Pyracantha QA


Article by DavidMarks
Our main pyracantha article can be found
. But sometimes our readers askspecific questions which are not covered in the main article. This page liststheir comments, questions and answers. At the end of this page there is also a formfor you to submit any new question or comment you have.


Date: 24 February 2021 From: Genie
QUESTION: I have a 10 ft high 4 ft deep very old piracantha which seems to havescab, and what looks like lichen on some branches, is there any way to save it?

ANSWER: Lichen is never a problem, just ignore it, it will do no harm.

Scab is difficult to treat. I have a page on the website about it specifically for pyracantha.It can be
found here

Date: 16 November 2020 From: Not Given
QUESTION: I have purchased a pyracantha in a pot , it is about 5 ft tall and against a frame. Do I removeframe before planting against a wall?

ANSWER: Pyracantha
are normally quite capable of supporting themselves especially when against awall or fence. But I wonder why you would want to remove the frame? In a year orso the pyracantha will cover the frame and hide it. i would leave it in place.But if you do decide to remove it, rest the plant against the wall and it willsupport itself.

Date: 12 November 2020 From: Allan H
QUESTION: Blackbirds are strippingĀ my pyracantha of its red berries. Does this mean I will not have a gloriousdisplay in the spring?

ANSWER: Your flower display next spring will be unaffected by the red berries being eaten by black birds. It’s possible thatthe spring flower display may even be improved – less energy being put into ripening the berries may encourage the pyracantha to flower better.

I have five pyracantha in my garden, four with masses of extremely obvious red berries and the fifth with a fair number of less obviousorange berries. The only deterrent to blackbirds eating the berries, that I know of, is to have a cat! Our cat will definitely go afterbirds in our garden and our neighbour also has a young, very fit cat. I suspect birds don’t linger long in our gardens because of the cats.

Having said that, the birds are making a mistake in our garden. If the birds ate the berries higher than a couple of foot high the viciousthorns on a pyracantha would surely deter any cat from jumping up more than onceor twice.

Date: 30 March 2018 From: Not Given
QUESTION: What do I do with my firethorn when the flowers are dying do I prune it or just wait for the berries?

ANSWER: Just wait for the berries! Pyracantha only need to be pruned to keep them to the shape and size you want.

Date: 30 March 2018 From: Not Given
QUESTION: My pyracantha produces flowers every year whichturn brown and fall off, so no berries. It also has what l think is woolly aphid. Can you tell me how and what to treat itwith please.

ANSWER: Pyracantha can suffer from wooly aphid. I suggest you treat the plant for wooly aphidand see if it then produces berries. It may well do so. Our page on wooly aphid can be found

Date: 21 April 2018 From: Deirdre A
QUESTION: My pyracantha is on a south facing sunny spot. For the last twenty yearsthe plant hasn’t flowered perhaps a few and absolutely no berries. Why? Every year I hope.

ANSWER: Unless there is something very unusual about yoursoil conditions or the position of the pyracantha, the problem has to be caused bypruning. Clearly you will have pruned a 20 year old pyracantha.

Pyracantha produce flowers and berries on wood which grew the previous year, sometimes alsothe year before that. But it does not produce flowers on stems grown in thecurrent year. It is therefore essential to prune them at the correct time.

The best time to prune a pyracantha is when it is in full flower (around May), normally around mid to end of May in most partsof the UK. The reason for this is that the stems with flowers on will produce berries later in the year. At flowering timeyou can easily identify them and avoid heavy pruning of those stems.

Prune only those those stems which have a darker colour of wood, these willbe the ones which are two or more years old.

If you believe you are pruning correctly then I suggest that you don’t pruneat all this year. Next year if more than your normal amount of flowers areproduced you will know that incorrect pruning is causing the problem.

If however there are still no flowers the next year then you will know thatsomething else is causing the problem. That would be very unusual and I wouldsuggest growing another shrub in that position.

Date: 30 March 2018 From: Not Given
QUESTION: I have a new build house built on clay soil. The house looks very boldand I wanted to plant a pyracantha against one side of the house wall…Will it damaged the foundations?

ANSWER: Every situation is different and for legal reasons I cannot give absolute advice. However,I had a largish pyracantha growing up the front wall of my house and I also planted severalpyracantha againstmy mother’s garage wall. They have never caused a problem over the last 20 years or so. I have never heard of themdamaging house walls or causing problems with drains.

Date: 24 March 2018 From: Susan
QUESTION: I just wanted to know if I shouldtrim off last years berries?

ANSWER: It’s totally up to you. If you don’t, they will fall naturally. If you do, it will do not harm.Both ways are equally as good.

Date: 13 November 2017 From: Jim
QUESTION: My Pyracantha look as if it is dying or its dead it is over 70 years old,is it too old?

ANSWER: 70 years old is exceptionally good for a shrub like a pyracantha. There is very littlepoint in in trying to revive a shrub of that age, it’s almost sure to be a loosing battle.

Date: 22 October 2016 From: Mike
QUESTION: I planted 40 pyracantha in March 2016. All are healthy with good growth but want to know how soon I can expect to have berries appear?

ANSWER: It depends on how old the pyracantha were when you planted them. If you leave them unpruned they should start producing berries in 2018, possibly 2019.

Date: 5 September 2016 From: Gavin
QUESTION: How quickly does pyracantha grow to form a hedge?

ANSWER: That depends on the age of the plants when planted,how close together they are planted, the weather in your area of the OK andgrowing conditions in general. The recommended planting distance is about 50cm/18in between plants, the further apart they are planted the longer the hedgewill take to form.

If you buy 30cm / 1ft high plants in 2 litre pots they should have formed adecent hedge after three to four years.


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