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pyrocantha growth habit

Posted by miamimary (My Page) on
Sun, May 30, 10 at 22:15

I am helping my sister landscape her northern Kentucky (zone 6)yard. She is on a steep hill. Her front yard, which is north facing toward the Ohio river, is a parking pad and an eight foot decorative block retaining wall in rosy brown tones. It looks like a fortress - monolithic and imposing. I'd like to soften it with a cascading plant. My first choice would be pyrocantha with a orange-red berry in winter. Can it be trained to grow DOWNWARD? The pavement comes right up to the wall so no place to plant it at the base of the wall.

Climbing Hydrangia was suggested but is at best a second choice. It seems too delicate and out of character for this facade but it can be trained to grow downward. Any suggestions?


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RE: pyrocantha growth habit

Although pyrocantha could be trained to the growth habit you want, it will take alot of work to get it going and constant maintenance. If it is planted at the top of the wall, by the time the limb gets long enough to bend over and down the wall, it is going to be about 3/4 inch thick, which is going to take masonry eye-bolts and heavy wire to hold in place. And once you get it there, it is going to keep trying to grow back upwards, hence the constant work to keep it looking good.

Have you thought about Virginia Creeper or Boston Ivy. Both are native vines that have good fall color. The Virginia Creeper has a finer texture than the boston ivy. Some english ivy thrown in to provide winter green would be nice too. Because these are vines, they will be easier to train down the wall.

What you are trying to do with the firethorn is a form of espalier; you may want to look that up to see what is involed in making a plant defy it's natural growth habit.

Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: Boston Ivy-Wikipedia


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RE: pyrocantha growth habit

Cotoneaster dammeri will grow down a wall without training if planted along the top. Same family as Pyracantha (Rosaceae) evergreen with little white flowers and berries, though not as spectacular as Pyracantha.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cotoneaster dammeri


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RE: pyrocantha growth habit

yes, I would second cotoneaster.


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