En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Eradicating non-native pyracantha bushes in California

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Tuesday - August 26, 2008

From: Fairfield, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Eradicating non-native pyracantha bushes in California
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We removed several pyracantha bushes but they keep coming up in other parts of the garden. How do we kill the shoots? Thank you for any help

ANSWER:

Pyracantha coccinea, also called Scarlet Firethorn, is a native of Southern Europe to the Caucasus Mountains in western Asia. Since at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the use and protection of plants native to North America, we do not have this plant in our Native Plant Database. However, we can usually find some websites that will help.

In this case, we have had personal experience with Pyracantha. The common name Scarlet Firethorn is certainly appropriate. More than once, in trying to prune or shape or destroy the plants, we got stabbed with those ferocious thorns. Not only did they hurt like anything, but they appeared to have some sort of venom on their tips that really burned. And when it came time to take them out, that was a problem, too. In fact, years later, preparing a flower bed in the same area, we came across big roots from the pyracantha. Since it propagates by berries, and the berries are usually prolific, and birds like the berries and bring some more in to plant in your yard, the shoots do keep popping up. There really is no quick and easy solution. If you spray them with an herbicide, you risk harming other plants more valuable to you. The first order of business is to rake up and destroy any berries you find, before they can sprout or before a bird can plant them for you. Second, just keep pulling the sprouts out. Other people in your neighborhood probably have the pyracantha bushes, too, so you'll just have to be vigilant.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Gardening in Bahrain
June 07, 2011 - Hey, I'm living in Bahrain where the climate is really hot and the soil is kinda very salty. I've got my mango tree in the ground already, transferred it 2 months ago from the pot. I've noticed the...
view the full question and answer

Rose care for Austin
August 18, 2013 - I am a transplant from the Pacific NW and need to relearn rose care for Austin. When is the best time to cut back the roses, or do I even bother? I also need to find out how far back I can trimming a...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow from Hazlet NJ
July 03, 2013 - Leaves turning yellow on weeping willow planted in May. What causes this and how can I fix it? Mother's Day gift after SANDY uprooted huge tree.
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native aloe in Seguin TX
March 17, 2009 - I would love to grow aloe plants; both because I like the look of them and for their medicinal properties. Here in Texas people grow them both indoors and out. For some reason, I have not had any l...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native, invasive Japanese Privet from Peoria AZ
July 31, 2013 - I have Japanese Privit bushes. one out of 6 has started to grow very small leaves and does not look healthy. Moon Valley told me shortage of zinc, but that has not helped in 3 months. What can I ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center