Firethorn Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer'
Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer' is an ornamental shrub known for its vibrant display of golden-yellow berries and glossy green foliage. The leaves of this plant are small and oval-shaped with fine toothed margins, presenting a dense and lush appearance. In spring, 'Golden Charmer' bursts into bloom with clusters of small, white flowers that offer a stark contrast against the deep green leaves. As the seasons progress, these flowers give way to the plant's signature bright yellow berries, which cling in bunches along the branches, creating a striking visual effect that can attract various birds and wildlife. The stems of 'Golden Charmer' have sharp thorns which, along with the dense foliage, can make it an ideal choice for hedging or as a security feature in garden designs. With its year-round interest and colorful display of flowers and fruits, 'Golden Charmer' is a popular choice for adding vibrancy and texture to gardens and landscapes.
About this plant
Firethorn, Golden Charmer.
Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer'.
Firethorn, including the variety 'Golden Charmer', can be toxic if ingested. While the plant is primarily grown for its ornamental value, its berries and other parts contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can produce cyanide when digested. Symptoms of firethorn poisoning can include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases, though rare, may result in more serious symptoms like difficulty breathing and shock. It is important to avoid ingesting any part of the firethorn plant, especially the berries, to prevent the possibility of poisoning.
Firethorn is also toxic to pets if ingested. Similar to its effects in humans, the berries, leaves, and other parts contain cyanogenic glycosides that can lead to the formation of cyanide in the body. Symptoms of firethorn poisoning in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and lethargy. In severe cases, ingestion can result in more serious symptoms such as seizures, coma, or even death. Pet owners should prevent their pets from consuming any part of the firethorn plant to avoid the risk of toxicity.
Color of leaves
6-9 feet (1.8-2.7 meters)
6-9 feet (1.8-2.7 meters)
- General Benefits
- Year-round interest: Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer' offers visual appeal throughout the seasons with evergreen foliage, white flowers in the spring, and golden berries in autumn and winter.
- Wildlife habitat: The dense growth provides shelter for birds, while the berries attract a variety of wildlife, including birds and small mammals.
- Landscape versatility: This shrub can be used in a variety of landscaping applications, including hedges, screens, espalier, or as a focal point in garden beds.
- Drought tolerance: Once established, it is quite drought-tolerant, making it suitable for xeriscaping and for gardeners in areas with water restrictions.
- Low maintenance: Besides occasional pruning to shape the plant or control its size, Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer' requires minimal care.
- Erosion control: Its extensive root system can help stabilize slopes and prevent soil erosion.
- Privacy screen: When planted in rows, it forms a dense barrier that can enhance privacy and reduce noise pollution.
- Security feature: The thorns on the branches can act as a deterrent against intruders when planted along property boundaries or beneath windows.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Barrier Hedging: Due to its dense and thorny nature, Pyracantha can be used to create impenetrable hedge barriers for property lines and to deter unwanted wildlife or intruders.
- Topiary or Bonsai: With careful pruning, Pyracantha can be trained into various shapes and is suitable for topiary or as a bonsai, offering a unique aesthetic to gardens and indoor spaces.
- Wildlife Shelter: The dense branches and foliage of Pyracantha provide excellent shelter and nesting opportunities for birds and other small wildlife.
- Winter Garden Interest: Pyracantha's vibrant berries add a splash of color to winter gardens when most other plants are dormant.
- Erosion Control: Pyracantha can be planted on slopes to help stabilize soil and prevent erosion thanks to its extensive root system.
- Privacy screens: When grown as tall hedges, they can provide privacy in suburban gardens.
- Landscape Focal Point: With its bright orange to red berries and attractive flowers, Pyracantha can serve as a focal point in landscape design.
- Festive Decor: Clippings of Pyracantha with bright berries can be used in floral arrangements or holiday wreaths for a natural, festive touch.
- Photography Backdrop: The attractive berries and flowers serve as a beautiful backdrop for photography, especially during the fall season.
