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Photinia Red Robin Poorly

ianmwiffenianmwiffen Posts: 3
edited April 2018 in The potting shed
Hi all

This is my first post and have just joined the forum in desperate need of some advice please.

I planted a red robin about 11 years ago. I have pruned each year and maintained a dense growth and nice shape. Last couple of years I have looked to increase the height to 7 foot to provide some additional privacy.

Last June I noticed a larger than usual number of leaves dropping way and some sparse patches appearing, all leaves in the centre have now gone.

This year it was fingers crossed time that the growing season would start a recovery. So far not so good but there are some signs of new growth lower down, but still leaves are turning dark red and eventually dropping higher up.

So far this I have:

  1. Widened the border and applied Farmyard manure
  2. Sprayed with Fungus Clear (should I use Bug Clear?)
  3. Sprayed with warm soapy water
  4. Applied Growmore Garden Fertiliser

I have attached some images to illustrate. Any idea what these bugs are? Mealy bugs? Scale insects? Any advice on how I can eradicate and help the red robin survive? Should I give it a hard prune in May?

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Thanks everyone.

June 2017 - first signs of leaves dropping and pruned off infected leaves

June 2017 - Infected leaves

June 2017 - infected leaves pruned
April 2018 - not looking very happy. Leaves starting to turn dark red and dropping off.
April 2018 - new growth shoots which is a relief but concerned they may be infected also and have stunted growth
April 2018 - latest image. 


  • 1634 Racine1634 Racine Posts: 479
    Bump.  Hi Ian.  You have got me worried now.  I noticed yesterday that my Red Robin had dropped a load of leaves.  It's been thriving for a number of years.  I read somewhere else that it's normal for such a shrub to drop leaves in spring as new growth kicks off.   Hopefully it's just that.  I've noticed the leaves are more curled than usual as well.  I would think to water it but surely that can't be the issue with the amount of rain we've had.

  • Hi 1634 Racine. Thanks for your post. Yes, you are correct. I did read on the RHS website that they can be prone to heavy leaf loss so I wouldn't be too concerned yet with yours and new growth should replace like you say.

    Problem I have with mine is that it's not normally as bad as this and the leaves that are remaining don't look very healthy. All the leaves in the centre have completely gone. The white marks I found on the leaves of some kind of insect is the only explanation I have at the moment. 2 years ago it used to looked like the image below, as I was growing it to the required height before a nice trim. Lots of new shoots. As you can see it is quite different now and very sad about it. Hopefully someone might know what the insects are and how I can eradicate them. Hopefully I can bring back to life by pruning hard maybe when the weather suits?  

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364
    Are there any known pests our diseases of the that plant. I have been thinking of getting one.
    The above might help. 

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 294
    Cold wet winters. These are plants from the warmer parts of New Zealand. I would not expect them to be very longlived in UK.
  • ianmwiffenianmwiffen Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice so far all. 
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