Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 27, 2009

From: Myrtle Point, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Cuttings for non-native red-tip Photinia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have had wonderful fortune with red tip Photinia.We would like to expand our plantings.Can red tip Photinia be propagated by hard wood cuttings?

ANSWER:

Sorry, we would never encourage the proliferation of a non-native like Photinia x fraseri, the scientific name for Red Tip Photinia. 

In this Mississippi State University Extension Service Red-tip Photinia Almost Eliminated, you can learn some of our reasons for that stance. Here is an excerpt from that article:

"Red-tip is highly susceptible to the fungal pathogen known as Entomosporium that causes leaf spots and ultimately defoliation. The disease has all but eliminated Red-tip from the list of recommended shrubs for Southern landscapes. In fact, the disease is so widespread that one plant pathologist jokingly explained that there are two types of Red-tip, those that have the disease and those that are going to get it! So, even though newly planted Red-tip bushes may stay disease free for many years, ultimately they will succumb to the inevitable."

Frankly, we're amazed that your photinias have done as well as you say they have. Even when they are not infected with the pathogen, they are not ordinarily a long-lived shrub. The fact that they grow very fast is, of course, considered an advantage when you are landscaping a new property; unfortunately, fast growing woody plants seldom live very long, have weak wood and are frequently subject to pests and diseases. 

The scientific name is Photinia x fraseri, the "x" meaning it is a hybrid. Photinia, itself, originated in China and Japan. These two facts mean that it is not a native to North America, and therefore out of our range of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. A plant long acclimated to a climate, rainfall and soils wil require less fertilization, water and maintenance. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Advisability of growing Silybum marianum (Milk thistle)
November 26, 2013 - I just received a load of clay-mix-dirt - and after our recent rains noticed the pile sprouting what looks like "Milk Thistle." Lots of them. The leaves are spiny and variegated - quite pretty. ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of non-native vitex
August 10, 2008 - I am interested in propagating a beautiful big vitex tree. Can I do it from seeds or what is the best way? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Can non-native star jasmine attract snakes?
May 16, 2010 - I have star jasmine climbing up my house. Can it attract snakes?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for constant rain
June 24, 2008 - We live in Washington State up north by Canadian border. We need a hedge that will survive the constant rain. We have tried cedar. They seem to turn brown and die,one at a time so we keep replacing th...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)
August 08, 2006 - I was given a desert rose and i'm looking for general information about planting, watering, how much sun it needs etc. I hope you can help. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.