How to prune Red Robin

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A type of photinia, ‘Red Robin’ (Photinia × fraseri) is a popular choice in many gardens. Known for its distinctive red colour, Red Robin can grow up to one foot every year. So it’s important to keep Red Robin pruned and trimmed for it to keep looking neat and tidy.

When do you prune Red Robin?

Red Robin is usually planted in the autumn months and flourishes in moist and well-drained soil.

It is worth noting the plant thrives in a sunny or partially shaded position.

A sheltered position is the best place for Red Robin, to help the plant avoid damage from the elements.

Red Robin tends to flower in the spring during the months of April, May or June.

According to Gardening 101, the best time to prune a Red Robin shrub is at the start of the growing season.

Depending on where the plant is being grown in the UK, the start of the growing season for Red Robin is normally late March or early April.

The plant will then benefit from two or three pruning sessions over the growing season, as this will hopefully encourage further growth.

But the site adds: “If you want your red robin to flower then you will want to delay your first prune of the season and wait until it has finished flowering.”

Remember pruning the plant too late may result in a decrease in growth next season.

Depending on the plant species, some varieties may need to be pruned in the winter months when they are dormant, so check before pruning.

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How do you prune Photinia?

Photinias, the plant group which Red Robin belongs, are quite low-maintenance, so they do not require a lot of pruning usually.

However, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) explains the plant will “ benefit from the occasional trim in spring and summer”.

Trimming Photinia will help the plant keep its shape and stop it growing in an unruly fashion.

To keep the plant under control, the RHS explain “shortening stems up to 15cm (6 inches), cutting just above an outward-facing bud” can help to encourage bright leaves.

The RHS add: “If ‘Red Robin’ is grown as a hedge, remove the tips of young shoots to encourage the bright-red leafy re-growth. They can be trimmed up to three times a year.”

For evergreen shrubs in general, the RHS advises pruning “diseased, damaged or dead shoots” and thinning out any crowded shoots.

For aftercare, consider mulching and feeding the plant as per the plant type’s requirements.

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