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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.

Pennine Petal
I have recently cut mine back to stop it taking over. It never seems to do any harm, and I tend to chop it back on a regular basis. Still get lots of flowers which the insects love and berries later on.

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.

Thanks everyone

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. 

Thanks Bookertoo

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.

brilliant - neighbour has decided to rplace the boundary fence with a wall which is right next to my cotoneaster, on reading this I am hopeful (mid June) that I can get a good shape and re-gain control of the top of it !

Thanks everyone - lots of good advice.  I was going crazy looking at how much it had grown and grown over my other plants


Boris, it's very amenable to pruning. You can "guide" your shape too by pruning to upward or downward facing buds.  For example, if it's as high as you want it to be around your wimdow cut it to,where you want it but to a downward bud. if you want it to grow a bit higher when past the window then prune to buds pointing upward.   Also remove branches growing out from the wall to maintain a lovely "flat" appearance.  Have fun with it.  In full berry it's a lovely sight.  

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