Bring the Outdoors Home

Cotoneaster | Plant Profile

Cotoneaster are wide shrubs with multiple cultivars. While the cultivars can be somewhat different, they are all significantly wider than tall. The foliage is often dark green and glossy and many black or red berries grow in the fall. These are hardy shrubs, which can tolerate adverse conditions that other shrubs may not be able to survive.

Cotoneaster prefers well drained soils in full sun to part shade. Fertile soils create the best growing conditions, but they should survive in almost any type of ground as long as it is not saturated. Watering is rarely required once established – only in times of drought- and mulch is recommended to prevent weeds.

Cotoneseaster are low growing shrubs that can double as tall groundcover. They often line driveways, paths, and fences. They can also be a lovely border when planted at the base of taller hedges and evergreens.


Cotoneaster Characteristics

Cotoneaster are low growing deciduous shrubs that can double as groundcovers. The branches can root where they touch the ground. The small cranberry-like fruits nearly cover the plants from summer to winter. The foliage becomes red, orange and purple in fall. The variability of the colors displayed make these perfect for landscapes in need of multiseason interest.

There are multiple cultivars on Cotoneaster, and while similar, each have their own characteristics:

Cotoneaster apiculatus is a taller variety that grows mostly upright. The flowers are small and pink and eventually bloom small red fruit that is very attractive to birds.

Cotoneaster dammeri resembles creeping groundcovers more than shrubs. The tend to turn a dark purple in winter. The flowers are white and often produces more berries than other Cotoneaster.

Cotoneaster repandens have dark green leaves that can be semi-evergreen with white flowers. The red flowers and deep green foliage create beautiful contrast, particularly if the foliage is maintained into winter.

Cotoneaster rarely have serious plague or pest issues. They can be vulnerable to fireblight or spider mites.




USDA Climate Zone
Zones 4 - 8
.75 - 3.00'
3.00 - 6.00'
Bloom Time
May - June
Full Sun - Part Shade
Low - Medium
Deer Resistant?