Cotoneaster, which has either deciduous or evergreen foliage, comes in all sizes ranging between 8 inches and 16 feet. Able to withstand temperatures up to -13 ° F, it adapts to all regions of France. Do not plant cotoneaster near houses as it attracts bees. The flowers appear in spring, while the fruits are formed in September and last until December. 

Cotoneaster adapts to all ground types but prefers humus-bearing soils. It enjoys a prominent place in the sun, but grows normally even in partial shade. All it fears is excessive moisture. It is thus necessary to have well-drained soil.

Planting cotoneaster 

If the cotoneaster is majestic when planted by itself, it can also be used to form a hedge provided that it is subjected to rigorous pruning. It can also be planted in rockeries, in flower beds or as ground cover. The key is to appropriately select the variety to grow. Cotoneaster franchetii, for example, behaves well as an isolated subject, while cotoneaster lacteus is ideal to form hedges and cotoneaster microphyllus thrives as ground cover.

The planting period extends over several months (between October and May). It is only necessary to avoid times of severe frosts. In nurseries, the young plant’s roots are often bare and protected by a plastic bag. It is therefore important to protect them with a coating treatment before planting. This method consists of dipping the cotoneaster’s roots in consistent mud for half an hour. Planting is simple: make a deep and wide enough hole, ensure that the bottom is very loose, place the seedling taking care to separate its roots and then fill the hole with the extracted soil. Add compost if the soil is depleted and water thoroughly.

During the summer following planting, ensure that the soil is always fresh. Set up mulch and water frequently while avoiding excess moisture. Pruning is carried out in the spring for evergreen varieties and in winter for deciduous ones. Its aim is to curb the shrub’s growth while shaping it according to the gardener’s desire. It is customary to cut the branches that spread out too much in order to make the cotoneaster denser. Use clippers or pruning shears for pruning, taking care to sanitize the blades to avoid spreading any diseases.

For beautiful cotoneaster plants 

The cotoneaster is not immune to insect pests like scale insects and aphids. These feed on the plant’s sap, weakening it to a point where it is vulnerable enough for opportunistic infections to occur easily, such as gall or other viral diseases. To remove these unwanted guests, resort to natural methods as much as possible: introducing beetles that are natural predators of aphids, spraying water used when cooking potatoes, spraying a water-pepper or water-tobacco mixture, etc.. As for scale insects, they also suck the cotoneaster’s sap by attaching themselves to the leaves and stems. They can be removed by using cotton soaked in vinegar or alcohol and then spraying the stems and leaves with soapy water. But the cotoneaster’s main threat is fire blight, which is caused by bacteria. It is made apparent by dry stems and leaves. In that case, the affected areas must be cut off and the soil must be amended with a good fertilizer.

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Published in Flowering shrubs by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011