Photenia is a beautiful shrub for Oklahoma landscapes. It’s fairy easy to establish and grows quickly, reaching heights of over 6′ within just a few years. If left un-pruned or with minor pruning, it can reach heights of almost 20′. It can serve as a nice wind or privacy block if planted in rows or groupings, such as is evident around the perimeter of Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa along 61st and Lewis streets. They are evergreens, maintaining their leaves all season long. During the spring and summer growing season their leaves are a nice purple or red color, hence the variety named Red-tipped Photinia.
These tender leaves are susceptible to a common disease called Leaf Spot. Some photenias will have this every year, and others seem to be more resistant to it. It typically begins in early April as the new foliage blooms out, with small dark brown spots on the leaves. These can merge together to dis-color the entire leaf, and prevent photosynthesis from occuring, leading to plant health problems and even death if left un-treated. We recommend our Photenia Program for plants with a history of Leaf Spot Disease, with 3-4 treatments of fungicide sprayed on the foliage from mid-spring through early summer, when the disease pressure is at it’s peak. Warm, wet, and humid weather brings on higher disease pressure, so once we get into the hot and dry summer, it typically will not be an issue.
Do not water the foliage of shrubs if at all possible, and do not irrigate in the evening causing the leaves to stay damp all night. Contact us for more information on how LawnAmerica can help prevent this disease and protect the health of your photenias. We also recommend good pruning done a few times during the season to help shape the shrub and prevent it from becoming too tall.