The spiny evergreen shrub Pyracantha is a member of the Pink family. In nature, this plant is found in the southern part of Europe and in Southeast Asia. The name Pyracantha comes from a pair of Greek words meaning "fire" and "thorn". If you translate the name of this genus you get "prickly plant with fiery red fruits" or "fiery thorn". There are six to seven species in this genus.
Such a shrub is cultivated as an ornamental plant, which is not resistant to frost. Only separate hybrid varieties of such a plant are capable of withstanding a decrease in air temperature to minus 20 degrees.
Special features of pyracantha
Pyracantha is a shrub that can be upright or spreading. It can reach a height of up to 6 meters and has many resemblances to certain species of cotoneaster. There are sparse, fairly long thorns on the surface of the stems.
The serrated leaf plates are evergreen. The shield-shaped inflorescences include white-colored flowers. The fruit is a small berry-like apple of red or yellow color. Because of this fruit, it used to be included in the subfamily Applewood, but was later transferred to the Spiraea.
The ornamental value of this shrub is that it blooms profusely and bears abundant fruit.
The lushly blooming bushes are attractive to bees, and the fruits of this plant are pecked by birds.
Decorative shrubs. Pyracantha shrub. Planting with pyracantha seeds, experiment
Peracantha planting in the open ground
What time to plant
If you want to grow the species pyracantha, you can do it by generative (seed) method. This will require sowing in the winter.
The seeds can also be sown in the spring if desired, but in this case the seeds need to be pre-stratified. For this purpose, the seeds are placed for 6-8 weeks on the refrigerator shelf intended for vegetables.
The easiest way of propagation is to buy a ready-made seedling with a closed root system in early spring. This can be done in a specialist store or garden pavilion. These seedlings are different in that they are fully adapted to local conditions and have a relatively high frost resistance.
Before buying a seedling, it is necessary to carry out a thorough inspection. The seedling should not be injured or showing symptoms of disease or pests. Examine the potting soil in the container; it should be moist, clean and without a musty odor. Experienced gardeners recommend choosing varieties that are more winter-hardy and less demanding to care and growing conditions, for example, you can buy varieties of Pyracantha narrowleaf or bright red.
Purchase seedlings in autumn time should not be, because after planting in the open soil in the winter time they will die.
The seedling is planted in the spring period as soon as the soil thaws.
This plant is heat-loving and develops and grows best on a southern slope that has good protection from cold winds. A shady or sunny location will do, but please note that the scorching sun will cause the foliage to turn yellow. Lowlands are not suitable for growing this crop, because in the spring time there is melted water and cold air for a long time, which has a disastrous effect on the plant.
Ground for growing pyracantha is suitable practically for anyone, but before planting a seedling, the site should be carefully prepared.
About 7 days before planting the plant they should thoroughly prepare the soil by digging the plot to a depth of 0.35 to 0.4 m and adding humus (5 to 8 kg per 1 square meter of soil). After that the plot surface should be smoothed out.
The planting hole should be a couple of times the volume of the plant's root system which is taken together with the root ball.
When creating a hedge, a distance of about 0.6-0.9 m should be maintained between bushes. The bottom of the prepared pit should be loosened, and then make a good drainage layer, you can use small gravel or coarse-grained river sand. After that, a stake should be placed approximately in the center of the hole by driving it into the soil so that it rises about 50 centimeters above the surface of the plot.
Around the support a mound of soil combined with humus should be poured.
The plant in the container should be abundantly watered, then it is carefully taken out of the container together with the clump of soil and placed on the mound in the hole. When the roots are neatly straightened, the pit should begin to gradually fill with soil, which should be tamped with your hands. Around the plant should be made a circular trench, in which 10-15 liters of water should be poured. Once the liquid has been absorbed and the soil has settled, the shrub must be tied to a pole, after which a layer of mulch (dry peat) must be placed in the root zone.
Garden care for pyracantha
Growing pyracantha in your garden is quite simple. The shrub should be provided with timely watering, weeding, fertilizing and loosening the surface of the root zone. In order to significantly reduce the number of weeding, watering and loosening the surface of the root circle is covered with a layer of mulch (organics). Remember this plant should always be pruned.
How to water
This plant is drought-resistant and therefore does not need systematic watering.
