Cotoneaster (lat. Cotoneaster) - evergreen or deciduous shrub, originates from the Pink family. There are about a hundred species that grow mainly in the northern regions of Africa.
Its leaves are medium-sized, egg-shaped, very similar to quince, hence the name, which consists of a combination of two Greek words: cotonea (quince) and aster (having a form).
The leaves are placed alternately, have a dark green color, by autumn they acquire a crimson hue. The flowers of the cotoneaster are small, white, sometimes pinkish in color. They are replaced by round red fruits, which outwardly resemble small apples, but they are inedible.
It is a slow-growing shrub with a lifespan of over 50 years. An adult plant grows up to 2 meters in height.
It is appreciated by gardeners for its decorative qualities and unpretentious care.
Cotoneaster - popular types:
Cotoneaster whole-edged or ordinary (Cotoneaster integerrimus) is a frost-resistant, deciduous shrub with a rounded crown. The leaf plate is wide, the upper part is green, the bottom is gray, felt. Flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences of 4 pieces. The fruits are red.
Black cotoneaster (Cotoneaster melanocarpus) - winter-hardy, with red shoots. It differs from most of its relatives in that its fruits are suitable edible. The upper part of the leaf is dark green, the lower one is light, with slight pubescence. Flowers are pink, collected in inflorescences of 5-10 pieces. Fruits are spherical, black.
Horizontal cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis) is an evergreen shrub with a wide crown. Height 20-50 cm, width up to 2 meters. The branches are placed closely, like a fish ridge. The juicy green color of the foliage is transformed into crimson by autumn. Small fruits densely cover the shrub and often remain until early spring.
Application in landscape design. An original trimmed cotoneaster composition will add charm and harmony to the garden area. It is a multifunctional plant. It is ideal for landscaping parks, rocky gardens, curbs, and makes an elegant hedge. It will also look good near the house or along the road, it can serve as the basis for any composition in combination with multi-colored perennials and conifers.
Purchase of seedlings. Before buying, carefully inspect the plant; there should be no signs of disease and damage on its branches and root system. Seedlings with an open root system should be planted in the fall, in the month of October, before the first frost or early spring, before bud break. Bushes with a closed root system can be planted from spring to early fall.
Location and landing. The cotoneaster is able to maintain its decorative qualities in partial shade, but for good growth the shrub needs a lot of light. Choose open areas for planting.
Having dug a hole 50x50x50 cm in size, be sure to install a good drainage layer on the bottom, for this broken brick or gravel is suitable. Then a soil mixture is poured, consisting of equal parts of peat, sand and humus, with the addition of 250-300 grams of lime.
It is important to observe the distance between the bush and the nearest plants or structure of 1.5-2 m, this depends on the desired crown size in the future. After digging in the seedling, leave the root collar flush with the surface. Then it remains to tamp the soil, water and mulch the near-trunk circle with a 10 cm layer of peat.
Differs in vitality and ability to adapt to growing conditions. Transplant easily. It lends itself well to forming and retains its given shape for a long time. Caring for the cotoneaster will not take much time and effort, the main thing is not to violate the rules of watering, as stagnation of water at the roots can adversely affect it. The shrub must be regularly cleaned of dust with a jet of water.
Watering. In dry summers, pour 6-7 liters of water under the bush no more than once every 20 days.
To maintain a beautiful well-groomed appearance, the shrub periodically, about once every two to three weeks, needs to be washed under running water from a hose.
Loosening, mulching. After watering or rain, it is necessary to loosen the trunk circle to a depth of about 15 cm.After planting, the area around the young plant is mulched with a layer of peat, about 8-10 cm thick.
Top dressing. In the spring, digging up the soil around the bushes, organic fertilizers are applied. In summer, fertilize with granular superphosphate 60 g per square meter with the addition of 15 g of potassium sulfate.
Trimming and shaping. Regular haircuts stimulate the growth of branches and the crown becomes even thicker. Any shape can be formed from this shrub: cones, hemispheres, prisms and other shapes for which you only have enough imagination. Of course, such haircuts require a certain skill, if you are not sure that you can do it yourself, there is always the opportunity to seek help from landscape interior designers.
Also, periodically remove old, dry, or thickening branches. In the spring, before the buds open, rejuvenating pruning is performed.
Bloom. Small nondescript flowers of white, sometimes pink color, do not represent decorative value. Spherical fruits that appear after flowering look more attractive.
Reproduction. It can be propagated by dividing the bush, cuttings and layering. When propagated by cuttings: a cutting cut in June, previously soaked in water with the addition of a growth stimulant, is planted in light, breathable soil. After that, it is watered and covered with a plastic bottle, which is removed on hot days to ventilate the mini-greenhouse. In spring, the young plant can be transplanted.
The most affordable breeding method is by layering. To do this, sprinkle the lower young shoots with soil and fix. In the spring, separate the layers from the mother plant and plant them in the prepared place.
Reproduction by dividing the bush is the fastest way, it is suitable for mature plants that have grown strongly. Having dug up the plant and carefully dividing it, you need to immediately plant the resulting parts in the chosen place.
Diseases and pests. Cotoneaster rarely gets sick, but Fusarium infection occurs. A fungicidal agent can help the plant, it is first necessary to remove the affected branches. Sometimes it is attacked by an apple aphid, a mite or a scale insect. You can get rid of insects by treating with an insecticidal agent.
Cotoneaster in winter. The winter-hardy shrub tolerates frost well, but it is better to protect the plant by bending it to the ground, cover it with dry leaves, and on top with spruce branches or a special covering material.
Interesting Facts. The cotoneaster is used in folk medicine for the manufacture of medicines that have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative effects.
PHOTO OF Cotoneaster