RogerBW's Blog

Pyracantha 09 October 2015

A couple of years ago we planted a pyracantha at the front of the house. Until this year it hadn't put on much of a show, though it had become pleasingly spiky. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

The first year it was just green growth; the second year it had a few flowers (twice, in fact). This year, in June, it was covered with white blossom. By September, that had been entirely replaced by red berries.

The leaves have also darkened slightly.

Roll on next year!

  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 02:30pm on 09 October 2015

    I have one with orange berries. It's at least 25 years old (I planted it pretty early in my time at the house) and I've pruned it to go along the fence. The trouble is, it grows so aggressively I have to trim it every year or it takes over. And since they flower and fruit only on last year's growth, mine is usually fairly devoid of flowers and berries due to trimming. The only solution I think would be to dig mine up and start again, but that would be a big job.

    The other problem with pyracantha is the thorns contain an irritant, if you jab yourself on them (and you will when trimming one) the scratches can come up in huge welts full of puss. I've had some that took months to go down, one year I had one after Christmas from pruning about now.

    And watch out for it spreading from the roots, mine has started sprouting in various places in mine and next door's garden.

    If I had my time again, I'd plant another Cotoneaster instead of this beast. Much easier to prune, can still be trained on a fence, lovely red berries, and will flower and fruit on old wood. Plus the bees love the Cotoneaster (it hums as if alive when in flower) and the birds prefer the Cotoneaster berries to the Pyracantha.

    The Pyracantha does however keep off cats, the thorns are long enough to hurt them. As a cat hater (they keep shitting in my garden!) I may have to plant a complete border of pyracantha. But then there's the back gate, so the cats would still get in.

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