Home gardener’s guide to cotoneaster

Home gardener's guide to cotoneaster

The contoneaster comes in handy when you need to cover dry, sunny areas. Here is the information and some advice from home gardeners on growing the cotoneaster.

Where to grow cotoneaster

Cotoneaster will cover a dry, sloping or otherwise difficult spot in sun. These sprawling shrubs come in various sizes and shapes, from large, fountain-shaped bushes to ground covers. Here are other facts you may not have known:

  • Most provide interest over several seasons, with tiny white or pink flowers in spring, dense foliage in summer, bright leaf colour in fall and berries that last into winter.
  • Where winters are mild, some species are reliably evergreen.
  • All cotoneasters have small leaves and leggy branches.
  • They are best grown in masses of three or more, so that they form a thicket of stems and foliage.
  • They thrive in awkward, hard-to-reach places, as cotoneasters require no pruning and are drought tolerant once established.
  • Tough cotoneasters can survive winter cold, although heat tolerance varies with the species.

Steps to growing cotoneaster

  • Cotoneasters transplant best when set out in spring.
  • Space plants almost as far apart as they are expected to spread.
  • Apply mulch between them to suppress weeds for two full seasons, the usual time it takes for plants to grow into a tight mat.
  • On slopes, spread landscaping fabric over the site, cut holes in it for each plant and cover the fabric around the plants with a thick blanket of mulch.
  • Fertilize established cotoneasters growing in poor soil with a balanced, controlled-release fertilizer in spring.
  • Pruning is done only to rejuvenate overgrown plantings.
  • elderly cotoneasters will rebound with vigorous new growth in a single season when sheared back to five centimetre (two inch) stubs in late winter.
  • Sap-sucking spider mites occasionally make leaves appear pale. Knock pests off plants with a strong stream of water from a hose or apply insecticidal soap as directed on the label.

Fundamental Facts

The hardy cotoneaster spreads and covers large areas with very minimal fuss, making it a prized plant for those hard to reach places in your garden

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