Photinia fraseri: the glossy medlar that sets fiery accents

Photinia Devil's Dream® is a hedge and ornamental plant that enchants with its diverse range of colors, enhancing the entire environment.

Shining medlar Photinia: evergreen garden ornament that sets fiery accents

Photinia fraseri, better known as the Shining Medlar, is a popular hedge and ornamental plant that captivates with its diverse range of colors. This evergreen shrub showcases dense, green foliage throughout the year. New shoots impress with flaming red, which turns to copper in the autumn and eventually transitions into a glossy, rich green. Photinias are mainly planted as hedges, but they also work well as standalone plants and in container gardening. Are you considering bringing this plant into your garden, balcony, or terrace? Then the following information and tips may help you in your decision-making process.

Close-up red leaves of the Devils Dream

Fiery star in the Photinia Devil's Dream® sky: Photinia Devil's Dream®

Originally hailing from Asia, the Photinia species has around 48 varieties, for example, found in China. Different variations can also be found in the Himalayas, Japan, India, and Thailand. One of the most popular species in this region is Photinia fraseri, which was initially bred in New Zealand. The main focus was on the vibrant red leaves that this ornamental plant displays in spring and summer. Within this species, various cultivars are available, with Photinia Red Robin being one of the most beloved for a long time. However, with the introduction of Photinia Devil's Dream®, we now have a variety that impresses with even more color intensity and a longer-lasting fiery red hue. Additionally, its growth is significantly denser and more compact, making this Photinia even more attractive for a variety of uses.

Devils Dream as a stem

A Photinia hedge attracts more than just glances

A Photinia hedge, for example, is not only evergreen and opaque, it also adds variety to the garden with its red accents. If you want to demarcate your property with a hedge up to 3 meters high and protect it from prying eyes, don't be surprised if pedestrians still risk a closer look, as the play of colors is truly spectacular and the sight exceptional. So with a Photinia hedge, you not only get a natural privacy screen for your garden, but also enhance the entire surroundings. This also applies in terms of biodiversity, as Photinia Devil's Dream® is very popular with insects, birds, and other wildlife. Its dense and bushy growth provides a great retreat and space for garden inhabitants to raise their offspring undisturbed. Additionally, the Photinia plant produces flowers with a scent resembling hawthorn.

The flower clusters offer a bountiful feast for bumblebees, bees, and other insects that gladly visit. Afterwards, berries appear, which are preferred food for various bird species. In this context, it is often asked whether a Photinia hedge is poisonous. Don't worry about it, as the leaves, flowers, and branches are absolutely harmless. Only the berries should be left to the garden inhabitants, as consuming them can cause nausea and diarrhea in humans. However, this applies to most popular ornamental plants.

Devils Dream plant close-up

From the Photinia stem to the small tree

Also, a beautiful outdoor decoration are Photinia standard trees. Due to their strong growth and tolerance to pruning, Photinia Devil's Dream® is perfect for being trained as a standard tree. As the plant can climb up to three meters in height, the standard tree can even develop into a proper Photinia tree if desired. Since this variety grows significantly denser than Photinia fraseri Red Robin, you can enjoy a permanently full and bushy crown with the devilishly red variant. However, if you want a nicely grown and regular standard tree, you will have to invest some maintenance work, as Photinias sprout quickly and consistently.

The beautiful thing about them is that even not so neatly pruned standard trees always appear charming due to their red new growth. Once the flowering is over in October, simply grab the shears and give your Photinia standard tree the desired round shape through pruning. Make sure to cut the branches cleanly and not tear them with a blunt blade. Such injuries are entry points for pathogens. Therefore, when pruning your Photinia, only use clean, well-sharpened, undamaged cutting tools.

Devils Dream


Typical Photinia diseases include powdery mildew, leaf spot, and fire blight. These are caused by fungi that prefer to attack weakened plants. A wrong location, lack of care, too much or too little water can cause your Photinia to become stressed and provide a breeding ground for disease-causing agents. To prevent this, make sure to choose a sunny to partially shady location that is somewhat protected from the wind for your Photinia Devil's Dream®.

This is especially beneficial during winter. The Photinia plant originates from warmer regions and does not tolerate hard frost very well. If it is exposed to freezing temperatures and strong winds, it may lose its leaves. Water your Photinia regularly, but make sure not to create waterlogged conditions. This could potentially lead to root rot. However, if you have planted your Photinia in well-draining, humus-rich soil, you don't need to worry about this. If the soil conditions are not ideal, the plant can still thrive in any other good garden soil. Nevertheless, it is advisable to occasionally check if there is sufficient or excessive soil moisture. Otherwise, Photinia care does not pose any special challenges.

Devils Dream hedge
Devils Dream hedge
Devils Dream hedge planting
Devils Dream hedge planting