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Growing Cotoneaster

Growing Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster Hedge



Cotoneaster is a hardy deciduous shrubs with glossy, dark green leaves that turn bright red in fall. It produces small pink flowers in spring and attractive black fruit fed on by wild birds. It is excellent for hedges and also used for background and foundation plantings. Plants are hardy in zones 2 to 6. It can reach 10 to 12 feet tall, but can be pruned or shaped to keep plants more compact if desired.

How To Plant

Plant bare root Cotoneaster in spring 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost in a hole 12 to 18 inches wide and deep enough to easily fit the roots. Amend the soil with compost or other organic material and plant with the roots slightly deeper than when grown in the nursery.


For full sun to full shade, cotoneaster is very adaptable and tolerates poor soil, salt, and urban pollution. It grows best in well-drained soil. Plants respond very well to pruning and shaping.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Light feeders that benefit from occasional fertilization. Use low rates of ALGOplus All Purpose 6-6-6 liquid fertilizer, Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1, or Osmocote slow-release 14-14-14.

Common Problems

Cotoneaster is usually not troubled by major pest and disease problems. Fire blight and leaf spot diseases are sometimes problems. Mites and scale may feed on plants. If infected by fire blight, prune branches 8 to 12 inches below where symptoms are showing. Sterilize pruners after each cut with rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution.

Alternative Products

Other hardy shrubs used for hedges include dogwood, forsythia, and privet.

Product Recommendations

Use 70% neem oil can be to treat mite and scale problems.

Cotoneaster Facts

Cotoneaster is one of the most popular shrubs for hedges as it is very easy-to-grow and can be pruned and shaped to any desired height and form. 


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