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Pyracantha - Growing Guide
These are spiny evergreen large shrubs which are cultivated for their flowers and, particularly, their fruit. The flowers resemble those of the hawthorn and appear in a profusion of white corymbs in late spring. The berries colour up by early autumn and persist on the shrubs well into autumn as they do not seem to be the first choice of berries for garden birds.
Pyracantha can be grown as freestanding shrubs in the shrub border where they may eventually grow to 10ft or more if left unpruned. They can also make a thick defensive hedge. However, a more conventional use of these plants is perhaps as wall shrubs where, with vigour and regular hard pruning, they can be kept in check tight to the wall. Flowering takes place on the newer growth so hard pruning improves the crop of flowers and fruit.
Firethorns will tolerate some shade and we grow them in the teeth of salt laden westerly gales where they may occasionally show some leaf scorching which they soon grow through next spring.
The best time to prune a firethorn hedge is in midsummer when you can prune out unwanted new shoots and prune back new shoots to leave the fruiting flower heads more exposed to view.
Over the last 20 years there have been concerns about growing Pyracantha because of their susceptibility to fireblight which was more of a threat previously than it is today. However, the three varieties which we offer have been proven to have fireblight resistance and have been deliberately bred as such.
Saphyr Orange - Orange berries from September
Saphyr Rouge - Long lasting red berries later in the autumn
Saphyr Yellow - Yellow berries from October