Cotoneaster Microphyllus Ground Cover
Cotoneaster microphyllus ground cover is an excellent low maintenance shrub with a spreading habit. It which has long, arching stems covered in tiny, rounded, glossy mid-green leaves. Attractive, dainty 5-petalled flowers appear in late Spring which are then followed by red berries that last for a long time – providing colour and interest into the Winter. The flowers are a magnet for bees and the berries are loved by birds whilst the natural arching shape of the plant make for excellent shelter for wildlife!
Evergreen, Cotoneaster microphyllus make an excellent, hardy, low growing addition to the front of mixed beds and borders or slightly shadier woodland areas. Highly effective as a weed supressing ground cover carpet, it can also look stunning trained against a wall that will showcase its herringbone pattern. Try planting under Lilac or Spiraea, or in a mixed shrub border with Euonymus or a splash of colour from some Heucheras.
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Very low maintenance, Cotoneaster microphyllus shrubs simply require a light trim after flowering to retain the symmetry of the plant and a generous mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant. They will perform in full sun but are equally happy in partially shaded locations coming into their own in these more difficult shady areas – though may produce less flowers and berries. One thing they do require is moderately fertile, well-drained soil until established, when they will tolerate slightly drier soil. They will not thrive in soil that becomes waterlogged so add grit and well-rotted garden compost to clay soils before planting.
How to grow Cotoneaster microphyllus
Position: Full sun, partial shade
Soil and site: Moderately fertile, well drained
Flowering time: Late Spring
Growth rate: Moderate
Ultimate height and spread: 100cm and to 150cm
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Aftercare: Water well until established, avoiding soil becoming waterlogged. Trim in early Spring or late Autumn to maintain shape