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Don't Believe Everything You Read


By AndrewR


The autumn issue of the Hllier Gardening Club magazine arrived last month but I only got round to reading it the other day. One article featured a dwarf photinia called ‘Little Red Robin’ that supposedly only grows to one metre. I’ve always fancied growing one of these shrubs but just never had the room for one so this looked ideal – I could shoehorn it between a wisteria and a bottlebrush where an old hebe had just given up the ghost.

So off I went to the nearest Hiller’s Garden Centre to get one. But on checking the label, I found it would grow three metres tall and the same across. I aksed at the Information Point – yes, it does get that big if left unpruned but will take about fifteen years to do so. I got one anyway – it has so much competition, it won’t take off and I can keep an eye on it and cut it back if necessary.

But don’t believe everything you read!

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hi Andrew, i have the ordinary variety of Photinia 'Red Robin' and i am constantly cutting mine back, as i don't want it too big, but to be honest i did buy it with this in mind, because the leaves turn dark green once they mature, and it is evergreen it is only the new growth that is the beautiful bright red colour, so it actually pays to keep cutting it - it keeps the colour going!

23 Nov, 2007


Hallo Andrew - I have actually GOT one - I planted it in one of my tubs as winter colour. He's a little beauty. I am about to post a photo on my site of the tub. I will obviously have to take the tub apart in the spring!!!!!

23 Nov, 2007


Hallo again. I went to an independent Garden Centre today, and they had lots of 'Little Red Robins'. The plant label says' 80 cms' and I asked too, was told yes, that was the case. Not more than 1 metre, very slow growing species. Now who do we believe? It's not listed in RHS books, I suppose because it's newly bred? Hope label is correct, I like it small, and it would look very silly in my tub if it did grow

26 Nov, 2007


Yes, I think it's a new plant so it will be interesting to see how big it does get. As mine is squashed in between a wisteria and a bottlebrush (both very well established), the problem will be getting mine to grow, not to stop it!

27 Nov, 2007

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