The Q&A Archives: Photinia X Fraseri Plum Passion: How Much Shade Tolerance?

Question: Plum Passion sounds ideal for a northern foundation planting that I have. EXCEPT, during the summer, the shade is pretty steady, when not-too-close trees add to it. During winter, the site is about half shady. Has anyone researched this new variety enough to know what effects are likely, and whether the plant is likely to survive and be worth having there? Loss of berries is tolerable; complete loss of colour is not.

Answer: Unfortunately, Photinia is borderline for winter hardiness in your area, depending on your winter microclimate. It also prefers more sun than it would receive on the north side of a building (it prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade and would need a full half day of sun to grow well) so you might be happier in the long run with something a bit more shade tolerant. Rhododendrons, azaleas, yew, aucuba, and the euonymouyus fortunei varieties might fit the bill.

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