Cotoneaster an ornamental shrub with red fruits for your garden
Cotoneaster is a hardy ornamental shrub native to China and forms small red, purple or black fruits that are preserved on the plant during the autumn and winter. Usually we plant the Cotoneaster to create a fence due to its lateral growth, as most species of Cotoneaster do not lose their foliage when winter comes. It can be planted as an individual plant in our garden while some low-growing species are planted even for ground cover, both in rock gardens and on sloping soils.
A good time to plant Cotoneaster is in spring and early autumn. The Cotoneaster belongs to the same family as the rose and the thistle. It blooms during the summer, forming flowers in shades from white to pink that are an attraction for bees. Also, the fruits of most Cotoneaster species, in addition to their ornamental value, are valuable food for the birds during the winter months. Let’s see in detail what species of Cotoneaster there are, along with useful tips for planting and caring for it to enjoy the vibrant vegetation and rich fruitfulness in our garden.
Under what conditions does the Cotoneaster thrive?
The Cotoneaster grows best in places that have enough sunshine. It can thrive in partial shade, but it will show less flowering and fruiting. It is very resistant to winter frosts, although strong north winds can damage its foliage. Shows relative resistance to high summer temperatures and drought. We can plant Cotoneaster in most types of soils, although it shows better growth in fertile sandy soils that show good water drainage. To make a fence with a Cotoneaster tree, we plant at distances of 1-2 meters, depending on the growth of each species of Cotoneaster tree.
Can we plant the Cotoneaster in a pot?
Although it is not very common, the Cotoneaster can be planted in a pot, as long as we choose a place with south or west orientation in our yard, on the terrace or on the balcony. We will need a pot with a large diameter and height, at least 40 cm in order for the Cotoneaster plant and perlite soil to grow satisfactorily to remove the excess water during watering.
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How often does the Cotoneaster need watering?
Although Cotoneaster has moderate requirements for watering and water, the new Cotoneaster plants we transplant in our garden need frequent watering to quickly grow their root system and rich foliage. For plants that are relatively large, we water once a week, in the spring and autumn period, while in the summer months we definitely water twice a week. In any case, be careful not to leave the soil of the Cotoneaster for a long time, especially in dry conditions.
What fertilizer do we put in the Cotoneaster?
The Cotoneaster has moderate requirements for fertilizer to show satisfactory vegetation and fruiting. Usually, we add complete granular fertilizer that nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, every year, in early spring, ie the period of rapid growth of the plant, and in the autumn when the fruits of the Cotoneaster begin to form.
What diseases and which insects affect the Cotoneaster?
During the summer, especially in conditions of dense planting and poor ventilation, the Cotoneaster is infested by the insect of meligra and cotton (pseudococcus). To deal with them, we spray with organic insecticides that we supply from agricultural stores such as summer pulp, potassium salts and natural pyrethrin. In some cases, during the spring, burns may appear on the Cotoneaster foliage due to bacterial blight. To prevent the disease preventively, we take care to remove the leaves that fall during the winter period and spray with a copper preparation in early spring.
When and how do we prune the Cotoneaster?
The Cotoneaster is pruned every year at the end of winter or the beginning of spring as soon as the last frosts have passed. With the pruning we remove old and dry branches, especially from the inside of the quince, in order to achieve better ventilation of the plant and at the same time we maintain the shape and form of the plant.
And a secret for the Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster can be used as a Christmas plant, as we can cut some twigs with its impressive red fruits for the festive Christmas decoration.