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Pyracantha 'Orange Glow' - how to prune and train to trellis

LucidLucid Posts: 385
Hi everyone,

I've got a Pyracantha 'Orange Glow' that was planted in a North facing bed almost 4 years ago. It had a very slow start but over the last couple of years it's really taken off. I hadn't wanted to train it as wanted it to form a large shrub clump so that birds could safely nest in there, and I haven't pruned it so far. However, last year it shot up in height but from one central stem only and in the Spring this year the stem was leaning over. So we've tied it to the trellis for the moment. There is a tiny bit of lower growth that has spread to the left side, but everything else seems to be focused around the tall centre. I'm now wondering if I should be tying it in and pruning any of it to help with a shape. Does anyone have any suggestions? Ideally I'd like it to widen out if it can. If the advice is to train it is there a particular way to do so?

Here are some photos of how it looks now:

Thanks for any help and advice. Lucid :)


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,621
    That's a lot of lovely flowers. After it has finished flowering, see if you can tie any branches right and left on the trellis. Cut a foot off (or trim to the top of the trellis) the main stem. Prune out any branches that stick right out at the front and repeat this every time you see a twig growing in front. Keep tying the side branches to the trellis as they grow - it's easier to do this when they are young and pliable as they get very stiff and tough quite quickly.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • LucidLucid Posts: 385
    Thanks so much for your reply @Lizzie27. Yes I'm really pleased with how the flowers have come out this year and the bees are definitely enjoying them. We will try our best to tie in and prune following your advice. Hopefully next year it'll be looking a bit tidier!
  • Hello, Lucid,
    Pyracantha is a super plant for wildlife. Spring for nesting and safety from predators for the birds, early summer for the flowers which the bees love and food for the birds in Winter.
    However, do take care when pruning, the flowers form on the growth made the previous season. I've made the mistake of being rather reckless with my secateurs in the past when tidying up my Pyracantha, and regretting it the following year when there haven't been many flowers to turn into berries.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • LucidLucid Posts: 385
    Thanks for your reply @yorkshirerose. Just out of interest, is your pyracantha trained to a fence/trellis? I think we're going to have to go that route but I'd read that if you wanted it for birds to nest in, it's better left untrained. However I'm not sure if ours could be left on its own now as it was leaning over a lot. Was just curious if trained pyracanthas would still offer good enough cover for birds?

    Lucid :)
  • My Pyracantha is trained against a fence and I currently have  a nest of sparrows in it, I can hear the chicks cheeping. There is quite enough coverage for them to be safe from predators.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • LucidLucid Posts: 385
    @yorkshirerose - that sounds great. I will have to hope I can train mine as well as yours then as would love to have birds sheltering in there, and nesting would be a bonus.

    Lucid :)
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