Cotoneaster Bonsai

Bonsai Species Guides

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Genus of over 200 species of deciduous, semi-evergreen and evergreen shrubs and trees from woodland and rocky areas in Northern Temperate regions of Europe, Asia and N.Africa.

There are many species of Cotoneaster and even more varieties and hybrids suitable for bonsai cultivation. Commonly seen include;

Cotoneaster adpressus /Cotoneaster
Small flowering deciduous shrub with pink flowers borne in early Spring and 1cm long dull, green leaves that turn red in Autumn before leaf-drop.

Cotoneaster cashmiriensis (syn. C.microphylla var. cochleatus) /Cotoneaster
Compact, prostrate evergreen shrub with elliptic, glossy dark-green leaves up to 1cm long. Bears solitary white flowers (pink in bud) in Summer followed by spherical dark-red fruit 6-8mm long.

Cotoneaster horizontalis /Rockspray Cotoneaster
Spreading deciduous shrub with branches forming a herringbone pattern. Rounded to elliptic, glossy dark green leaves to 1cm turning red in Autumn. Bears pink-tinged white flowers in late-Spring in pairs.

Cotoneaster microphylla (now correctly known as C.integrifolius) /Cotoneaster
Stiffly branched, compact evergreen shrub with ovate dark green leaves 5mm to 10mm long. Solitary white flowers borne in Summer followed by red/pink fruit.

Notes on bonsai cultivation

Position: Full sun. Though fully hardy as garden plants, Cotoneasters need some protection as bonsai from temperatures below -5°C.

Feeding: Feed sparingly every 10 days to 2weeks. Cotoneaster are not a hungry species and do not require or respond particularly well to heavy fertilising regimes. In areas with hard (lime) water, use an ericaceous fertiliser.

Repotting: Annually in Spring as new buds extend. It is important that a fast draining soil mix is used.

Propagation: Sow seed in containers outside in Autumn. Layer in Spring, root softwood cuttings in summer.

Pests and diseases: Aphids, scale insects