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Wall pyracantha

joe.shimminjoe.shimmin Posts: 214
I would like to grow this pyracantha up my wall so that it is about a foot thick and up against the wall. However, the branches seem to want to grow outwards mostly. What should I do?
I thought about cutting them back but worry that that might encourage more growth. So I could cut the sides back and hope that helps? Or do I need to put in wires and train the shoots that are coming out to the front by bending them so they go to the sides? Any advice would be appreciated. 


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,457
    Personally l would cut back the outward growing shoots as far back as you need to, and keep tidying them back until the Autumn.
    The same with ones growing above the window ledge. In my experience this encourages the plant to grow the way you want it to, but you do have to keep an eye on it and obviously if you cut back the whole thing too far you risk losing the berries.
    I don't use wires on the pyracantha shrubs that l have against walls in the front garden, but others may do.
    This is just my personal experience, others may say differently   :)
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    I agree with @AnniD Personally I would add wires to train the side branches to grow horizontally. These will then produce their own side shoots growing both updwards and downwards. Now is a key growing time for Pyracantha, so I wouldn't delay pruning the outwards shoots, and the ones growing above window frame level.

    Here's a lovely photo from York Gate Garden in Leeds, to show you what can be achieved with Pyracantha, although I appreciate this isn't what you are trying to do.

  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    edited April 2022
    Yes, cut the forward growing shoots back hard, and the top. You may find that the strongest growth comes at the top, so keep a close eye on that and have the top at least a brick depth from your window sill.

    This one is 8 ft high, and 2 ft deep. It was a gawky, sprawling scab-ridden thing when we came here thirty years ago, barely flowered, so we trained it like this. It's been cut back very hard once since, to reduce the depth, and needs doing again really. It was tied to the wall somehow, I can't remember how, and if I sense a wobble on it I tie it back to the wall. There's a gap between the top and the guttering.

    With hindsight I wish we'd replaced it with something else as it is cruelly thorny to work on, but the birds like to nest in it. Pied wagtails once nested on the top, but it's usually blackbirds or dunnocks. The dead leaves seem to stay underneath it forever so every so often I remove them (cyclamen hederifolium grow at the foot, and smaller- growing geraniums. )

    The new growth at the top grows thicker so I use secateurs to do that (ouch!) and hedge trimmer on the rest.

    It needs trimming three times a year. Not my favourite job! 

    If you are only letting it grow below window sill height then I doubt you'd need wires. The branches become quite rigid and it should be fine.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,387
    I'm finding my pyracantha in a big pot on a south facing terrace loses all it's leaves so looks tatty. I'm surmising I don't water it enough and it's too hot there but also  now wonder if they might not be suitable for growing in a pot? I've got it tied in to a trellis on the wall and as others advise, I prune any outward facing branches right off.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    edited April 2022
    It could be a water issue @Lizzie27. The one in my photo although growing at the base of a wall will never be short of water, as it's an old stone barn and the roots will be down among the damp cold stones. Also it's the lowest part of the garden, and the soil is moisture retentive.
    Maybe keep an eye on the watering this season and see how it does?

    I wonder if putting more pots in front of it, if there's enough space, might keep the roots a bit cooler in summer?
  • joe.shimminjoe.shimmin Posts: 214
    Thanks for your help. I’ve got two of them and have cut them both back as suggested. They now look like this:
    Number 1:

    Number 2:

    I’ll take a bit more off the top of this one.

    I’m going for the sort of thing that you have Woodgreen - that looks amazing! And I love the example from York Gate garden but I’m going simpler than that.
    Thanks again.
  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    Just two things, @joe.shimmin.
    Do you need access to those cables going through the wall? It might be best to try to protect them with some sort of trunking in case the pyracantha stems get behind them. Think about how you'd replace them if necessary. The thickening branches might damage them.
    Also, as it looks as though the other shrub is going to grow higher, I would suggest some vine eyes and wires. Good stout vine eyes, so that you can tie the odd branch to the eyes themselves if need be.

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