But if you have only recently planted the plant out in the open, you should water it regularly until it has taken root. The established shrubs should be watered only in hot dry periods, and it should be done no more often than once every 7 days. If the plant does not have enough water, its leaves become sluggish, and the shoots begin to turn yellow and become too soft. To avoid water spilling over the plot during irrigation, it should be poured into a previously prepared trench dug around the perimeter of the root zone. It should be considered that the deeper the soil is soaked with water during watering, the better.
When the shrub is watered, it is necessary to well loosen the surface of the root circle, and also remove all weeds.
Frequently feeding such a plant is not necessary. The first feeding is done at the beginning of the intensive growth of the bush, using a low-nitrogen compound fertilizer. The same fertilizing is done in the last summer weeks.
The shrub is transplanted in exactly the same way as the initial planting.
First you need to prepare a planting pit, which should be a couple of times the expected size of the root system taken together with the root ball. After that, the bush is extracted from the ground and placed in the prepared pit. Remember to water the transplanted plant regularly, often and abundantly, so that it quickly gets established in its new location.
This shrub needs systematic formative pruning. Pruning can be done throughout the season.
However, experienced gardeners recommend pruning the shrub the first time in mid-spring, the second time in mid-fall, and the last time in deep fall, almost in the first weeks of winter. It should be understood that pyracantha and sea buckthorn need to be grown and pruned differently, despite the fact that these plants have external similarities.
When the shrub blossoms in the spring time, it should be pruned as you see fit. Thus, if you wish, you can not cut out some of the inflorescences, after a while they will grow ornamental berries. When pruning, remember that the formation of fruits and flowers is observed only on those stems that are more than 1 year old.
The second pruning of the bush should be done in the middle of the autumn period, and all those stems and branches that overgrow the bush or shade the ripening apples, which start to rot, should be cut out. The last pruning of the season is carried out in deep autumn, and all unnecessary stems, branches and foliage should be cut out. During pruning at any time of the year the stems should not be shortened by more than 1/3 of their length.
If the shrub is already old, it will need rejuvenating pruning, for this the bush is shortened to 0.3 m relative to the site surface.
Remember to protect your hands with very thick gloves because the pyracantha has many thorns. This plant can be used to decorate the wall of a building by pointing the stems in the desired direction along the supports, making sure to fix them in place. In this case the shrub may not need any pruning at all.
Seeds or green cuttings can be used to propagate this plant. You can either sow pyracantha seeds in the winter or spring.
Before you start sowing seeds in the spring, they need to be stratified. But it should be taken into account that plants grown from seeds cannot retain the varietal characteristics of the parent plant.
The majority of gardeners prefer to propagate such a shrub vegetatively, more precisely, by cuttings or grafts. With this method of propagation, it will be possible to preserve the varietal characteristics of the parent plant. Propagate such a culture can be made by single-tree or green cuttings, the latter give roots much faster.
The preparation of cuttings is carried out in the spring during pruning. For this purpose, cuttings of branches that reach 15 to 20 centimeters in length are taken. From the lower part of the cuttings you need to remove all the leaf plates, then the lower cuttings should be immersed in a solution of a product that stimulates root growth. After that, they are planted under a slope in moistened sand, with the top of the container should be covered with a cap, which should always be transparent. Provide the cuttings regular ventilation and watering.
After about 20 days the cuttings should take root, but to finish growing them in greenhouse conditions will need for 12 months, and only with the advent of the next spring sprouts grown plants can be planted in open soil. To create a hedge, seedlings from cuttings in greenhouse conditions are grown for two years.
If you already have an adult shrub in the garden, it is easier to use grafts for its propagation. For this purpose, several powerful, absolutely healthy and low-growing stems should be selected in the spring time. The necessary number of furrows should be made under the plant, in which the selected shoots should then be placed, only their tops should rise above the surface of the soil.
Once the stems are secured in the furrows, they should be covered with nutritious soil. Throughout the season, the branches should be regularly watered and weeded, for the winter they should be covered with a layer of fallen leaves. With the onset of spring, the offshoots should be cut from the parent bush and transplanted to a new permanent place.
173. Beautiful pyracantha.
Planting by seed.
Few species of this plant are quite frost-resistant. Pyracantha narrow-leaved, for example, which is cultivated in the Moscow suburbs and Moscow, is able to overwinter in the open air. However, to protect plants from possible severe frosts and snowy winters, the surface of the root zone should be covered with a fairly thick layer of foliage. If the plant suffers frost damage during the winter and freezes to the root neck, the protected roots will remain intact and the shrub will recover fairly quickly in the spring, but be sure to cut out all damaged branches and stems during the first pruning.
