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Rockspray Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster horizontalis

Rockspray Cotoneaster


Rockspray cotoneaster is a coarse, prostrate, slow-growing, horizontally spreading, deciduous shrub, which typically matures to 12”-18” tall and spreads 5’-8’ wide with tiers of flattened, horizontal branches arranged in a fishbone pattern. It features five-petaled, small pink flowers in early summer, bright scarlet berries in late summer to fall and tiny, rounded, lustrous, dark green leaves that turn reddish-purple in fall.

Use and Management

Rockspray cotoneaster is a valuable landscape plant, which offers good foliage, flowers and fruit, and provides shelter for small birds. Mass as a woody ground cover for sunny areas in the landscape including banks or slopes where it can also provide good erosion control.

Best grown in moist, loamy, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Good drainage is essential. A tough and adaptable plant that can withstand considerable drought, once established.

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to fireblight, leaf spot and canker. Dense foliage can present maintenance problems because of the difficulty of cleaning dead leaves and trash from the interior of a plant.

Additional Characteristics

  • Soil Moisture: Moist, well-drained
  • Soil Types/Tolerance: Normal, loamy clay
  • Plant Habit: Compact, horizontally-spreading
  • Uses: Rock gardens, groundcover
  • Additional Features: Leaves turn reddish-purple in fall
  • Special Resistance: None


  • Available in 1, 3 or 5 gal containers
  • Suggested plant spacing are:
  • Plant 18” to 36” OC
  • Bed Preparation:
  • Spread 3” of bed mix in ground cover beds
  • Till 6” deep, rake beds to drain away from structure
  • Plant
  • Topdress with 2” of double ground (fine) hardwood mulch.
  • Hand water in after planting
  • Set sprinkler controller to water beds:
  • Once every two days for two weeks in spring and early fall.
  • Once a day for two weeks when temperatures reach 98+ degrees.
  • Have Owner monitor moisture and report over or under watering immediately.
  • After two weeks reassess the watering needs, and set at twice a week thereafter.

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