Little Red Robin Photinia ร— fraseri 'Little Red Robin'

โ˜  Toxic to humans
๐Ÿพ Toxic to pets
๐ŸŒธ Not blooming
๐Ÿช Not edible
โ€๐ŸŒฑ Easy-care
Christmas berry 'Little Red Robin'


'Little Red Robin' is a compact and rounded evergreen shrub known for its distinctive foliage and color. When the new leaves emerge, they exhibit a bright red to coppery hue, creating a striking contrast against the mature leaves that are a glossy, dark green. The young reddish leaves gradually turn green as they mature throughout the growing season. In spring, the plant produces clusters of small, white flowers that add to its ornamental appeal. The flowers are subtly fragrant and may attract various pollinators to the garden. After flowering, small, berry-like fruit may appear, although they are not the main attraction of this variety. Overall, 'Little Red Robin' is appreciated for its vibrant foliage that provides year-round interest and its ability to maintain a neat and bushy appearance with minimal pruning.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Little Red Robin, Fraser Photinia, Red Tipped Photinia, Christmas Berry

    • Common names

      Photinia ร— fraseri 'Little Red Robin'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Little Red Robin is not considered highly toxic to humans, but it contains compounds that can cause adverse reactions if ingested. If leaves or berries of this plant are consumed in significant quantities, they can potentially lead to gastrointestinal irritation, resulting in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach cramps. It is advisable to keep an eye on children to ensure they do not consume parts of the plant.

    • To pets

      Similar to humans, Little Red Robin is not highly toxic to pets, but ingestion of leaves or berries could result in gastrointestinal upset. If a pet consumes parts of this plant, they could experience symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. Care should be taken to prevent pets from eating this plant, and if ingestion occurs, it's recommended to consult a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves

      Red Green

    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Spread

      2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Easy to grow โ€“ 'Little Red Robin' is known for being an adaptable and low-maintenance shrub suitable for many garden conditions.
    • Attractive foliage โ€“ The plant's leaves are a vibrant red when young, changing to dark green as they mature, providing year-round interest.
    • Compact size โ€“ It remains relatively small, making it an excellent choice for gardens with limited space or for use in container gardening.
    • Versatile in landscape โ€“ This shrub can be used for hedging, as a stand-alone specimen, or in mixed borders due to its attractive color and form.
    • Drought tolerance โ€“ Once established, 'Little Red Robin' can tolerate periods of dryness, reducing the need for frequent watering during dry spells.
    • Resilience to pests and diseases โ€“ It is relatively resistant to common garden pests and diseases, ensuring a healthy garden with less chemical intervention.
    • Seasonal interest โ€“ In addition to its foliage, 'Little Red Robin' produces small white flowers in spring, adding to its ornamental value.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photinia 'Little Red Robin' can be used as a natural dye source for fabrics, giving them a range of shades from light green to brown depending on the mordant used.
    • The compact leaves and bright red new growth make it suitable for bonsai, offering a unique challenge for enthusiasts to shape and maintain.
    • A natural hedge alternative to fencing, this plant can be shaped to create privacy screens around outdoor seating areas or pools.
    • The wood of 'Little Red Robin' can be used in small woodworking projects, like crafting decorative items or making handles for garden tools.
    • When dried, the branches of Photinia 'Little Red Robin' are sturdy and can be used in floral arrangements or as part of wreaths and other decor.
    • The dense foliage can provide a habitat for beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, which help control pest populations in gardens.
    • Photinia 'Little Red Robin' can be used in maze or labyrinth designs within gardens due to its ease of shaping through pruning.
    • The red young leaves can inspire artists and designers, providing a natural palette for color schemes in artwork and landscape design.
    • It can act as a natural sound barrier when planted in thick rows alongside busy roads to help reduce noise pollution.
    • Garden educators use 'Little Red Robin' for demonstrating pruning techniques in horticultural classes due to its forgiving nature and vigorous regrowth.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant name Photinia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant name Photinia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Renewal: The Little Red Robin, with its vibrant red new growth that matures to deep green, is symbolic of rejuvenation and new beginnings.
    • Protection: Often used as a hedge, the Little Red Robin symbolizes protection and setting boundaries.
    • Adaptability: Given the plant's versatility and ability to thrive in various conditions, it represents adaptability and resilience.
    • Christmas Spirit: The bright red color of the young leaves is reminiscent of the holiday season, making it a symbol of the Christmas spirit and joy.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 1-2 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Red Robin plant should be watered regularly, but it is crucial to let the soil dry out slightly between watering sessions to prevent root rot. In the growing season, typically spring and summer, water once a week using approximately 1 gallon per plant, adjusting for rainfall and temperature conditions. During the fall and winter, reduce watering to once every two weeks or less, depending on the weather. It is best to water the plant deeply to encourage deep root growth, which helps the plant become more drought-tolerant.

  • sunLight

    Red Robin plants thrive best when they are placed in a spot that receives full sun to partial shade. Ideally, they should be exposed to direct sunlight for at least six hours a day while being protected from the intense, direct afternoon sun, especially in hotter climates. An eastern exposure that offers morning sunlight and afternoon shade is often ideal.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Red Robin plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but perform best when the temperatures remain between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive minimum temperatures down to around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, but freezing conditions should be avoided. This plant is fairly resilient but will appreciate protection from extreme cold, possibly with mulch or frost cloths.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Red Robin plants to maintain their shape and encourage the bright red new growth that they are known for. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. You can also prune after a flush of new growth has faded to encourage additional red shoots. Annual pruning is typically sufficient, but some gardeners prefer to trim lightly throughout the growing season to keep the plant tidy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Red Robin (Photinia) prefers well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. A mixture of garden soil, compost, and perlite or coarse sand would be ideal to ensure adequate drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Red Robin (Photinia) plants should be repotted every 2-3 years, or when they outgrow their current container, to provide fresh soil and encourage further growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Red Robin (Photinia) tolerates a wide range of humidity levels but prefers average to high humidity, avoiding extremely dry conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright, indirect light and room to grow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in a sunny spot with well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of 'Little Red Robin' Photinia typically begins with seed germination, which occurs in favorable conditions of warmth and moisture, though nursery cultivation often involves cuttings for consistent plant characteristics. Following germination, the seedling phase involves initial root and shoot development as the plant begins to establish. As it enters the vegetative growth phase, 'Little Red Robin' develops a bushy habit with dense foliage and undergoes significant growth in both height and breadth. The maturation phase is marked by the emergence of distinctive red young leaves, which mature into dark green, and the plant may produce small white flowers in spring if conditions are favorable. After flowering, if pollination occurs, the plant may produce small, inedible fruit. In maturity, Photinia 'Little Red Robin' requires pruning to maintain shape and encourage the characteristic red foliage, and it continues this cycle yearly with seasonal leaf and growth changes.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The Photinia ร— fraseri 'Little Red Robin', commonly known as Red Robin, is commonly propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings. The best time for this mode of propagation is typically during the late summer. To propagate Red Robin using this method, one would take cuttings about 4 to 6 inches (approximately 10 to 15 centimeters) long from the current year's growth, making sure to include several leaves. The lower leaves are then removed, and the cut end of the cutting may be dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The prepared cutting is then inserted into a well-draining growing medium, such as a mix of perlite and peat, and kept moist but not waterlogged. It is important to provide a humid environment, which can be achieved by covering the cutting with a plastic bag or placing it in a propagator. The cuttings will typically root in several weeks, after which they can eventually be potted up individually and grown on to develop into new plants.