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in Tools and techniques
I have a Cotoneaster Horizontalis which is currently taking over my front garden.Does anyone know when I can prune it and how? It's in a corner and underneath (creeping in front) of our lounge window.
I'm a gardening novice so a 'gardening for dummies' type reply would be appreciated.Many thanks!
I had one of these taking over my garden and the pavement too when I moved into my present house. I hacked it back regularly at any time of the year when it just needed it. But here is the offical RHS advice from one of their books : "prune formal hedges and wall-trained plants back to the fading flowers or nearest berry cluster in mid- or late summer. Trim again lightly in early autumn if fresh growth obscures fruit display." I might just say, mine was too vigorous to just prune lightly, and I found it rooted in everywhere it touched the ground. In the end, for the sake of people walking past the house, I dug it up.
Mine doesn't seem to resent some fairly drastic chopping. I tend to do it when I feel like it as there as so many flowers and berries that the wildlife doesn't miss out.
I'll give it a trim. It doesn't sound like I can do too much damage.
Just need the rain to stop!
You'd have a job to do it much harm, they are super plants when well trained and trimmed, but can, as you are finding out, be rather a handful. There is a very little one for rockeries or anywhere a small plant is needed, which is very good, grows about 4 inches high and so far - about 3 years on - about 2 foot across. Usual bee loved white flowers and red berries to follow. I assume the birds eat these but I cannot see it when indoors so haven't seen that, but they go as the winter progresses.
I'll trim it a bit at a time and see how I get on. It had lots of bees all over it a few weeks ago - so many that I was worried that we had a nest!
O course it is not impossible that you do have a hive of bees near at hand, but it is most likely that the bees are just delighted to find your cotoneaster - they really do love the flowers, also pyracantha seems to be a favourite of them here too.
When you cone to prune it, don't be too delicate or yu will get lots of thinwhispy shoots looking rather untidy, cut a deent sized bit off if it is where you don't want it, and don't worry, it will make new branches afterwards. There is a very good small RHS book on pruning, virtually foolproof - I know, 'cos I'm fairly foolish, and I can follow it - not that I always do but that is something else again.