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Red Robin (Photnia)

Greetings all

I have a couple of questions relating to the Red Robin which are going to live in a zinc container.

1. What is the best feed to use? – I have been told to use Tomorite?

2. Should I liner the zinc/galvanised containers before filing / planting, and if so with what?

You help / advice would be gratefully appreciated image


  • Hi Garyimage

    I would plant the Photinia in John Innes No 3 loam based compost - it will contain all the nutrients needed for the first 6 months.  After that I would top dress in springtime with a sprinkling of Fish, Blood and Bone.    

    Tomorite is formulated to encourage flowering and fruiting which is not what you want the photinia to do - it's glory is in its new leafy shoots so needs a more general-type fertiliser and FBB is slow acting and will fertilise the whole plant, not just it's fruiting potential.

    Loam-based compost is also heavier than soil-less composts and will help prevent the shrub being blown over in the winds.

    Make sure the contaner has plenty of drainage holes, and you put plenty of crocks in the base..  However, metal containers transmit heat/cold very easily - I would wrap the outside of the pot with bubble wrap in the winter, to protect the roots from frost, particularly in the first winter.  Similarly be aware that in hot weather the container may heat up and this may scorch the roots.  

    I would prefer to use a different type of container for a long-term planting - or plant the shrub in a pot which can then fit inside your zinc container with some insulation between.

    Hope that's helpful image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • image


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hi Gary, have you thought what your pruning regime will be when you get your lovely, thriving , fairly fast growing plants.

  • Hi All

    I have 2 red robin in large pots as bay trees.

    They are losing a lot of leaves at the min is this normal?

    I have fed them with a handful of the below: 

    Miracle-Gro 17684 All Purpose Continuous Release Plant Food 1 kg, Green, Brown

    Working the granules into the soil.

    I have also kept watering them, maybe too much not sure (twice a week) but the are sheltered in my porch.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    They always look hideous here - full of black spot etc, but in warmer, sheltered areas they seem to be ok, especially as hedging.
    They need a lot more care if potted - like any shrub/tree, especially those standard ones. There probably isn't anything much wrong with them, but I would use a feed that's more suited for foliage rather than flowers - seaweed or similar, and don't use too much of it.
    You'd also have to be very vigilant with watering, especially if they're under cover [is there a reason for that? ]  as they do need a fair bit, but as always - the drainage has to be right too. However, they need a soil based mix if in pots. What are they planted in ? 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • bédébédé Posts: 2,568
    You can over-water.  And many do.
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
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