Why Won’t Red Tips Grow In Atlanta?

Q: I saw a big healthy red tip photinia hedge outside the Royal Automoble Club in Epsom, England. If red tips will grow in England, why won’t they grow in Atlanta? 

A: Photinia will grow here fine, with regular maintenance. But forty years ago lots of folks in the South were too lazy to care for them properly and leaf spot disease wiped them out. Photinia leaf spot disease is present in England too. But my guess is the professionals at the club are either spraying with fungicide or doing a terrific job raking and disposing of diseased leaves as soon as they fall. If you’re willing to do the work, you can grow red tip photinia successfully in your landscape in Atlanta.