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I also have a pyracantha on the front of my house, which is now quite big, so have to keep it well trimmed. As well as giving the Blackbirds a good feed in the winter, I have a blackbird build its nest there every year, so have the pleasure of seeing the young birds in the spring time.
I hugely agree that Pyracantha is under-valued. I was once standing behind two old ladies at a nursery and overheard the following exchange:

"What's an Orange Charmer?" asked one.

"David Dickinson?" the other replied.

(It's a cultivar of Pyracantha)

Morning Malcolm. It is easiest if you prune in the summer (after flowering). Just cut back the new growth so that the berry clusters are more visible. If you need to bring an overgrown plant back into order then any time will do - be brutal, it won't mind. I trim mine twice a year: summer and mid winter (after the blackbirds have stuffed themselves).

Thank you Garden Monkey - you never disappoint !

Thank you James for your interesting article about the pyracantha. I have one growing on the front of my house where it gets the blunt of all the bad weather, driving rain and strong north winds. Despite the situation my plant thrives well and produces wonderful flowers and berries (who needs a holly?)

My pyracantha looked wonderful this Christmas with its bright red berries. I have never really understood when to prune either so just snip away at it to keep it from taking over and it has survived so far! I totally agree with James it is a very under valued plant.


In my previous garden I had a splendid orange-berried pyracantha which was both larder and home to a blackbird family. I agree they are not usually used to their best advantage.

I am most remiss in not planting one in my current garden, and aim to remedy this forthwith! It may deter the neighbourhood cats, if not the cat-burglars.

James, love the espalier version you have grown and would love to grow one up my garage wall on the patio. Is it possible to grow one in a pot? and if so what size would you suggest? Many thanks.
Live mid Scotland on a hill facing north west get every type of weather nature throws at us. Cut my Pyracantha right down to the ground last year as i wanted rid of it. It came right back as quick as a wink and am I glad as I'm raring to try my hand at using it to make an espalier on the house wall.
Nina, Pyracantha will grow in a pot but not happily. It will grow perkily for a while but will then run out of space and soil. Fine if you do not wish to cover a very big wall and have a large pot - make sure you feed and water anything that is growing in a container.
when is the best time to prune lavender? I was told a trim in september would suffice but mine is now so overgrown
Going back to Pyracantha. We inherited one growing on a north facing wall near to the front door.I seem to remember a few flowers on it in the first year or two that we lived in the house, but it has not flowered for the last 20 years! My husband is very patient, but I am beginning to give up hope. I carefully prune it each year to keep it looking tidy.Is there anything we can do to make it flower or should we take it out and start again?
There is a horrible possibility that you might be pruning off the flower buds- I'm sure that is not the case but, in order to eliminate such a thing from our enquiries, at what time of year do you wield your secateurs?

Lavender, by the way, needs a trim in Autumn and then a harder haircut in the Spring. If you fossick about a bit you will see where the new growth is sprouting at the base of the plant: anything above that might as well come off.

I prune the pyracantha in the summer when it is looking really shaggy. I don't think I have cut any of the flower buds off as I am always on the look out for anything that looks promising!
I have some 40 different pyracanthas in my garden of 4 or 5 varieties trained against walls, and all are doing very well. Except, that is, one which is next to our front door. Late last year one part of the plant (which grows around a window, and is stopped at about ten feet high, started to look a little sad. It has now lost most of its leaves and looks to be dieing. Another shoot of the same plant, on the left of the window, is green and vigorous. There does,m however, appear to be some sign of green leaves at the top of the "dead-looking" part. I can't see any sign of scab, but last year it was full of green aphids. Is it worth leaving it to see what happens?

Should I spray it, or must I cut it out and wait for the left hand part to throw a shoot that I can train up the right side? At worst, must I get rid of the whole plant which covers a patch about 15 feet by 12 ft of the wall around a window?

I have read so much about how and when to prune Pyracantha and yet no-one answer has been able to produce a definative answer. So, how and when should I prune in order to produce flowers and berries EVERY YEAR and yet keep the whold shrub close cropped to the wall? Is it even possible?


hi everybody I'm going to buy a new car. Wish to have an up market car, but don't know for sure what to choose... Can smb advise me smth?
Very interesting. I was contemplating buying some expensive fencing for the bottom of the garden, now I think I'll buy a few Pyracanthas instead and give the birds a treat at the same time. Do they all grow at the same rate or can anyone recommend particular sturdy and fast growing ones please?
JeanPriscilla: Mine are a variety called Mojave but pretty well any variety will do.
Hello, I am wondering if anyone can help me. I have some firethorn seeds that i would like to sow into pots for now until they start growing. What is the best way to grow firethorn? do they have to be in the shade or sun? do they need to be kept watered all the time? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, Thank you, Alan
Hi. I live on the Fife coast and have just had my garden re-done. Can I still plant out pyracanthas or other hardy plants given the temps? Thanks.