Even if the photinia, which is popular in the local latitudes, is generally considered to be easy to care for, it can still happen that it loses its decorative red or green shiny leaves. This may be due to improper care or an inappropriate location. In such a case, the possible causes should be found as soon as possible and first aid should be provided so that the plant does not suffer any further damage.

Find causes of leaf shedding

If an inexplicable drop of leaves suddenly occurs in the evergreen glossed medlar, then the causes of this must be found immediately. Because the shedding of the leaves is a cry for help from the plant that it is not doing well. Care errors or the wrong location can be the cause of this. One or more of the following options can be considered:

  • waterlogging
  • dryness
  • Frosteinschlag
  • pest infestation
  • Discarded due to age of sheet


If Photinia has been cultivated in a garden bed, waterlogging can quickly occur in the wet winter and spring months. If this is the case and the roots of the medlar stand in standing water for too long, the plant will indicate this by shedding its leaves. If waterlogging is detected, you should act immediately as follows:

  • Dig up the plant carefully
  • or carefully remove from the bucket
  • Remove soil from roots
  • check for damaged roots
  • cut them off with disinfected scissors
  • Allow the root ball to dry out thoroughly
  • Create drainage in buckets or planting holes
  • fill in fresh, dry, well-drained soil
  • replant the plant
  • only when the root ball has dried thoroughly

Then you should pay attention to the right amount of watering water for potted plants and empty the collecting plate half an hour after watering.

Tip: You can prevent damage caused by waterlogging by laying drainage over the drainage hole or on the bottom of the planting hole with gravel or broken pottery when planting in the bucket or garden bed.


However, the photinia is also very sensitive to drought and also loses its decorative, evergreen leaves when there is a lack of water. Even if the plant does not tolerate waterlogging, constant moisture in the soil is still important. Therefore, when it is recognized that the soil is dry and the leaves are likely to be shed for this reason, the following procedure should be followed:

  • water well immediately
  • repeat several times
  • may provide shade on hot days
  • Move bucket to a shady spot
  • Provide plants in the garden bed with sun protection
  • Water immediately when top layer is dry
  • Mulch soil around plant
  • saves water

As a result, care should always be taken in the hot months to ensure that enough water is poured in. This applies to both bedding and container plants. However, if vessels are placed directly in the blazing sun, the earth dries out even faster here.

Note: By shedding the leaves, the plant saves energy on hot days, especially when it is not being watered enough. With a moisture meter stuck into the soil, you can always check when it’s time to water again.


Glossy medlars are conditionally hardy. Therefore, the plants should remain unprotected outside in the garden bed over the winter, even in mild climates. In all other climate zones, cultivation in a bucket is recommended from the start, which you can bring indoors under certain circumstances. If Photinia did become a victim of a prolonged frosty phase, then the following should be done:

  • long frost period
  • Roots cannot absorb water
  • ground is frozen
  • therefore also water in winter
  • Protect soil from frost
  • with a layer of mulch or brushwood
  • Leaves are shed only in spring
  • Place the plant in partial shade
  • first winter sun supports the shedding of leaves

In fact, it is not the frost that harms the plants, but the resulting water loss. Therefore, leaf shedding in spring should be averted by preventing with enough water in winter.

Tip: As a first aid, you should water the plant thoroughly on the first frost-free days so that the roots receive enough water again.

Pest infestation by vine weevil

If the medlar is infested with the vine weevil, then it is important to act quickly. When the first leaves fall off, roots have already been damaged by the thick, white larvae. These are found in the soil and feed on the roots of plants. The larvae can damage the roots so massively that they can no longer absorb water and nutrients and therefore throw off the leaves. If an infestation is detected, immediate action should be taken as follows:

  • collect all larvae from the soil
  • also collect the beetles on the plant
  • otherwise new eggs are laid
  • Beetles eat the leaves
  • this does not damage the plant as much
  • fight the larvae with nematodes
  • alternatively, ideally replace all old soil
  • put well sealed in the residual waste
  • Check roots for damage
  • cut off damaged roots

Depending on how far the damage on the roots has already progressed, a medlar that has been attacked by the larvae of the vine weevil can no longer be saved. It is therefore important that if feeding damage is seen on the leaves, the soil is also examined directly for the thick white larvae. These are clearly visible, but are usually a few centimeters below the top layer of soil.

Normal leaf shedding

There is another point that is important to mention. Because even the evergreen glossed medlar loses leaves on a regular basis. Therefore, if an increasing number of old leaves fall off and are replaced by new, fresh green leaves, then you do not have to provide first aid here. Because it is completely normal for old blades to be exchanged for new blades after some time. It is only when one or more branches become bare and no new leaves grow that the causes of this need to be investigated.

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