How to Trim a Pyracantha Shrub


Pyracantha, a genus of evergreen shrubs in the rose family, is commonly called firethorn. Many gardeners appreciate this plant's versatility, as it can be grown as bonsia, as thick, thorny hedging, trained as an espalier or placed in the garden as an ornamental shrub. Pyracantha shrubs prefer full sun, but will grow in partial shade. It flowers in late spring and red berries appear in late summer. Pyracantha produces thick thorns on its branches, and puncture wounds cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Pyracanthas, when grown as shrubs, require very little pruning. Prune the shrub in late winter.

Step 1

Don protective clothing and leather gloves.

Step 2

Cut off any diseased or dead branches. A shrub infected with pyrancantha scab will have black scabs on the leaves and berries and should be removed and destroyed.

Step 3

Prune any branches that have overgrown the shape you desire for your shrub. Pyracantha blooms on old wood (wood produced last season), so save as much old wood as possible. Cut the branches back to where they meet another branch or the main stem.

Step 4

Rake the planting bed to remove any leaves, branches or twigs.

Step 5

Water the pyracantha shrub, with the amount of water you use for regular watering, after pruning.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers
  • Hedge trimmers
  • Rake


  • Royal Horticultural Society: Pyracantha
  • ‭"‬Landscape Management:‭ ‬Planting and Maintenance of Trees,‭ ‬Shrubs and Turfgrass‭"; ‬James R.‭ ‬Feucht and Jack D.‭ ‬Butler‭; ‬1988
Keywords: trim pyracantha shrub, prune pyracantha shrub, shape pyracantha bush

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.