Diseases and Pests
Piracantha has quite high resistance to diseases and pests. It is quite rare for aphids to settle on such a shrub. And most often this happens when the plant is too weak due to improper care or violation of the rules of agrotechnics. Immediately after aphids are found on the bush, it should be sprayed with an insecticide solution, it should not be postponed, because the insects multiply quickly and can settle on neighboring plants or infect pyracantha incurable disease.
Even such a culture is prone to infection by bacterial scald, which is considered an incurable disease.
In this regard, experienced gardeners recommend growing only varieties that are resistant to this disease. Still such a shrub can affect scab or phytophthora, and this also happens due to the fact that the plant is poorly cared for or do not comply with the rules of agrotechnics of this culture. The plant can be cured by using a fungicide such as Fundazole.
Products and varieties of pyracantha with photos and names
There are only two types of pyracantha cultivated in the middle latitudes.
Pyracantha angustifolia (Pyracantha angustifolia)
Native to Southwest China.
This evergreen shrub is about 400 cm tall, with thorns on the branches. The narrow leaf blades are about 50mm long, in obovate or oblong in shape, with a wedge-shaped base and acuminate apex. The upper part of the leaves may be serrated or smooth-edged. Young leaves have pubescence on their front surface. Mature leaves are bare, with light gray pubescence on their underside.
Shield-shaped inflorescences consist of white flowers, which reach 0.8 cm across. Globular slightly flattened fruits reach 0.8 cm across and are usually a deep orange. This species has a fairly high resistance to frost.
- Orange Glow. An erect shrub about 250 cm tall, its branches are relatively sparse. The foliage is colored green; if the winter months are warm, it remains on the bush. Such a shrub blooms in May. The rich orange fruits have a rounded shape.
- Golden Charmer. This variety is characterized by its rapid growth and arc-shaped stems. The height of the bush is about 300 cm. The plant blooms in May with dense, shield-shaped inflorescences consisting of white-colored flowers. The orange apples are about 10 mm in diameter.
It is tolerant of drought and city air pollution but can be frosty if frost sets in during the winter.
Bright Red Pyracantha (Pyracantha coccinea)
Native to southern Europe and Asia Minor, this species occurs in marges, glades and light woodland. The broad-branched shrub grows to a height of up to two meters, often with its lower stems stalking across the surface of the ground. The glossy, leathery leaf blades are about 40 mm long and elongated elliptical or lanceolate in shape. The leaves are dark green in spring and summer and deep red in fall.
Flowers are yellow-pink or white. Coral-red spherical apples reach 60 mm in cross-section. This plant is resistant to drought, but its frost resistance is relatively low, so when preparing for winter it should be covered with a compulsory. The fruits of such a shrub can be consumed as food, in any case, birds eat them with pleasure in the cold season. Popular varieties:
- Red Column.
This variety is quite popular with gardeners. The bush is about 300 cm tall. The flowers are small and colored white, they are part of an umbrella-shaped inflorescence. The rich red apples have a small size.
- Red Cushion.
This semi-evergreen shrub is about 200 cm tall. The stems are elastic and straight. The color of the fruit is bright red.
Also cultivated are such species as: piracanta scarlet and piracanta gorodata. However, they are grown in the middle latitudes only in domestic conditions as they have a very low frost tolerance.
Piracantha in landscape design
Piracantha is quite popular among gardeners because of its lush, long blossoms as well as its spectacular berries. Such a shrub is suitable for a hedge because it looks very effective and grows quite densely, and it also has thorns that will not let uninvited guests through. Even in the middle of winter, the fruits and leaves do not lose their rich color, in connection with this shrub is perfectly suitable for decorating various buildings and walls, but you need to remember that the shoots should be directed on the support and fix them, because they will not do this independently. Despite this, this culture is an ideal option for vertical gardening.
This shrub can be grown in small groups or as a single plant.
It is suitable for edgings, stony arrangements and as a background for mixed boarders. This plant has an unusual property, to remember the position relative to the support. So if the support is removed, the bush will retain its usual shape. Such a shrub is often used for forming bonsai, it looks very effective as a tree with several or one trunk or as a cascade..