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How to Trim a Red Tip Photinia

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017
Trim a red tip photinia to keep it healthy and attractive.
photinia flower image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

The red tip photinia shrub grows abundantly in warm regions (USDA zones 8 and 9) where gardeners plant them as hedgerows. An unfortunate result of these close planting practices is a lack of adequate air circulation among the individual shrubs, which often contributes to a fungal infection that leads to loss of the plants. With careful spacing and pruning, you can keep red tip photinia shrubs healthy and thriving in your home landscape. By pruning photinia shrubs during dormancy, you can prevent disease.

Spread the tarp beneath the shrub before you begin pruning to catch the stems and leaves you remove.

Examine the interior of the shrub to find any stems and branches that appear unhealthy or dying. If you find any, remove these stems back to the base of the shrub with the pruning shears.

Open up the interior of the shrub by removing the crossing and rubbing stems. Cut these stems off with the pruning shears where they connect with the next largest stem.

Shape the photinia shrubs by clipping off the growth around the perimeter of the shrubs with the pruning shears. Because red tip photinia shrubs grow abundantly during the growing season, they will easily grow into very large shrubs if you allow it. Cut back the stems to a leaf node to control the growth and keep the shrub the size you desire.

Pull up the tarp and discard the removed stems, branches and leaves. This is especially important around a photinia shrub because this plant material on the ground can lead to fungal infections.


Things You Will Need

  • Tarp
  • Pruning shears


  • Shaping the red tip photinia will encourage bushy growth.


  • If you do not prune a photinia shrub regularly, it will become sparse and uneven.

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.