Why is my pyracantha losing its leaves?

Why is my pyracantha losing its leaves?

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Your pyracantha may be losing its leaves due to something you’re doing or to something in the natural world. Perhaps you’re under-watering it, or maybe some bugs have moved in. You need to do a bit of detective work to figure out the problem and to put things right. The most common cause is usually a water issue, not enough or too much, then you have diseases such as pyracantha scab that attack the flower’s leaves and stem, causing the leaves to drop. Then you have pests such as leaf miners, and of course, they can lose leaves after repotting/replanting too. Read on to learn more about each of these issues and how to overcome them.

Over-watering or under-watering

Once they’re fully established, pyracantha doesn’t need much watering, just every 10 days or so during dry periods of drought and regularly for newly planted plants.

Both under and over-watering your plant results in the leaves turning yellow as they don’t receive much water. The pyracantha then often loses its leaves, with them sometimes turning brown first. The first signs of this is usually yellowing leaves, wilting or drooping leaves.

What to do

Rethink your watering schedule for your pyracantha. Check that the excess water is draining away from the soil at the bottom of the plant. Having the plant become water-logged will surely turn the leaves yellow, and then they’ll fall off. if your plant is suffering from not enough water, also consider putting a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture in the soil.


Pyracantha pests and diseases
Pyracantha scab

Both fireblight and pyracantha scab are diseases that affect the leaves of your plant. Fireblight turns the leaves black and then they crack.  Pyracantha scab is not as serious but does cause the leaves to drop so this is a much more likely cause.

What to do

For more information on these diseases and what to do about them, read Pyracantha pests and diseases. The short answer to this is to prune out affected branches but be sure to check out my guide on how to prune pyracantha, so you don’t remove the growth for next year’s flowers and berries.


Pyracantha leaf miner
Pyracantha leaf miner

Only a few pests hang around pyracantha plants and eat their leaves or at least cause them to fall into serious infestations. Pyracantha leaf-mining moths burrow into the leaves as caterpillars and mine the sap. Woolly aphids also suck the sap from the leaves and other parts of the plant.

What to do

Read the pests section of Pyracantha pests and diseases to see if your plant has either of these two bugs, and follow the instructions on how to get rid of them. They’re easy enough to treat.

Transplant shock

Pyracantha can loose some leaves when planted or repotted
Pyracantha can lose some leaves when planted or repotted

If you’ve just planted your pyracantha in your garden, it may be experiencing transplant shock. This is where it’s getting used to a new environment. All its energy is going into strengthening its root system in order to support the plant. the main sign of transplant shock is the pyracantha losing its leaves as they’re not receiving enough water and nutrients to survive.

What to do

Nothing. Just care for your pyracantha in the best possible way as laid out in Growing and caring for pyracantha. Give it time, and the plant will rebound.

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