Miscellaneous

What Is Hedge Cotoneaster: Learn About Hedge Cotoneaster Care

What Is Hedge Cotoneaster: Learn About Hedge Cotoneaster Care


By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Cotoneasters are versatile, low maintenance, deciduous shrubs for the landscape. Whether you’re looking for a low sprawling variety or a taller type for a dense hedge, there is a cotoneaster that will meet your needs. In this article, we will discuss hedge cotoneaster plants.

What is Hedge Cotoneaster?

Hardy in zones 3-6, hedge cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lucidus) is native to areas of Asia, specifically in the Altai Mountain regions. Hedge cotoneaster is a more rounded upright plant than the very common wide, sprawling cotoneaster that most of us are familiar with. Because of this dense, upright habit and its tolerance of shearing, hedge cotoneaster is oftentimes used for hedging (hence the name), privacy screens or shelter belts.

Hedge cotoneaster has the familiar, ovate, glossy, dark green foliage of other cotoneaster plants. In spring to early summer, they bear small clusters of pink flowers. These blooms attract bees and butterflies, making them excellent for use in pollinator gardens. After flowering, the plants produce the classic pom-shaped red, purple to black berries. Birds love these berries, so cotoneaster plants are often found in wildlife or bird gardens too.

In autumn, hedge cotoneaster foliage turns orange-red and its dark berries persist through winter. Adding a hedge cotoneaster plant can provide four-season appeal to the garden.

Growing Hedge Cotoneaster

Hedge cotoneaster plants will grow well in any loose, well-draining soil but prefers a slightly alkaline soil pH level.

The plants are wind and salt tolerant, which adds to the benefits of using them as a hedge or border. Plants can grow 6-10 feet tall (1.8-3 m.) and 5-8 feet wide (1.5-2.4 m.). When left un-trimmed, they will have a natural rounded or oval habit.

When growing hedge cotoneaster as a hedge, plants can be planted 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 m.) apart for a dense hedge or screen, or they can be planted farther apart for a more open look. Hedge cotoneaster can be sheared or trimmed to shape at any time of the year. They can be trimmed into formal hedges or left natural.

Some common problems with hedge cotoneaster plants are bacterial fire blight, fungal leaf spots, spider mites, and scale.

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Hedge Cotoneaster in fall

Hedge Cotoneaster in fall

Hedge Cotoneaster in fall

Hedge Cotoneaster in fall

Other Names: Peking Cotoneaster

Known as the 'hedge cotoneaster' for very good reason makes a stunning hedge, takes pruning well also valued for its showy fall colors one of the toughest and hardiest of this genus

Hedge Cotoneaster has clusters of shell pink flowers along the branches in mid spring. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The glossy oval leaves turn an outstanding scarlet in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Hedge Cotoneaster is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and can be pruned at anytime. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration

  • Insects
  • Disease

Hedge Cotoneaster is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening

Hedge Cotoneaster will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.


Hedge Cotoneaster Plant Info - Growing Hedge Cotoneaster Plants - garden

Other Names: Peking Cotoneaster

Known as the 'hedge cotoneaster' for very good reason makes a stunning hedge, takes pruning well also valued for its showy fall colors one of the toughest and hardiest of this genus

Hedge Cotoneaster has clusters of shell pink flowers along the branches in mid spring. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The glossy oval leaves turn an outstanding scarlet in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Hedge Cotoneaster is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and can be pruned at anytime. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration

  • Insects
  • Disease

Hedge Cotoneaster is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening

Hedge Cotoneaster will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.


Cotoneaster grows best in full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade. It can handle difficult circumstances, including poor soil. To get the best results, plant a cotoneaster shrub in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. They are adaptable to any kind of soil from sandy to clay, as long as it is not too wet.

Cotoneasters planted in the full sun develop dense branches, deep green foliage, and a lot of flowers and berries. Although this plant won’t be that good when planted in partial shade, it will still be able to produce flowers and fruits.

Follow the steps below to learn how you should plant a cotoneaster shrub.

  1. Buy a container-grown cotoneaster shrub from a well-known nursery
  2. Choose a spot carefully where you will like to keep the plant since cotoneasters do not transplant easily. Plant ground cover plants 5 feet apart, and keep a space of 4 to 6 feet while planting larger plants.
  3. Dig a hole which is twice as deep and wide as the plant’s root ball.
  4. Eliminate wire from the root ball if present with bolt cutters and use garden scissors to get rid of protective burlap.
  5. Get rid of densely matted roots before placing the cotoneaster shrub in the hole. Also, the top of the root ball must be at ground level. If you are planting a cotoneaster shrub near your house, turn it around so that it can face outside.
  6. Backfill the hole with some topsoil after you amend it with peat moss or compost.
  7. Apply a thick layer of bark mulch or wood chips soon after you plant cotoneaster, to preserve soil moisture and for keeping the weeds away.


Plant Library

Hedge Cotoneaster in fall

Hedge Cotoneaster in fall

Hedge Cotoneaster in fall

Hedge Cotoneaster in fall

Other Names: Peking Cotoneaster

Known as the 'hedge cotoneaster' for very good reason makes a stunning hedge, takes pruning well also valued for its showy fall colors one of the toughest and hardiest of this genus

Hedge Cotoneaster has clusters of shell pink flowers along the branches in mid spring. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The glossy oval leaves turn an outstanding scarlet in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Hedge Cotoneaster is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and can be pruned at anytime. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Hedge Cotoneaster is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Vertical Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening

Hedge Cotoneaster will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.


Watch the video: The 3 seasons of Cotoneaster