Rockspray Contoneaster

Rockspray Contoneaster(Cotoneaster horizontalis), widely used in England, is worthy of more frequent consideration in American landscapes, particularly for its hardiness and nice features throughout the year. It is related to apples, pears and hawthorns.

Size - This plant grows to a height of about 2 to 3 feet with a spread of 5 to 8 feet

Foliage - Rockspray Cotoneaster is generally thought of as semi-evergreen though it sometimes is considered evergreen or deciduous. It has a small, fine-textured green leaf that turns purplish red in fall.

Flowers - In May, it has small, ΒΌ" diameter, whitish pink blooms.

Berries - This versatile plant brightens fall and winter with its red berries that decorate the stiff, spreading branches.

Choosing Rockspray Cotoneaster
If you have a deer problem, though, this plant is a good one to consider as it is not a deer favorite.
A variety to look for is 'Variegatus', named for its variegated leaves edged in white which turn to rose red in the fall. Other varieties include 'Ascendens', 'Dart's Splendid', 'Robustus' and 'Wilsonii'.

Using Rockspray Cotoneaster
Rockspray cotoneaster, Cotoneaster horizontalis, is a lovely plant to consider when you are looking for a plant to cover a bank or drape over a wall. The stem grows in an interesting fishbone or herringbone pattern which creates a flat growth and layered effect that makes it an excellent choice. The plant is also a good selection for rock gardens or to espalier.

Planting Rockspray Cotoneaster
This cotoneaster grows in zones 5 to 8, and tolerates coastal areas. Because of its sparse root system, plant container-grown plants in well-drained fertile soil in either full sun or partial shade. If planting more than one, space them 6 to 8 feet apart. The plant is a slow grower.

Problems of Rockspray Cotoneaster
For more information see the file Dealing With Lacebugs
For more information see the file on Controlling Mites
For more information see the file on Controlling Scale

Fireblight can be a disease problem
It can be controlled by correct fertilization and pruning. Shoots infected with fireblight turn brown or black as though scorched. The blossoms wither and die. Water-soaked bark lesions appear that are reddish in color, and on warm days they ooze an orange-brown liquid. Later they become brown and dry.

The best defense against fireblight is diligent pruning. In the winter look for affected branches with visible cankers and prune them off just a few inches below the spot. On limbs too large to remove, pare away diseased tissues. In the summer, watch for blackened leaves, stems or fruits and cut them off 12 inches below any sign of disease. Also, snap off any vigorous suckers that grow vertically from the branches or the rootstock. They are prone to fireblight. Disinfect your pruning tools by dipping them for a few seconds in a solution of hot water and household bleach after each cut.

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