Cotoneaster horizontalis c.s. (Rock Spray Cotoneaster) is a low-growing deciduous shrub that is native to China and parts of Asia. It is widely cultivated for its attractive spreading habit, small flowers, colorful berries, and ornamental value.
Appearance: Rock Spray Cotoneaster is a low, spreading shrub that typically grows to a height of 30-60 cm (12-24 inches) and can spread up to 1.5-2 meters (5-6 feet) in width. It has a horizontal branching pattern, with branches that grow parallel to the ground. The small leaves are oval-shaped, dark green, and have a glossy texture. In autumn, the foliage may turn shades of red or purple before dropping.
Flowers: In late spring to early summer, Rock Spray Cotoneaster produces small, white to pale pink flowers. The flowers are borne in clusters and are attractive to bees and other pollinators. While the individual flowers are not particularly showy, the mass of flowers can create a delicate and charming effect.
Berries: After flowering, Rock Spray Cotoneaster develops small, round berries that transition through a range of colors. Initially green, they turn bright red or orange as they mature, adding a splash of color to the plant. The berries persist into winter and are a valuable food source for birds.
Growing Conditions: Rock Spray Cotoneaster is adaptable to a variety of growing conditions. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. It is relatively drought-tolerant once established and can withstand cold temperatures. It is generally considered a hardy and low-maintenance plant.
Pruning: Rock Spray Cotoneaster typically requires minimal pruning. However, if desired, it can be pruned to maintain its shape or to remove any dead, damaged, or crossing branches. Pruning is best done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
Rock Spray Cotoneaster, Cotoneaster horizontalis, is a versatile and attractive shrub that adds beauty and interest to various landscaping settings. Its spreading habit, small flowers, colorful berries, and adaptability make it a popular choice for those seeking an ornamental and low-maintenance plant.