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Photinia Red Robin ( Standard )

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Question from Stuart Kingsley Kerr


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Planted 2 years ago and seemed to do well at the start. But early this year it deteriorated. I have fed it with Miracle Grow ( Phostrogen ) and whereas there may a slight improvement I don't think it is very happy. Will it like Fish Blood and Bone Meal as a tonic. Please HELP.

  • Views: 1851
  • Replies: 3
  • Posted: Wed. 11th May 2011 07:49

Re: Photinia Red Robin ( Standard )

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Stuart,
Photinia is half-hardy - were you in an area hit with last year's harsh winter? It could be that it is showing the weakening effects/damage done by cold temps. Is it in a container or in the ground? Getting enough light (in needs full sun to partial shade)? As far as blood, fish, and bone meal, I love the stuff. Give your plant a little rest period if you just recently fed it - you don't want to overfeed and run the risk of burning roots, etc. Then spread the meal, work in a little and water it in. Any chance you could post a photo?
Kathy C

  • Posted: Thu. 12th May 2011 22:24

Re: Photinia Red Robin ( Standard )

Reply from Stuart Kingsley Kerr

Thanks for the guidance Kathy and I will try what you suggest. It has been in the ground from the start, and is south facing. It seemed O.K. for quite a while, but now looks like it has taken a big knock back and is proving difficult to revive. I will try to post a photo for you, but for me that may be more difficult than reviving the Photinia ! !

  • Posted: Mon. 23rd May 2011 11:28

Re: Re: Photinia Red Robin ( Standard )

Reply from Hans Schumann

Hello, not sure whether this is the cause of your problem, but I had my soil tested and was advised that my soil was almost organically dead due to use of Miracle Grow. Here is what my consultant wrote:

"Please do not use Miracle Grow any more, it is very high in nitrogen and potassium, and because your sample showed excesses of these nutrients, as well as phosphorous, you would compound these problems further; we need to bring these down. Also, excess nitrogen causes fast and improper growth which send out the wrong chemical signals, thus attracting pests; the growth would also be soft and will therefore allow diseases to take hold.

Miracle Grow is a salt based fertilizer, making it highly soluble and will leach out of the soil very quickly, as well as giving quick results. And, because of its salty nature, it can cause soils to tighten and this could be the reason why some parts of your garden are not draining as quickly as others. This product, also has a detrimental affect on soil microbiology, slowing killing all the beneficial microorganisms that get to work on breaking down organic matter applied to the soil; basically, the chemical salts, suck the moisture out of them. And, because your soil is likely to have poor microbiology, this would also account for the dusty nature of your soil; the microorganisms act like a glue, holding the various aggregates together."

Hope this is of interest.


  • Posted: Tue. 21st June 2011 15:29