Pyracantha Red Star - feature image

When a plant is put on sale, it needs to tick a lot of boxes. In fact, more boxes than you could ever imagine. The plant can’t just be a good garden plant. It also needs to be good in production and look good on the garden centre bench, where the competition can be fierce! There’s more than meets the eye, for sure.


Pyracantha Red Star


Pyracantha ‘Red Star’ is an incredible step-forward for Pyracantha, which has managed to break out of the shackles of disease. It’s also safer, offers strong garden presence, bright colours and an amazing ability to be used as a houseplant! Blimey!


How to grow Pyracantha ‘Red Star’:

Flowering time: June to July
Location: Borders, patio pots, wall covering
Soil: Any fertile, well-drained soil
Light: Sun or partial shade
Hardy: Survives down to -10C!
Care: Prune only lightly, avoid removing recent shoots, as plants bloom on 2nd year wood
Size: 3m (10′) high x 3m (10′) in spread


Pyracantha Red Star


How was Pyracantha ‘Red Star’ created?

Nurseryman Henk van der Sar is an active breeder of the Pyracantha family. Although overlooked in breeding programmes for many years, Pyracantha are the staple ingredient of most European gardens, where they are the perfect wall shrub. Often fashioned around front doors, they need to give a good show in every season.

They can be vicious though. So Henk’s breeding set out to select thornless varieties. Quite an unusual criteria to select for, Henk could do most of the assessment by eye, thankfully! In tandem, Henk also selected for strong bacteria resistance. Pyracantha have been dogged by fireblight for many years, and it even drove certain countries to ban their import.

For Henk to create this utopia of a Pyracantha, it took a neat 10 years.


Pyracantha Red Star


What’s different about this plant?

Pyracantha ‘Red Star’ is rather striking, to say the least. The vibrant berries persist on the plants for months on end, certainly past the Christmas Day milestone! But, don’t dismiss the flowers, they’re frothy and fragrant, attracting bees and butterflies in their droves. The foliage is also green and glossy, giving great garden presence.


Pyracantha Red Star


Where can you plant Pyracantha ‘Red Star’?

Happy trained against a wall, free-standing in the border, or as a patio pot specimen. It’s most at home in light shade, so can be the excellent solution for north-facing walls and such! Why not try it as a cool-room houseplant too?? That will certainly get the dinner party conversation going!


Pyracantha Red Star


Where can you buy Pyracantha ‘Red Star’ plants?

Plants will soon be available in garden centres across Europe.


Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe (with Concept Plants doing the same job in North America).

See every Plant of the Month here.

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