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  Pyracantha shrub need pruning
Pyracantha, needs pruning

Pyracantha

Pyracantha or Firethorn is a fast growing evergreen shrub that does very well in the desert Southwest.

There are spreading and upright varieties, both require regular pruning or their growth will get out-of-hand. The photo on the side is a pyracantha with about three or four weeks of new growth.

Pyracantha requires full sun and low watering, once established.

The plant blooms in the spring and flowers are small and white, followed by masses of red or orange berries, depending on the variety. These berries are very attractive to birds and fox.

We maintained one landscape where a fox would come every night and eat the berries.

Pyracantha does not fair well when the winter temps get below zero, but if the top freezes it will usually come back from the roots. Watering in the winter will help protect the plant from freeze-back.

Most of the Pyracantha in Las Cruces, NM froze in February of 2011, mainly because of lack of sufficient water. The top photo was taken in Las Cruces in July of 2011 and this is not a plant that came back from the roots only a few months ago. Don't turn the water off in November and leave it off till March!

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Pyracantha leaves and green berries
Pyracantha, leaves and green berries
Pyracantha with freeze damage
Pyracantha, with freeze damage
     

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