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Pyracantha in poor health - solution required


Last autumn I purchased two established pyracanthas to grow up trellises at the front of my house.

I bought from an online nursery. One arrived in excellent condition, the other in average/poor.

One appears to be nearly dead and the other on its way. 

They are against an East facing wall and planted in multi purpose compost with a little blood, fish and bone and slow release feed.

They have been relatively well watered and the pots are well drained.

Any ideas on what they are suffering from and what can be done to hopefully salvage them?

I live in Leeds, Yorkshire so relatively standard UK temperatures etc.

Thanks in advance



  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 670
    Is it fireblight?

    Here is a link to the RHS page which gives more information on identifying it and some advice on controlling it.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,545
    I'm wondering whether the one on the right has caught more wind perhaps? It does look very dead I'm afraid.  I would be inclined to email photos to the online nursery and ask politely for a replacement.  If it's any consolation, I also struggle to keep my pyracantha alive and healthy in a larger pot than yours, but on a south facing terrace - perhaps they are not so easy to grow as anticipated.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    I think it is ambitious to grow Pyracantha in containers. Short term maybe, but long term they will be very hard to maintain. They also need to be planted in loam-base compost. 

    Mature size shrubs can be expensive but also risky purchases. They may have been grown in a cosseted environment and possibly pot bound for a long time, hence their appearance when you got them. Then they have been placed by an exposed east facing aspect.

    Could be a combination of those things. I would plant them in the ground somewhere else and prune out the dead looking bits.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,297
    It is a very small space in which to want a flourishing Pyracantha. They are more often recommended as burglar repellents than for welcoming guests!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,290
    I agree with all the comments above. I would also add that multi-purpose compost isn’t suitable for long term container plants, especially shrubs. 
    I would use a mix of 4parts John Innes No 3 loam-based compost and one part grit and ensure that the containers are raised up on pot feet or similar to ensure good drainage. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,545
    I was only attracted to one because a friend had one in a pot for years, extremely healthy, with glossy green leaves and covered with beautiful orange berries. I wanted something evergreen to fit a 6ft + gap between two French doors on our terrace and yes, I always use J.I. No.3 with added grit for shrubs in pots. 
  • Novice23Novice23 East SussexPosts: 182
    I have two Pyracanthas both of which are in beds, but they seem to need huge amounts of water.   I cut out any dead wood each spring, give them a feed and water them regularly, even though they were already in the garden when we bought the bungalow ten years ago.   Not sure if that is any help at all.....
  • KirstyB2KirstyB2 Posts: 43
    Can’t help, but I have had the same thing happen. Had a relatively new pyracantha in a decent sized trough for about 4 years, selected for security reasons, and from late last year branches of it turned brown. It’s gone now.  Other plants in the same trough are OK.
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