Everything You Need to Know About the Cotoneaster Bush

Everything You Need to Know About the Cotoneaster Bush

Everything You Need to Know About the Cotoneaster Bush Header

Robust, dense flowering shrubs with bird-friendly berries, the Cotoneaster delivers a world of value and landscape beauty! Including upright and low-growing forms, Cotoneaster makes an excellent option for flowering, bird-friendly berries, and fall color!

You’ll find a striking variety of Cotoneaster bushes at Nature Hills Nursery! But you may have never heard of this unsung and grossly underutilized shrub before and Nature Hills is here to change that!

Make Your Garden Sing With Cotoneasters

You'll hear the Cotoneaster name pronounced "Cotton Easter" but the botanical name is typically pronounced "Koh-Toe’-Knee-Aster". This wide-ranging family of approximately 90 species is a genus of flowering plants in the Rose family.

Cotoneaster Pronunciation

Native to the mountains of southwestern China and the Himalayas, Cotoneasters are related to Hawthorns, Firethorns, Photinias, and Rowans, and resemble Quince shrubs!

There are evergreen, semi-evergreen, and deciduous varieties of Cotoneaster and the family is incredibly rugged - making them a marvelous addition to low-maintenance gardens. 

Cotoneaster shrubs feature glossy green, fine-textured leaves growing along herringbone-patterned branches.

They grow into wonderfully organic forms with cascading, arching, branches that seem to tumble over each other in a curious manner. The perfect foil for the cute spring blooms, and beautiful ornamental berries!

Using Cotoneaster In Your Landscape

These Eurasian natives can be safely grown in most parts of the continental United States. With forms from creepers to trees, charming Cotoneaster offers plenty of interest year-round! Cotoneaster are low-maintenance, sculptural shrubs that bring their wonderfully rounded, arched form as facer plants along the base of hedges and your home's foundation plantings!

Cotoneaster bushes are commonly used in areas where soils are tough and irregular. They are planted on steep embankments to hold soils that tend to wash out from heavy rains, are often used as erosion control on hillsides, filling in hard-to-mow slopes, and as a tough yet showy groundcover plant to fill in the bare ground as living mulch and glorious garden filler!

Emerald Beauty CotoneasterLow growers like the broadleaved evergreen Emerald Beauty™ Cotoneaster grow just 18 - 24 inches tall yet spread 3 - 4 feet wide, or the Coral Beauty Cotoneaster that can handle up to USDA growing zone 10 heat and humidity with ease!

Top retaining walls or let ramble along the edges of your garden pathways and sunny walkways without needing much maintenance to keep them looking spiffy!

But the family also includes tall privacy shrubs like the Hedge Cotoneaster which has a fiery fall color, and high-performance beauty that looks great all season long! Also known as the Peking Cotoneaster, this cold-hardy shrub creates structure and adds privacy, along with spring bloom, lustrous summer leaves, incredible fall color, and blue-black berries. Growing tall and wide to become gorgeous screening, garden backdrops, and property definition - all growing season long!

Why not include them in a lawn planting bed for ornamental spring blooms, showy berries, and fall color? You’ll actually be looking forward to the fall hues of the First Editions® Autumn Inferno® Cotoneaster!

Tom Thumb Creeping CotoneasterUse one as a specimen in containers or in the ground. The Tom Thumb Cotoneaster bush is a very popular natural dwarf. Keep them in containers or Rock Gardens, or fill bare ground with their vibrant fall foliage.

Or keep a mass planting to showcase their lyrical branch structure. Turn a bare sunny area into a bold garden feature en masse! Try these fast-growing groundcover plants in staggered rows for a fast fill!

Cotoneaster Blooms Support Butterflies and Pollinators

In spring, gracefully arching branches bloom with tiny white to rose-pink flowers. While sweet to look at, the true value lies in their nectar!

Butterflies will visit your plants, and the single, five-petal flowers will be richly appreciated by the honeybees in your area. Cotoneaster provides nectar and shelter for many beneficial insects within the petite, lustrous, smooth leaves.

Cotoneaster’s Nutritious Berries Feed Birds

Cranberry CotoneasterRoutinely listed as a bird-friendly option, Cotoneaster shrub branches are laden with berries that attract Cedar Waxwings and Robins. Wildlife loves the fruit produced by these plants, which are technically called pomes - just like tiny round apples!

Depending on what part of the country you live in, Cotoneaster may be a favorite treat for your local bird populations. This is especially true in late winter when food is scarce.

They also provide cover for smaller species and smaller birds, like Goldfinches. Keep a feeder nearby to offer convenient access. The glorious Cranberry Cotoneaster is a bird-friendly choice with outrageous color. The birds snap up the lively red berries for their supper in the early autumn and lasting through late winter.

Planting and Care Tips for Cotoneaster

Study the Plant Highlights on every product page to get the details on individual Cotoneaster plants for sale. You'll want to give them their preferred sun exposure and well-drained soil to achieve great results.

Nature Hills Nursery sells tough, easy-care shrub-form Cotoneasters for both full sun and partial shade locations. There might not be an easier hedge to establish and maintain! These workhorses are tough and need little care once they are established in your landscape.

Cotoneaster Benefits

The Cotoneaster tends to be deer and rabbit-resistant, and drought-tolerant after their root systems are established in your soil. They grow fast, becoming a valuable landscape asset that is loaded with charm.

  • Dig your planting hole twice as wide as the root system, but no deeper. Cotoneaster shrubs require well-drained soil and will not appreciate being buried too deeply.
  • For mass plantings, stagger rows in a checkerboard planting pattern to cover the space. Measure 1 foot less than the smallest number given on the mature spread to get a solid fill.
  • Mulch 3-4 inches deep between and around plants, and keep newly established mass plantings weeded.
  • Provide careful water in the first season. Thereafter, we recommend giving Cotoneaster supplemental water during extended drought.

Pruning Cotoneaster

Give it plenty of room to reach its full mature height and spread to develop its lovely growth habit. Prune these to shape after the small pink and white flowers are done, or leave them au natural. They'll develop into a pretty, upright shrub with glossy green leaves and spreading branches.

Remove dead wood at ground level, or clip it back to a living main branch. Avoid header cuts to shorten. Rather, look for ways to clip long branches back into the canopy, streamlining the branches all the way back to a larger structure branch.

Check Out Colorful Cotoneasters Today!

Enjoy the durability and ease of living with planted Cotoneaster shrubs. Beneficial pollinators and birds will appreciate this lovely choice!

In certain climates, Cotoneaster bushes may perform too well, and the berries can sometimes get dispersed by birds. That's why we use Plant Sentry™ to block the shipment of regulated plants to regions where certain plant materials are prohibited. We follow every federal and state regulation to the letter.

You can order plants any time of year at Nature Hills Nursery. We'll hold your order until the time is right for planting in your area! If we can safely ship Cotoneaster shrubs to you, the birds will thank you!

Check out the variety of Cotoneaster plants for sale at Nature Hills Nursery!

Happy Planting!

Shop Cotoneaster Bushes

← Previous Next →