fertilize it monthly during the growing season.
  10. Photinia little red robin can be pruned to shape as desired.

Related plant:
Photinia Red Robin Hedge

The Soil

About soil condition, Photinia Little Red Robin prefers well-drained soil that is humus-rich. The plant does not like to sit in soggy conditions and will not tolerate being waterlogged. It is important to make sure the plant has good drainage. You can improve drainage by adding organic matter to the soil or by planting in a raised bed.

About light

Not too different with other Photinia, Little Red Robin requires full sun to partial sun. It prefers 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day, although it can tolerate up to 12 hours of sunlight. This shrub does best in well-drained soil that is moist but not soggy.

The Temperature

The temperature condition that is best for Photinia little red robin is between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant does not like it too hot or too cold. If the temperature gets too hot, the leaves will start to turn yellow and drop off. If the temperature gets too cold, the leaves will turn brown and drop off.

Ideal Humidity

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 60-80% Photinia little red robin is a plant that thrive in humid conditions. The plant grows best in an environment where the humidity is between 60 and 80 percent. If the humidity levels are too low, the plant will suffer from stress and may even die. too high of humidity can cause the leaves of the plant to turn yellow and fall off.

The Fertilizer

Regarding fertilizer, this family of plant is relatively easygoing and will do just fine with a regular application of all-purpose fertilizer or even just some compost worked into the soil each spring. The key is not to overdo it, as too much fertilizer can actually damage the roots of the plant. Just a light application of fertilizer will suffice.

About light

Pruning is an important part of maintaining your Photinia little red robin. This evergreen shrub is known for its vibrant red new growth, so you'll want to keep it looking its best by pruning it regularly. When pruning, be sure to remove any dead or damaged branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. This will help keep your plant healthy and looking its best.

Plant Propagation

Propagation for Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin' is typically done through softwood cuttings taken from new growth in late spring or early summer. The cuttings should be 4-6 inches long and should have several leaves. Cuttings should be taken from the tips of the branches and should have a heel (a small section of bark and wood from the mother plant attached to the cutting). These cuttings can be rooted in moist sand, vermiculite, or perlite. Rooting hormone can be used to encourage root development. Once the cuttings have rooted, they can be transplanted into individual pots filled with a well-drained potting mix.

Growth Rate

Usually, the plant growth rate is fast during the growing season, which is spring and summer. The growth rate will depend on the variety of photinia that you have. Some varieties can grow up to 3 feet per year.

Basic Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are that the leaves may turn yellow or brown and drop off, the stems may become weak and the plant may have a general overall unhealthy appearance. These problems are usually caused by over-watering, poor drainage, lack of sunlight or nutrient deficiencies.

List to Know

  • Remember to water your Photinia regularly, especially when the weather is hot and dry.
  • Feed your Photinia every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth.
  • Prune your Photinia regularly to encourage new growth and maintain its shape.
  • Place your Photinia in a sunny spot in your garden for best results.
  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and treat them promptly if found.
  • Regularly check the soil moisture level and adjust watering accordingly.
  • Mulch around the base of your Photinia to help keep the roots cool and moist.
  • When planting new Photinia plants, space them out evenly to allow for future growth.
  • Stake taller varieties of Photinia to prevent them from blew over in strong winds.
  • Enjoy the beauty of your Photinia and the stunning red new growth it produces!


  • Photinia villosa subsp. fragrans
  • Photinia arborea
  • Photinia beauverdii
  • Photinia glabra
  • Photinia serratifolia
  • Photinia robinioides
  • Photinia ferox
  • Photinia villosa
  • Photinia microcarpa
  • Photinia x fraseri

Photinia | Landscape Plants | Oregon State University
Photinia villosa | Landscape Plants | Oregon State University
Fraser Photinia; Redtip Photinia (Photinia x fraseri)

Richelle Author Photo
Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Shrubs Category