Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Pyracantha Plant Profile

Firethorn (Pyracantha sp.) is an evergreen shrub that is loaded with colorful red or orange berries. This easy-to-grow plant can be pruned into various shapes and used as a hedge, espalier, bonsai, or landscape specimen. The best time to prune Firethorn is late winter or very early spring, so as not to impact the number of berries you will get later in the growing season.

Depending on the variety of Firethorn that you select, it is generally hardy to zones 5 to 8 and can grow up to 10 feet wide and high. You can shear it annually to contain the size. The ‘Mojave’ cultivar was developed at the U.S. National Arboretum and is very heat-tolerant. It is also reconsidered to be reliably deer-resistant.

Firethorn prefers full sun, but will tolerate part sun. It likes well-drained, sandy soils and is drought-tolerant once established. Pick your planting location carefully as it does not like to be moved or transplanted. Firethorn can be propagated by taking cuttings in the summertime.

It is in the rose family and has sharp thorns that make it useful as a natural security barrier. Birds and small mammals like to hide inside Firethorn and build nests in them, as they provide excellent protection from large predators.

Birds love to eat the long-lasting berries as well. This plant is originally from Eurasia and is sometimes mistaken for Cotoneaster, which is thornless.

Pyracantha: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Audio and Text by Kathy Jentz
Video and Editing by Melinda Thompson


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