- Sound Barrier: The thick growth of Pyracantha hedges can help reduce noise pollution in urban areas.
- Feng Shui
The Firethorn is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Firethorn is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Protection: Pyracantha, commonly known as Firethorn, has sharp thorns which are often seen as a symbol of protection against unwanted visitors and negative energies.
- Persistence and Vitality: The hardy nature of Firethorn, and its ability to thrive in various conditions, signifies resilience and the vitality to persist through hardships.
- Prosperity and Abundance: With its abundant berries, Firethorn can represent a bountiful harvest, symbolizing prosperity and the richness of life.
- Good Fortune: The bright berries of Firethorn are sometimes associated with attracting good fortune and positive outcomes.
Firethorn plants, like Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer', generally require moderate watering. During the growing season in spring and summer, watering should be done weekly with about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water per plant, ensuring the soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged. Adjust the frequency during hot or dry weather, as the plants may need additional water to prevent stress. In the fall and winter, reduce watering to every two weeks or less, depending on rainfall and soil moisture levels. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it is important to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
The ideal lighting condition for Firethorn, including Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer', is full sun to partial shade. Position the plant in a location where it will receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and berry production. It can tolerate some light shade, but too much shade may reduce flowering and berry yield.
Firethorn, such as Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer', thrives in a wide range of temperatures. It is hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9, able to withstand minimum temperatures of -10°F to 0°F and can handle maximum temperatures well into the 100s°F. The ideal temperatures for growth are between 60°F and 85°F, but the plant will survive temperature fluctuations beyond this range.
Pruning Firethorn, like Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer', is important to maintain shape, remove dead or diseased wood, and encourage berry production. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth starts, cutting back overgrown branches and shaping the plant. Thinning out crowded branches promotes air circulation and reduces disease risk. Pruning can be done annually or as needed to keep the plant tidy and healthy.
Firethorn ‘Golden Charmer' thrives in well-draining soil enriched with organic matter. A mix containing loamy or sandy loam soil with added compost or peat moss would be ideal. Maintaining a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0 and 7.0 is best for the health and growth of this plant.
Firethorn ‘Golden Charmer’ does not require frequent repotting; it can often be left for several years. Generally, repotting every 3-4 years, or when it outgrows its current container, helps to maintain its health and vigor.
- Humidity & Misting
Firethorn ‘Golden Charmer’ is adaptable to a wide range of humidity levels but does best in moderate humidity. Typical outdoor humidity is usually sufficient, and there is no need for additional humidity control for this plant when grown outdoors.
- Suitable locations
Ensure bright light and cool temps for Firethorn indoors.
Plant in full sun to partial shade; well-draining soil.
- Life cycle
Firethorn 'Golden Charmer' starts its life cycle from seeds or cuttings, which upon germination or rooting, begin to develop into young plants with small, oval leaves. As the plant matures, it forms a woody shrub with long thorns and dense foliage. During the growth stage, it experiences vegetative growth and branch development. In late spring to early summer, it blossoms, producing clusters of delicate white flowers, which are key to its pollination and subsequent fruit production. Following flowering, the plant forms bright yellow to orange berries that mature in the fall and persist into winter, offering food for birds. Over time, the firethorn may become leggy and require pruning to rejuvenate its growth and maintain a desirable shape; this marks the renewal phase of its life cycle.
The most popular method to propagate Pyracantha 'Golden Charmer', commonly known as Firethorn, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This technique is best done in late summer. Cut a 6 to 8-inch (15 to 20 cm) stem from the current year's growth, ensuring at least two or three sets of leaves are present on the cutting. Strip the lower leaves to expose the nodes and dip the cutting base into a rooting hormone to enhance root development. Plant the treated cutting in a mixture of half peat and half perlite, ensuring good contact with the soil. Then, keep it moist and cover it with a plastic bag or place it in a propagator to maintain humidity until roots develop, which can take several weeks. Once rooted, cuttings can be potted up individually and gradually acclimatized to outdoor conditions before planting out in their final location.