Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech

(Photinia x fraseri)


Foliage: Evergreen broadleaf

Height: 20 feet

Spread: 10 feet

Shape: Upright

Red tip is a large evergreen shrub. Newly emerging foliage is red and quite showy for a few weeks after which it changes to glossy, dark green. Clusters of white flowers occur in late spring. This plant is widely used in the south as a hedge. Unfortunately, this plant is overused in the landscape and is also susceptible to a serious leaf spot disease.

Plant Needs:

Zone: 7 (6b) to 9

Light: Partial shade to full sun

Moisture: Moist or dry

Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay

pH Range: 3.7 to 7.3


Suggested uses for this plant include hedge, massing, screen, and border.

Planting Notes:

Adaptable to a wide range of soil pH.

Select site with well-drained soil and good air circulation.


Easy to grow.

Withstands severe pruning.


Susceptible to several problems including mildew, leaf spots, fireblight, scale insects, and a few other insects. Entomosporium leaf spot is especially prevalent and injurious in spring when conditions that favor fungal growth are prevalent.

Winter injury is likely in cooler areas (6a and lower) of Virginia.


Consult local sources, including historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of Photinia x fraseri:

No important cultivars.


Red Tip is seen everywhere in the south because it is easy to grow and tolerates poor growing conditions.

The flower odor of unpruned plants is obnoxious to some people and should be considered before planting close to walkways and entrances.

Most often used as a hedge or screen.


This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

May 1, 2009

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