Cotoneasters are used ornamentally in shrub borders or as hedges and come in a range of forms and varieties, from deciduous to evergreen and from large shrubs to dwarf plants.
Cotoneaster horizontalis has excellent late colour, but is also popular for the characteristic herringbone pattern of its stems, which develop into a decorative basketwork across the ground or on a wall, according to how it is trained. It is invaluable in shade, although its crops of neat pink flowers and bright red berries are more prolific in full sun. The flowers are a magnet for bees and the berries are eaten by birds.The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Many species of cotoneaster are highly invasive and some are now listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in England and Wales, banned from sale in garden centres. Cotoneaster horizontalis is not on the banned list but if you live in a rural area where the plant could escape from your garden (such as if a bird eats the berries and distributes the seed) it's advisable to choose an alternative plant, such as hawthorn, which is native to Britain and not invasive.
Plant type: Deciduous shrub
Flower colour: Pink
Foliage colour: Dark green
Feature: Flowers, Fruit
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: September to November
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