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Pyracantha do get some diseases which can badly effect the plant if not treated at the first signs of the disease, the two most common diseases associated with Pyracantha are Fireblight and Pyracantha Scab.
Fireblight on Pyracantha
Fireblight is a systemic disease which is spread by aphids, bugs, birds and even the wind and rain so is easily spread and can quickly spread from plant to plant and is also commonly associated with apple and pears because it effects plants in the Rosaceae family. The disease normally effects open blossoms, new growth and leaves in the spring. The disease is easy to spot and effected leaves start to turn black and cracked as if it has been burnt by fire giving it its name Fireblight.
Treating Fireblight on Pyracantha
Spray plants with antibiotics streptomycin or terramycin to help prevent new infections to plants. Certain biological controls consisting of beneficial bacteria can also prevent fireblight from infecting new trees.
The only effective treatment for plants already infected is to prune off the affected branches and remove them from the area. Plants or trees should be inspected routinely for the appearance or new infections. The rest of the plant can be saved if the blighted wood is removed before the infection spreads to the roots.
To help prevent Fireblight there are varieties of Pyrcantha that are more resistant to Fireblight.
Pyracantha Scab is not a serous as Fireblight but is very unsightly, it effects the blossoms, berries start turn black and appear scabby, it also causes the Pyracantha to drop leaves and loss of flowers and the berries become miss figured. Pyrancantha is a fungal disease that us spread when fungal spores are spread to the plant by the wind, rain and by bugs and birds.
As with most fungal diseases prevention is better that cure, remove and effected branches that you prune off and clear all fallen leaves from around the plants and burn them in an incinerator. Some Pyracantha varieties such as The Saphyr® range and ‘Golden Charmer’, ‘Orange Charmer’ ‘Shawnee’ and ‘Teton’ are all claimed to show some resistance to pyracantha scab.
Chemical control of Pyracantha Scab
Westland Plant Rescue Fungus Control is the only fungicide which is labeled to control Pyracantha Scab all though products containing the chemical myclobutanil such as Bayer Garden Systhane Fungus Fighter and teh chemical triticonazole such as Scotts Fungus Clear Ultra have been approved for use on ornamental plants for control of rusts and powdery mildews. They would probably also give useful control of pyracantha scab, although this is not claimed by the manufacturers. The cheimical Myclobutanil as found in Bayer Garden Systhane Fungus Fighter which is available RTU or as a concentrate is approved for use by gardeners to control apple scab so should be effective on Pyracantha scab.
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