Plant of the Month
October 7, 2019 by James Cooper
If ever there was a plant which provokes a reaction whenever it is mentioned its the Pyracantha, true it has a fierce defence of thorns but bear with us and I’m sure we’ll convice you to give it wall space in the garden.
Pyracantha (aka firethorn) is the ultimate multitasking plant; a workhorse shrub capable of stepping into the limelight not once but twice a year. In the early summer a frothy display of white flowers is a real insect pleaser, this is followed in the autumn by pendulous clusters of berries. Blackbirds love this plant both for it’s food source and it’s thorn protected nursery.
As if this was not enough, glossy evergreen foliage gives colour and structure to the garden when it needs it most, the winter.
We prefer to grow our Pyracanthas as wall shrubs, this involves giving the new plant a support syrstem of wires or trellis to be tied to as it grows. Keeping the Pyracantha in check is easy too, we cut ours back as it takes our fancy during the year – it really is a very tolerant customer. Many bad experiences gardeners have with Pyracanthas are when they are allowed to become too large for a space, requiring drastic cutting back of fearsome thorny branches. Keep your Pyracantha well trimmed and tied in and this bloody experience can be avoided.
Pyracantha is a tough and tolerant plant enjoying most garden soils and condiitons.
There really is nothing to be afraid of so go ahead and make a blackbird happy.