Photinia (Photinia spp.) plants belong to the Rosaceae family and include a variety of evergreen and deciduous small trees and shrubs. Photinis thrive in a range of climate zones according to species and prefer to be planted in areas of full sun. The plants generally do not grow well in soils with high pH. Photinia, with their attractive foliage and fruit, have a number of uses in landscapes, including hedges, screens and background planting. Photinia shrubs are susceptible to a number of problems, including pathogenic diseases, pest infestations and environmental disorders.
Frost damage is cited by the University of California Extension as a potential problem with photinia. Damage caused by frost leads to wilting, browning and death of shoots, buds and flowers. In severe cases, the entire plant is likely to die. The damage starts with the succulent plant areas. Flowers fail to bloom when the plant is affected in the budding stage. The best management strategy is to use adaptable photinia species in areas of severe cold. Water plants adequately, as this helps heat retention, and cover plants when frost is expected. The use of overhead sprinklers is not recommended, as this water on foliage turns to ice, causing more harm than good.
Black Vine Weevil
Black vine weevil as a potential problem for photinia. The adult weevil has an elongated head shaped like a snout, and clubbed antennae. The black vine weevil does not fly and has white coloured grubs. Though there is the likelihood of other weevils being attracted to photinia, the black vine weevil grubs causes the most damage to the plant roots. The adult weevils feed on plant foliage and flowers and the larvae feed on the roots, weakening and often killing entire plants. Weakened roots become susceptible to root diseases. Management includes destroying adult insects. Make sure plant roots are healthy prior to planting. Use parasitic nematodes to control the larvae.
Entomosporium Leaf Spot
Entomosporium leaf spot is a fungal disease likely to affect photinia. The disease is characterised by the appearance of red spots with yellow edges on the foliage of infected plants. The spots enlarge and darken as the disease progresses. There are spore-forming bodies in the centres of the spots. The disease leads to premature leaf drop. Control includes the removal of all affected plant areas and avoiding overhead watering. Use copper compounds or chlorathalonil in cases of severe infection.
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