Tom Thumb Creeping Cotoneaster

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A cute crimson creeper! The Tom Thumb Creeping Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster adpressus 'Tom Thumb') is an interesting, very dwarf, very dense, and compact groundcover-type of groundcover shrub!

Tom Thumb is a true dwarf, not only in that it remains very close to the ground, but even the leaves are smaller than the species! It's glossy and very fine-textured, shining in the sun! Forming mats of weed-choking mats of deciduous to sem-evergreen mounds 1 - 2 feet tall but spreading 4 - 6 feet wide!

It has a unique appeal because of its very shiny, small leaves that turn a brilliant crimson red in the autumn. Tom Thumb rarely produces flowers and fruit, but when it occurs, the blooms are small and pinkish-white. Then the very small, one-fourth, red fruit follows in autumn.

This Cotoneaster spreads by rooting where the branches touch the soil. Its branches are opposite along the stem so creates a herringbone effect or pattern! You'll get polite thickets and naturalized ground-covering plantings without any fuss!

Planting and Application:

These are incredible edging plants that remain low maintenance and easy to grow! Tom Thumb to ease the transition between lawn and garden bed, or just let fill in the bare ground between larger shrubs and Roses, or meander between perennials like a creeping living mulch.

Perfect facer plants, hide bare leggy stems of larger shrubs with Tom Thumb and use as low-growing fringe around garden features, trees, and your mailbox.

The spreading creeping abilities of these hardy shrubs make them ideal in Rock Gardens, for erosion control, and holding soil on hard-to-mow hillsides. Easy mass planting shrubs, you'll fill large areas with these as they root as they grow for fast fill.

Tom Thumb Cotoneaster is perfect for container gardening, acting as spillers and fillers in planters and pots. Use as creeping fringe around a specimen tree or other focal point for a finishing touch.

  • Small Shiny Leaves & Herringbone Patterened Branching
  • Crimson Autumn Foliage!
  • True Dwarf Stays Small
  • Compact Low Spreading Growth
  • Facer Plant & Edging, Container Spiller/Filler & Erosion Control

#ProPlantTips for Care:

This low-maintenance miniature woody shrub prefers drier soil and full-to-part sun. Cotoneasters' only requirement is very well-drained soil. Moderate moisture needs, these plants can be drought resistant, but a 3-4 inch thick layer of mulch helps retain moisture.

It is a very charming plant and it is deer resistant. You'll rarely have to prune this slower-growing creeping shrub but you can any time. Mow around the shrub to keep its creeping growth contained, or dig up rooted portions to replant in other areas as needed.

  • Grows Best in Full Sun
  • Widely Adaptable - Any Well-Drained Soils
  • Moderate Moisture Needs -Drought Tolerant Once Established
  • Prune After Flowering If Needed
  • Very Adaptable, Pollution-Tolerant & Easy-To-Grow

Sweet and petite, the dwarf little Tom Thumb Cotoneaster Shrub will add beauty to your landscape - big or small! Order enough for your project today from Nature Hills Nursery!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Tom Thumb Creeping Cotoneaster Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4-7
Growing Zones 4-7
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Cotoneaster adpressus 'Tom Thumb'
Type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Mature Height 1 - 2 feet
Mature Spread 4 - 6 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well-Drained
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Pink
Foliage Green
Fall Color Red
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time After Flowering