Medlars do not grow very compact, rather loosely. A good hedge takes a few years. The shoots move nicely in the wind, which is decorative and rustles and rustles pleasantly. The small flowers in summer add to the value of the plant. Sometimes there is also fruit. Medlars often have many thorns. That is why birds love hedges and like to take shelter in them. The berries also serve them as food in autumn.
Table of Contents
‘Red Robin’ grows broadly bushy, loosely upright and reaches a height of approx. 1.5 to 3 meters. It is one of the early bloomers. The flowers appear as early as the beginning of May. They are large white panicles. which are spread all over the bush. ‘Red Robin’, as an evergreen loquat, is one of the plants that are not so very frost tolerant. The deciduous varieties cope better with cold and winter conditions.
The loquat has many advantages. The colors and the sheen of the leaves are great. The plants are fast growing. They thrive on almost any type of soil, and they are easy to prune. On the other hand, medlars do not tolerate dryness, but neither do they tolerate wet feet and that they are not suitable for cold locations.
Care of the red robin loquat
Caring for the common loquat is not complicated. It is important to have a suitable plant substrate, a protected location, the right soil moisture and, if necessary, a cut. The red robin loquat is no exception. However, experts argue about the winter hardiness of this variety. It is usually given as absolutely hardy, but by everyone who wants to earn money with it. Experts warn against creating a hedge (except for a wine-growing climate). The plants do not come from our latitudes. Native deciduous plants lose their leaves in winter for a reason. They minimize their nutritional needs and other mechanism and go down to zero in winter. This is how they protect themselves. The evergreen medlars cannot do that. This puts them under constant stress. That doesn’t benefit the plants and then winter comes. Many do not survive it. As an alternative there are the evergreen species, but they do not have these beautiful leaves. But they score with a great autumn color. So, you should think carefully about the hedge.
The location is one of the deciding factors in how and whether the loquat survives the winter. It can’t be drafty or too sunny. A place in front of a warm wall is ideal, but usually no hedge is required.
- The location should be protected (mainly from frost)!
- Slightly shady locations are preferred.
- Medlars do very well in front of walls.
- Significantly fewer flowers appear in the shade. The color of the leaves also diminishes.
The substart is also important. It shouldn’t be too wet or too dry.
- Moist, but water-permeable substrate
- When waterlogged, the leaves are thrown off.
- It is therefore important to mix a lot of humus into the soil in spring.
- It should also be mulched.
- The substrate can be acidic, neutral or calcareous. The plants are flexible there.
Once you have found the right location and a good substrate, you can plant. The best way to buy medlars is in bales. It is important to water the root ball well before planting. It is best to immerse it in a bucket of water or a vat, at least until no more air bubbles rise.
- It is planted in spring or autumn.
- In rough locations, planting should only be carried out in spring so that the plants can grow well before the cold.
- Plant spacing half a plant height.
- When planting in a hedge, a planting distance of about 50 cm.
- The common loquat does well as a hedge plant in association with jasmine, forsythia, cherry laurel and pipe bush.
Watering and fertilizing
The red robin loquat is somewhat sensitive to both drought and waterlogging. So, you have to have a little sure instinct. Appropriate fertilization is also important, not too high and not too weak.
- No waterlogging!
- Always water only when the top soil layer has dried off!
- Fertilize in spring, at the beginning of the growth phase.
- A long-term fertilizer or depot fertilizer, such as Osmocote or Basacote, is ideal.
- Otherwise do not fertilize any further!
- If the soil is too rich in nutrients, the plant will not mature. It is then even more vulnerable to frost in winter.
Medlars can grow between 20 and 40 cm per year, depending on the variety. As solitary plants you can let them grow with confidence. However, it makes sense to spot them regularly. Hedges, on the other hand, have to be cut. It is usually enough to cut once so that the plants are not put under too much strain.
- For a formal hedge, you cut once or twice a year
- ‘Red Robin’ only needs to be cut once.
- In any case, cut after flowering in spring, otherwise you will cut off the flowers.
- Do not cut off all the flower panicles when cutting, as fruits will still form.
- Cut only moderately so that the hedge becomes thicker.
- Slightly shorten all shoots!
- A magnificent hedge will have grown up after just three to four years.
- If leaves suddenly fall off the medulla, it should also be cut.
The leaf fall is usually due to too much or too little water. It can happen that new leaves only form on the branches that are growing again. The inside of the plant then remains bare. Then only a radical cut will help. However, it is not recommended to put the plant on the stick and cut it too sharply. It is better to spread the cut over several years.
Medlars are actually hardy. They tolerate temperatures down to – 20 ° C. However, it is not particularly suitable for rough locations. Young plants in particular are threatened by frost. Over the years the medlars harden and become less sensitive. However, they are evergreen plants. So, you evaporate a lot of water even in winter. If the ground is frozen, the plants cannot absorb water. If this is the case for a long time, the loquat dries up.
- Many tree nurseries generally recommend winter protection for the ‘Red Robin’ variety.
- Young plants must be protected from frost in any case!
The propagation usually takes place by sowing. The berries are used for this. However, these are not durable. It must be sown immediately after the harvest! Propagation from cuttings is also possible, but often does not succeed.
- Sow in a cold box
- Seeds must grow and overwinter in a cold room!
- After the last frosts in mid-May, the seedlings can be planted out.
- Cut cuttings in summer!
- Underfloor heating and rooting powder increase the chances.
- Rooting by subsidence is also possible, but it takes a long time.
Diseases and pests
Diseases are quite rare. On the other hand, pests appear from time to time.
However, medlars have often been attacked by fire blight in recent years. That is absolutely uncomfortable. I could not find out whether the variety ‘Red Robin’ is affected. Mostly Photinia davidiana varieties are attacked. In any case, caution is born. The disease originated in Switzerland and also migrated to Germany through the shipment of plants. There is no method of treatment. The trigger is a bacterium that attaches to the branches or flowers in the plant after being injured (cut). The first signs are black spots and dry flowers and leaves. The worst thing is, the disease can be transmitted to other plants. Fire blight is notifiable!!! In any case, seek the advice of a professional!!!
- Aphids – increased on young shoots and leaves. Rinse off with a sharp jet of water, prevent with garlic stock or fight with nettle broth.
- Black vine weevil – eats the leaves of the common loquat. Collecting helps here. The larvae are worse. They live in the root area and eat the roots, starting with the fine roots, which are important for water absorption. The larvae are best combated with nematodes (roundworms). The right time is important: April / May and August / September
- Wine-red spots on the leaves are a sign of stress. Treatment is not necessary.
The red robin loquat is a very beautiful plant. A freshly driven hedge is an absolute eye-catcher. The plants also look good as solitaires. Your sore point is the hardiness of winter. This is not a problem for mild areas, but it is in most of the others. I keep seeing damaged medlars, just like cherry laurel. Both types are not really suitable for Central European climates. Of course, you can try, but no guarantees will be given. Since young plants in particular are threatened, you can try larger specimens from the nursery. After all, they have already survived a winter or two. However, that is a question of price. The smaller copies cost around 10 euros. The big ones are significantly more. If you don’t need a lot of plants, maybe you can risk it. A loquat is then better than a solitaire, planted in a protected place in front of a warm wall. It has a much better chance of survival.