(January) For twenty years I have used Red Tip Photinia as a hedge around my patio area. For the last two years the plants have not looked healthy. The leaves have curled up and are falling off. I have been spraying them with a fungicide and have kept the fallen leaves picked up but this does not seem to help. Is there something else I can do to save the plants? If not what could I use to grow a privacy wall. I am on the bluff of our lake and I know our soil is not great.
You aren't alone. Red tips have been plagued by disease all across the south. I probably wouldn't put a lot more time and effort into saving them. You might gradually start to replace them, or do it all at once. Several options are available including loropetalum, holly, elaeagnus, and even little gem magnolia. To aid in plant health, you may want to amend the soil with organic matter.
(January) We have a Fraser's Photina and have been unable to learn when the best time of year to prune it is. We have asked several nurseries and get a different answer from each one. They are about 12-14 ft tall and were planted in 1999.
Actually, plants which we grow primarily for foliage-such as redtop photenias, can be lightly trimmed almost year-round. Severe pruning--pruning off more than one third of the plant should be done prior to new growth beginning in late February through mid March. This will allow for quicker recovery of the plant--not so long to look at the cut edges. Avoid mid to late fall for anything but light cosmetic shaping. Too much pruning and you may encourage new growth late in the season which won't have a chance to harden off before frost, and you also leave the plants more exposed to winter injury. One other note of caution: if you have struggled with the leaf spot disease on redtops, severe pruning can sometimes make them more susceptible--rapid new growth being more tender. You can also mechanically transmit the disease with pruning shears, so be aware.
(April) I have several photenias around the yard that are doing quite well. Two of them, next to the house on the north side of the house, have developed a bunch of black spots on them. What can I do to get rid of the black spots? Is it okay to prune them back and cut off the leaves that look distasteful?
Lets just hope it is a little carry over from last season, and you won't see more this spring. Red top photenias have been plagued with a leaf spot disease for twenty years now. We have lost numerous hedges of the plant to the disease. Other plants seem not to be bothered by it. If you do prune out the damaged parts, be sure to sterilize your pruning shears in between cuts, so you don't mechanically transmit the disease to the other bushes. Watch the new foliage closely for new signs of problems. You can do a preventative fungicide spray after pruning and hope for the best. I have several gardeners who spray their red tips weekly to combat the disease. Personally, I would let nature takes its course, and replant if needed.
(May) Our red tip bush has reddish brown spots all over the leaves and some green leaves have fallen off of the plant. Is there anything that we can do to say the plant? My husband believes that it is correlated to pruning the bush, but I have my doubts that this is causing the problem. Thank you for any insight that you can provide to us.
Diseases seem to be running rampant this spring, and red tip photenias have been hit hard. The leaf spot disease on photenias is nothing new. We have been plagued with it for years now. Many photenias have actually died out over the past ten years. The disease is called entomosporium leaf spot, and is very similar to black spot on roses. Weekly fungicide sprays could be effective, but in my opinion, who wants to spray a hedge weekly? I would let nature take its course, and remove the plants, and replant with something more disease resistant. Pruning in and of itself was not the problem, but it can be spread from one plant to the other with a pruning shear. Also, tender new growth, which occurs after pruning, is often more susceptible to disease. If you want to give sprays a try, use a general purpose fungicide such as Immunox, Daconil or Funginex.
(September) We planted several red tip shrubs this summer. The instructions say to cut them back to make them full. But they don't say when to do this. Should we cut them back in the fall or the spring? Thanks for you help.
To encourage bushiness, a little light shearing can be done several times during the growing season. The main pruning is usually done prior to new growth beginning in the spring, and then a little tipping can be done repeatedly throughout the season -- if they are leggy or not as full as you would like. Since photenias are grown for foliage and not bloom, pruning season is not as critical. Let me warn you that Red tip photenias are not on our recommended plant list, as they have been plagued with a leaf spotting disease for many years, which can lead to death. I would assume yours are clean for now, but be aware this can happen.
(September) I need advice on how and when to trim/prune the following shrubs in front of my house. The firm that did the planting is out of business. Holly - Japanese, blue & Yaupon, Yew, Emerald Gold Euonymus, Red pygmy Barberry, Blue Pacific juniper, Red tip photenia and liriope. Many of these plants seem 'out of control'. I've trimmed them in years past in late fall, but they grow so fast that it seems to be an annual affair. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Pruning shrubs can be an annual affair if the right plants weren’t planted in the right location, of if you need specific shapes and or sizes. Choosing plants that have a mature size that will fit the foundation of your home, can reduce the pruning chores. In my opinion, late fall is not an ideal time to prune in Arkansas. We have so many fluctuations in temperature during the winter, that I try to get the plants through before pruning. If you just need general shaping, that can be done at any time. If you need to remove more than one third of the plant, you should try to catch the burst of growth in the spring -- late February through mid April should work well. None of the plants mentioned are spring bloomers, so you are not interfering with blooms. Liriope is one plant that should be sheared hard prior to new growth each spring. This purging of old foliage leads to a cleaner and healthier looking plant.
I am enclosing two leaves from my ‘red tip’ bushes (I do not know the botanical name). Last summer, I had a problem with something chewing on the leaves and was told various things to try. I did this, and the problem did stop to a degree. Then, when it started getting cold and had freezes, the leaves really began to fall off. Now the bushes are almost totally bare. There are a few of the brown leaves and about a dozen green leaves. Can you give me any advice on my problem?
Red top photenia has been plagued for many years with a leaf spot disease known as entomosporium leaf spot. Similar to black spot on roses, it tends to get worse with time and can defoliate and eventually kill a shrub. There are fungicides which can keep it in check, but the rigorous spray schedules I consider impractical. Cut the bushes back by one third now. Rake up all debris--from pruned cuttings to fallen leaves and mulch. Then spray thoroughly with a fungicide such as Daconil, Kocide or Funginex. Repeat in two weeks, and then see what happens. If the plants die, replace them with a different shrub, such as wax myrtle, elaeagnus, cherry laurel, sweet bay magnolia or one of the hollies. Some plants seem to be unaffected by the disease, but it is very wide spread throughout the state.
I would like to know when to trim red tips.
Red tip or red top Photinia can be pruned as needed. If severe pruning is needed, try to get that done as early in the growing season as possible, but general shearing can be done anytime.
We need help!! Our Photinia bushes have been in the ground for three years, and this year they are infected with something. We have about 20 bushes and they are about six feet tall. What is this disease, and what can be done about it?
Your Photinia are plagued with the common entomosporium leaf spot–or black spot on Photinia. While it can be maintained with fungicide sprays, it really isn’t my recommendation to do so. To control it, or better yet–prevent it, you need to spray weekly with daconil, funginex, or bayleton. It is very similar to black spot on roses. This has been a good year for the disease. If you really are intent on salvaging the plants, you might consider a dormant spray in the winter, then use Bordeaux mix as they are breaking dormancy. Then see what happens. If it continues to return, (which I suspect it will), you may want to replant with something a little easier to maintain.
I know you are not a fan of redtop, but I planted some 16 years ago and with luck and attention it is still thriving. In fact, it has reached a height now where I cannot trim it easily and am about to hire a cut back of about 3 feet to get it down to where I can continue to care for it. I use a spray a couple of times in the spring and am not hesitant about cutting out any brown leaf or fire blight when I find it. My question for you is when is the best time to cut it back.
Actually the best time to prune is questionable. Normally, I would say prior to new growth beginning, since the plants will have survived any winter weather, plus the cut edges will easily be covered. However, dormant spring cutting, tends to encourage rapid regrowth--something you may not want. Rapid new growth can also be more susceptible to disease problems. If you want to cut, and not encourage much new growth, consider pruning in early June. You have passed the spring surge, but we typically aren't in to really stressful weather either.
Will you please tell me what to use on my red top bushes? They have been going downhill all summer. I used Malathion recently, but wonder what else to use?
The problem with your red top photenias, is the common blackspot disease we have been plagued with for years. Malathion is an insecticide, and will not control this disease. Sprays of Funginex, Daconil or Kocide next spring, may give you some preventative control. Use a dormant oil this winter and practice good sanitation around the bushes, by raking up fallen leaves and replacing the old mulch. This disease is the main limiting factor for growing red top photenias, and we have been fighting a somewhat losing battle with it for some time.
Back to Shrubs[http://www2.arhomeandgarden.org/_includes/bottom.htm]